So I had my first valet parking experience last night. I was at the Trees for Houston “Arbol de la Vita” fund raiser party at a private club. I pull around to the valets and I’m still in a state of disbelief that they are going to park my car instead of telling me where I should park it. On of the guys says, rather rudely in my opinion, “Are you going to get out.” I do and hand him my keys, and he gives me a claim ticket.
On the way out there was a line of people waiting for their cars. I guess that’s better than a line of cars waiting to get out. While I was in line a valet asked for my claim ticket and I told her my car was a blue Chevrolet HHR. Perhaps five minutes later it was ready.
Then I gave her the tip. I used the formula a fraternity brother who worked part time as a valet told me: one dollar for every $10,000 the car is worth. Really, my car right now is worth about $12,000, but I gave her two dollars. New my car would be worth about $20,000. As I was getting in I *think* she called me a cheapskate for only giving her two dollars, but I might have just been hearing things. The first thing I thought was, well, I don’t care. I feel a little bad for ticking her off, but she *chose* to get angry. Then I thought: of course I’m a cheapskate! I’m driving a Chevrolet after all. Then I though, well, based on that formula she shouldn’t have gotten anything less that five dollars that night, so suddenly getting two would have ticked her off.
I noticed that I was one of the few people that didn’t have a German car. The gentleman in front of me and behind me said they had BMW’s. All around I saw Benzes and BMW’s parked. The only non-German car I saw leave before me was a Cadillac Escalade, and I only saw one Volkswagen – a New Beatle Convertible.
If you read my car buying story the first car on my list was the Malibu Maxx because I mistakenly thought it was a station wagon. I went to a Chevrolet dealer and in three hours he sold me an HHR instead, which I liked at the time. The HHR was actually never on my list of cars I was considering buying. My second car on the list was a Volkswagen Passat wagon. I thought, if all these folks richer than me chose BMW’s and Benz’s over Cadillac’s, Lincoln’s, and Chrysler’s there must be something more to those German cars that status and a huge price tag.