Sunday, May 18, 2008

You do ballet?...ha ha, get it?...Idiots.

I was just reading an article on Wikipedia explaining what valet parking is and it said that if there is no valet fee, or if the valet service is free, the customary tip should be no less than $7.00. Here in Salt Lake there is a valet fee which means the tips are a lot less than when I worked valet in Vegas, where valet parking was complimentary, but it was rare, even then, that we would get more than 5 bucks. Being a valet isn't easy, especially at the Hotel Monaco. 

On saturday we were short a guy and we got hit with about 100 cars, which is a lot for 4 guys. About 8 months ago the hotel lost their parking garage due to the fact that it was torn down in order to start construction on a very large building that wont be finished for the next 2 years. Because the hotel lost its garage they decided to hire VPS (Valet Parking Services) to start parking all the cars that would be staying there. VPS bought the lowest level of a parking
 garage that is owed by the really big Wells Fargo building that is in the down town area and started parking all the guests cars there. The biggest problem is that it is 3 blocks away. I don't know if any of you are aware of how far that is but just go give you a hint, 6 blocks is a do the math. Every time a guest comes in and checks his/her car with us, we (everyone but me) have to park the car 3 blocks away and then run back to get the next car just to do the same thing. About 5 time a day someone will leave something like a cell phone or diaper bag in the car leaving it up to us to run back down to the garage that is 1/2 a mile away (I did the math for you) to retrieve it. It sucks.

So, this past saturday we had a couple things happen that caused the day to be the suckiest of all. First of all, there were some scheduling issues that made it so I had some very inexperience guys working with me. I mentioned earlier that we were short one guy, right? The night was going fine up until about 9:00pm when a family came out for their car. My valet guy got the keys and ran to the car. It wouldn't fact, it wouldn't even turn in the ignition. The
 whole steering column was locked. The owner of the car got in and couldn't do anything either. He figured since we were the last people to have the car that it was automatically our fault, which most of the time is true, but we will see later that it was not our fault. I called my boss, who is kind of in charge of dealing with all the people who point their finger at us. I told the guy that someone was on the way over to help fix the problem. I then continued on with my job. At about 10:00pm I went down to the garage leaving my most experienced valet attendant at the front drive to manage the cars while I was gone. Every night I have to go to the garage and make sure that all the doors are locked and all the cars accounted for. While I was down there I noticed that one of the cars that should have already been brought up was still down there, so I sent one of my guys to get the key and take it up to the front drive. While he was in the process of finding the keys the owner of that car came out and gave us her claim ticket. I got a call on my radio from the guy I sent up to get the keys who told me that he couldn't find them. I ran as fast as I could down the 3 blocks to the hotel and asked what the heck was going on. "The keys are just...gone."
 I had to go to the lady whose keys we lost and tell her what her options were. "You can wait here for the locksmith, or we can give you a ride home." Can you believe that I have to say that to someone who trusted us to take
 care of their car? She couldn't go home because her house key was in her car, which obviously was locked. Plus, the locksmith wasn't going to be able to start her car because it was a 2007 mini cooper that has an electric key starter.
 "Crap." I tried to think of someway we could work this out. I told her that the locksmith would be able to at least open the door to get her house key, then I would pay for a taxi to get her home and to work the next morning. Other things that I offered was a room at the hotel, some drinks at the bar while she waited, and at the end we tried to offer her $50 for her troubles, which she refused to take. After about 30 minutes of frantically looking for the keys, we got a flashlight and started looking for the key in all the cars that we had in the garage, which actually ended up being the best idea yet, because we found them in the passenger seat of some random car that was parked by none other than Andrew, the new kid. The lady was very nice about everything and actually thanked us for trying so hard to find the keys, even when all hope seemed to be lost. Now, back to the first car that wouldn't start. We gave the guy and his family a ride home and called a locksmith to come down and figure out what the problem was. It turned out to be the was so worn down that it wouldn't even start the car. The locksmith had to make a brand new key from scratch which ended up starting the car with no problem. Even though it wasn't our fault and we really didn't have to pay for it,  we did anyways because Chris (the owner) is a big softy.

The moral of this story is this: Give big tips to the valets...unless they lose your keys, then milk'em for all they've got.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tempting the Tempter

I recently read an article from the Ensign that was from July 2003. It was entitled "Prepare to Resist Temptation." 

There are three different things that I learned from this message:
1. How to have an eternal perspective to help resist temptation
2. How to prepare to resist temptation
3. What to do when temptation wins

Alma taught in the Book of Mormon that we should "be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing."

It is crazy that the devil can trick people so easily. The way I see it, when we are not praying we are like blind people walking around with Satan as our guide dog. In the moments that we begin to pray, sight is regained and the guide dog is no longer needed. 

President Faust was quoted as saying that "we need not become paralyzed with fear of Satan's power. He can have no power over us unless we permit it. He is really a coward, and if we stand firm, he will retreat.

It is easy to make decisions when we know what our values are. When we don't know what our values are it is harder to make the right decisions.

President Howard W. Hunter: "Without temptation, sickness, pain, and sorrow, there could be no goodness, virtue, appreciation for well-being, or joy. The law of opposition makes freedom of choice possible; therefore, our Heavenly Father has commanded his children, 'Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.' He has counseled us to yield to his spirit and resist temptation."

Just because temptation is necessary in this life doesn't mean that we have to give into it. Temptation is around so that we can experience the joy that comes from conquering the urges to sin. "It takes some bad for satisfaction," as Jason Mraz puts it.

Richard G. Scott: "When you have taken a determined stand for right, when you have established personal standards and made covenants to keep them, when temptations come and you act according to your standards, you will be reinforced and given strength beyond your own capacity if that is needed. Difficulty comes when you enter the battle of temptations without a fixed plan." 

The fixed plan is knowing what decisions you make in difficult situations before the difficult situations come.

President Gordon B. Hinckley: "Occasionally we may 
stumble. I thank the Lord for the great principle of repentance and forgiveness. When we drop the ball, when we make a mistake, there is held out to us the word of the Lord that he will forgive our sins and remember them no more against us."

Life is just better when we make the right decisions before the decisions are needed. Happiness will be a constant characteristic of our lives as soon as we have our "fixed plans."

Anyways, life is good. I am happy.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pet Peeves and the Peevish

In the last couple of days I have seen quite a few of the many pet peeves that I have. While at work I see a lot of things that really bother me. Here are a few:

I detest cab drivers and limo drivers (when I say limo, I don't mean a stretch limo, I mean a car that is nicer than a taxi but used for the same purpose. They usually don't have a meter for charging per mile, but an amount is agreed upon before departure). Both cab drivers and limo drivers have to have clients in order for their business to work. That means that people need rides before the drivers get business. Everyday I am asked at least 10 times if I can get a cab or limo for them. I always say the same thing:
 "The bellmen are in charge of arranging taxis and limos." They usually thank me for the information and go inside. That isn't what bothers me. It is when the taxis or limos come to pick these people up and think that the driveway is theirs. Either they will come in the wro
ng way and clog up my system or they will sit and wait for the passengers to come out while clogging up my system, sometimes both. Just last night something happened that was out of the ordinary and very bothersome. A guy came in a nice black suburban to pick up some people from the hotel and he drove in the right way, but the wrong way. Let me explain...he came in going the right way on the drive, but in revers
e. We were pretty busy at the time, which always gets me a little rushed with adrenaline. When I saw what this guy was doing I immediately ran up to his car and told him that he had to get out of the way. He told me that he was just going to be picking up and then leaving. I was persistent in telling him that he was only causing problems and that if a car came up behind (in front of) him he wasn't going to be able to get out and they wouldn't be able to get in. When I asked him what he was going to do if that were to happen, he just tried to reassure me that his passengers were on their way out. I was vexed. What happened next was only to be assumed, two cars came barreling in and they had no place to go. I was yelling at the suburban guy to get his car off my drive and he responded by doing nothing. All I was  thinking about was how easy it would be for me to break his face. I had to ask the two cars to back out while the idiot driver was wasting their time and mine. After another minute or two the first car that had come in didn't want to wait anymore (who can blame him?) and came back into the drive. I directed him into the wrong side of the drive so they could get out of the car and into the hotel. The driver of the suburban then left after his passengers got in and I then placed him on my black list, which means he wont be getting any calls from the hotel for pickups, which means he lost business, which means you don't mess with me. It is a good thing the bellmen like me more than the drivers.

A couple of days ago the front entrance to the hotel was being painted. Why is it that when there is a sign that says "Wet Paint" nobody believes it? Almost every person that walked by had to touch the paint and see if is was actually wet. It wouldn't surprise me to see people react the same way to a sign that said "Danger: Radiation Risk." Some people are really dumb.

I work with a kid named Stephen who is a little odd. He is really good at asking really dumb or annoying questions. First of all, he thinks it will impress me if he tells me every little thing that he is doing, "I'm going to take this car and put it right here, is that okay?" "I'm going to go give that guy a ticket, okay?" He also says "thank you" all the time, which you might think is nice and proper, but it is weird when I say "Stephen, take that car down to the garage" and he responds by saying "Okay, thank you." I told him last night to park a car in a vacant spot on the drive. After trying various times to get the car into the spot that was now obvious wouldn't fit someone told him to park it somewhere else, he responds by saying "But Parry told me to park it here, right Parry?" Even though it was kind of funny, I told him that me telling him to put it there wasn't going to make it fit, "Put it somewhere else Stephen." There is something else that bothers me about him, he feels the need to know every little thing that is going on. "How's your sandwich Parry?" "What kind is it?" "You don't like tomatoes?" "What kind of bread is that?" ha ha..."GO PARK A CAR STEPHEN!!"

I love my job a lot, really. I enjoy being around the guys that I work with, for the most part. Stephen, although a little annoying is one of the hardest workers I have and he will do whatever it takes to get things done. Even though he bothers me sometimes, I really like him. I gave him a hug yesterday because sometimes I am kind of hard on him. I hope it gave him feelings of joy...I'm sure it did. He tries so hard to please me, he deserves a hug every once and while to reassure him that his tries aren't entirely in vain. 

Wikipedia explains that the term "pet peeve" was first used in 1919, how the heck could they possibly know that? That bugs me.