Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Champ Retires And Hangs Up The Keys

by 'Mean' Mike Duffau (writer), I'm the boss!, June 19, 2008


Valet Parking Is Over For Me!

I guess this is a part two from when I wrote about The Californian on Wilshire a few months back.

The situation hasn't really improved much. Actually, it's gotten worse. Most of the good employees quit or were fired. They were fired for something stupid and it's best not to go into detail about it because it's unnecessary drama that shouldn't have happened to begin with. When the employee(s) were dismissed or left on their own will, the management takes their sweet time in finding a replacement. So do you know what that means? It means that the rest of the gang (what's left of it.) and myself have to pull more weight and work double. At the end of my shift, I'm tired and my knees hurt from standing and running the whole eight hours. The first four hours I'm doing fine, but as time goes on... I begin to lag and by the end I'm dragging my feet. At that point I don't want to see another home-owner, BMW, or Mercedes. It's not fair and most of all it's not right that I and the other valets have to pick up the slack and keep the pace going just to provide the proper service for those rich bums. As long as nobody complains then the management don't care. They don't seem to understand that the valets carry the bulk of the work. We represent the building when a guest or home-owner arrives. If we're short staffed they complain. If we're over staffed they also complain but that doesn't happen too much because we're losing body count.

When they finally hire someone, that person usually can't speak the English language and that becomes an issue because we can't communicate and I don't have the patience to teach them. We get busy on a moments notice and there's no time to explain. See a car and park it! The management think they can put the new guy in with the rest of us as if they already know what to do. To do things right, you got to spend some time with orientation on how the routine is done. Every building is different and we have a system on how we do things. Putting a new guy in like just slows us down because you can' expect too much out of him on his first day.

A big problem that occurred at The Californian is a broken pipe on the 10th floor. It created a massive flood with 14 units suffering water damage. One resident had to evacuate and is temporarily staying at a hotel. A restoration crew is hired on to eliminate in case of mold starts to form. Even the lobby has water damage and it doesn't look like the art gallery that we're used to seeing. It's a health hazard I think when you have to pass by on your way to get a car and certain parts of the hallway is surrounded by plastic to dry out the mold or whatever it is that they're doing. When we pass by there we have to breath that stuff, and I know it's harmful in the long term. You would think that the worker who caused this water problem would be fired on the spot? Nope, he's still there! I'm telling you these people don't care and most of all, it's not professional how they do things. Don't even get me started on the multiple law-suits that the building is going through at this point in time. One being the water problem and that's all I know because the other reasons are just for the sake of suing.

Recently, a new valet was hired. His name is Enrique. Now this guy is a completely genuine person. He speaks pretty good English, is a sharp thinker, quick on his feet, and learned all the home-owner's cars and where they're parked. I was glad that the management finally got something right! When I was introduced to him I bluntly told him "There's alotta bullshit going on around here!" We became pals after that and we worked good together, but like all good things, it ended. He wised up to what was going on around The Californian and after only three months, he left. We were still short handed in the swing shift but with our speed, Enrique and I handled it pretty good. Another guy was hired shortly after Enrique, but this character was totally the opposite. Philip is slow and stupid! Plain and pure F'in simple! All he cares about is when he goes on break. He keeps asking the Door-Man if it's his turn to go on break. Yeah, you bet the Door-Man gets pissed! So basically I'm right back in square one. I'm doing all the work while the oblivious fat ass eats his way out through an eight hour shift.

Here's what I think should happen at The Californian. First of all, get rid of the entire swing shift staff! Yeah, you heard me right! Get rid of ME and the rest of the fallen crew. We're the shift with the less staff and we hold our own. Unlike the morning shift where they're fully staffed but they make the most mistakes, but nobody complains about the mighty morning shift! Same thing with the grave yard zombies, the only exception is that those guys get to fall asleep on the job and get paid for parking only two cars per shift. The swing shift is the underdog and we work the hardest because that's when all the residence come home from their jobs and then they leave to go out to dinner or something, then they come home. Back and forth! That's all they do. Believe me, I get tired fast seeing the same rich faces every ten minutes, and I let them know that I mean business because I don't smile after a while.

My time is just about up for being a car chaser, door opener, grocery bag bringer, and any other miscellaneous duties you can think of. I don't know how I lasted this long, but I did. What did I get out of it working as a valet off/on since 2001? NOTHING BUT GRAY HAIRS! It's not the way to live a life and you can't enjoy it. It's tough to watch the socialites have it all while you have nothing. They keep getting more while you keep getting less. I have driven every car there practically is on the planet and they're the most uncomfortable pieces of junk on wheels. I prefer to ride a bike, but unfortunately in this town with everything being so spread out it makes it difficult to get around without a car.

Well, there you have it. A some what updated news about the newest building on the block of the Wilshire Corridor. Oh, did I forget to mention that it has the worse reputation as well? That's another thing why the management has trouble finding people to work at The Californian. When you try to recommend someone for a position and they ask where? THE CALIFORNIAN. They run away! It's funny if you ask me, but it's not funny for my knees.

I've decided to hang up the keys and at the moment, I'm enjoying my off days. When I report to work this Friday I'm going to pull the assistant manager off to the side and give that chump my two weeks notice! If he gives me hell about it, then I QUIT!

"Anybody wanna job?"

About the Writer

'Mean' Mike Duffau is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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6 comments on The Champ Retires And Hangs Up The Keys

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By Edward on June 19, 2008 at 06:35 pm

Now that's a classy way to quit!

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By icanluvulongtime on June 19, 2008 at 09:17 pm

Mike  - 
When I am in town I stay at the Beverly Hilton, I won't give out the room # here but sufice it to say that the valets have a lot to do with how I feel about the place I choose to call my LA home.  Being referred to by name, having my car available WHENEVER I need it, chilled bottled water, a pleasant smile and face have a lot to do with where I stay.

Whatever you do, you need to do it as well as you can.  If that means filling a McDonald's order, cooking, valet, acting, modeling, full service gas pump or condo village owner, it doesn't matter.  You do your best.

When I read your work I see a man who gives his all.  OH....... but if the best of us could stake that claim.  Good job, champ.

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By L DeSilva-Johnson on June 19, 2008 at 10:39 pm

good for you! I've quit a few times and even when I had mixed feelings, it always turned out to be the right decision -- the one in which I could respect myself in the morning. if I was in LA i'd buy you the drink you desrve... cheers!

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on June 20, 2008 at 03:30 am

ED and MB DION: thanks for lookin' out!

EDWARD: nothing beats the old school way of doin' things!

MARK THE CHAMP: if i were takin' care of you and your ride, i'd do it for free! i know that youre a stand up guy!

L DESILVA-JOHNSON: whats up looker? i know what you mean about having mixed feelings part. i guess its because you know its the right thing to do. come on down for that drink!

J/T: thanks, i really dig that quote!

MORGANA: i havent thought about reno, but you never know. 

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on June 22, 2008 at 04:15 am

JOE MAEL: you gotta some good valets stories. the valet gig isnt what it used to be. i really enjoyed it but only with the right crew. you got me beat with the o.j. story! good one, champ.

GARRY CRYSTAL: better times ahead for sure! thanks...

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By 'Mean' Mike Duffau on June 30, 2008 at 07:22 pm

BILL FRIDAY: thanks for the advice, champ...i might consider it.

CRAIG B.: thank you much!!

MORGANA: thats a great quote...thank you!!

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