I recently came across Doug Demuro's recent article about a valet scratching his Range Rover and the ignorant comments that immediately followed, and couldn't help but have a negative reaction, being a valet myself.
You valeted your car. You trusted what I assume was a college-aged kid that was trying to make some cash (exactly the reason I took the job myself) with your fancy shiny Range Rover INSTEAD of parking yourself. Valet is completely optional; it's a personal choice. And that choice bit you in the ass because you had a shitty valet. Now you will "never, ever let a valet drive your car again" because of it? Get over it. The vast majority of us take pride in what we do.
I consider myself to be a skilled driver - at 21 years old I've had zero moving violations, zero accidents, and have never stalled a manual and continue to DD a stick (#savethemanuals!). I've been driving since the age of 12. Sure I have 3 speeding tickets; sue me. I take pride in my job as a valet and have a squeaky clean résumé when it comes to parking cars. Zero dents, zero scratches, zero stalls, zero dead batteries, zero lost keys, zero lost tickets. I've parked massive SUV's and hyper-sensitive supercars. I open the doors to EVERY passenger and driver, and if I adjust the seat I make sure to set it back to exactly it's original position before the patron gets in. I always greet people with a smile and enthusiasm. Prompt, Polite, Professional - the motto of my valet company, and the pillars of my performance at work.
I appreciate that Doug gave a $7 tip - that's a generous offering, seriously. My average tip hovers around $1 when split with my other valet. We do copious amounts of work for shitty wages, and we do it all for the CONVENIENCE of others and honestly don't take home nearly enough. I'm sorry that someone screwed up and dinged up your Range. Don't blame the rest of us for the mistake of a shitty valet!
Rant over. Sorry for the length and gratuitous caps lock usage, but I care about my job and take pride in what I do!
A friendly reminder: please tip your valet :)