Aggressive driving by valet workers is not unusual. In fact, I think it's fairly common. However, it is quite unusual for somebody to broadcast to the world that a hotel has a serious aggressive driving problem with its valet staff. That's what just happened to the Conrad Hotel in Indianapolis.
The VERY WORST thing a valet can do is drive aggressively, or recklessly, because it puts people and property in peril, and it exposes the valet company and its client to the possibility of enormous litigation costs, along with on-going damaging publicity... because when people get killed or maimed by reckless valet drivers, that's what happens.
It appears we have another case here where a venue and its valet department are not taking their responsibilities seriously.
Safety needs to be the most important thing.
A valet manager CANNOT trust that their young workforce is handling customer cars as they should... which is reasonably and with respect.
The valet manager must verify that the job is getting done correctly by properly monitoring what is going on in the garage.
Unfortunately, this is often a very low priority.
Shift reports, scheduling, making sure the cashier is not robbing the company, and other paperwork are where much of the valet manager's time is most concentrated. The next priority is spending time on "the ramp," greeting arriving guests, making sure there is a smooth flow of service.
And then the next priority probably is dealing with the hotel's other managers, participating in meetings, and that sort of thing.
They are wearing suits and dress shoes, not running shoes. They are not likely to trek or run to the parking facility, unless it is time to go home.
Would a supervisor be the one to calm aggressive driving? Probably not. This is someone who probably is one of the main participants in the activity. Because they are young too, and it's so easy to drive fast.
Since the valets drive the same circuit through the garage over and over again, it becomes really easy to go fast, because they are experts in driving their circuit.
Unchecked aggressive driving by valet workers spreads to other valet workers. Then it isn't long before the entire valet team is trying to one-up each other with ever riskier driving... because it's fun. And because their young minds are genetically wired to pursue excitement, adventure, thrills and pleasure. It's just natural for some of them to go full throttle out of view of the boss.
When you add in the low pay, some of them don't really care if they get written-up or fired.
These mostly young workers are prone to making risky choices. They don't really consider the possible consequences. They never think that they might kill somebody. But valets driving aggressively have killed innocent people.
This complaint made on Twitter better get action. Because guess what the next step is?
That person who complained probably is going to record video of what he is seeing if the aggressive driving continues. Next thing you know a local TV news station is running a story about it. Or a television news station might set up their own hidden cameras — in a bait car and throughout the garage.
It is a potential publicity fiasco for this hotel. The valet manager's job may be at risk. If this is an outsourced valet department, they could lose the contract.
Despite the potentially tremendous negative fallout, valet service providers and their managers continue to place low priority on ensuring and verifying that safe driving practices are being carried out.
It's bewildering to me.