Are female valets more trustworthy and capable?
Somebody on Twitter thought this was the case. On a Nightline report a valet in the story talked about how he damaged a customer's rim, then was told by his supervisor not to feel bad, since the customer, a woman, did not tip.
The poster on Twitter said this female customer didn't tip because the valet service would not hire any women! (Huh?)
Well, I was the valet in that piece. And we had female valet workers. I can remember working with four. We also had a female manager.
This Twitter poster also said the need for "valet cams" would be reduced if more women were hired. And it just seemed like she thinks most of the problems in the valet business would disappear if women were employed in these valet positions.
Well, from what I observed, they are not all the perfect angels this poster believes them to be.
Female Valet Worker #1 was widely believed to be screwing over her co-workers in the tip pool.
We pooled our tips together at the end of each shift so that each valet had an equal chance at making a fair day's pay. In this arrangement, it was possible a valet could cheat their co-workers by withholding tip money from "the cut."
A new rookie valet might have perceived the team to be made up of dim-witted people, but the reality was nearly everybody had a super highly developed sixth sense for picking up on tip scamming. It was a mistake for her to underestimate her team members.
Eventually a point was reached where nobody wanted to work with her.
And ultimately she was terminated. I can't remember precisely why, but she certainly had become an undesirable, toxic element on our team. She worked hard. She could hustle. And she had the service mentality. But even after being confronted on numerous occasions about her consistent under-performance with contributing to the cut, she continued to scam us.
So everybody was glad when she was finally gone.
Female Valet Worker #2 severely damaged the side of a full-size pick-up truck after she drove it into a concrete filled metal pole in the garage. She had only been on the job for about 2 weeks. I was there to see the customer's reaction. He was upset.
We kept her. She proved to be a good worker. I vaguely recall that she might have damaged another vehicle during her time with us. But she was a rock solid dependable worker, and many times she was the top contributor to the cut.
Unfortunately, she had a bad fall on the ice. Later it was determined her hip was broken. It was a loss for us when she opted not to return.
Female Valet Worker #3 was a cashier who wanted to try being a valet. The company gave her that chance. Clutch cars were a problem. I saw her burning clutches, stalling Porsches, that sort of thing.
As she gained experience, she became bolder, just like male valets often do. She began to drive aggressively, especially with the more expensive sporty cars. In an ongoing stroke of incompetence, I saw her routinely grinding the air dams of cars onto the curbs in the garage. She also caused a collision between 2 customer cars in the garage. Her aggressive driving worsened. Then she caused another collision involving 2 customer cars. She was dismissed.
Female Worker #4 was outstanding. No wrecks. No damage. No speeding. Always showed up for work. Always on time for work. Rock solid integrity. She was an ideal co-worker. Unfortunately, she dumped us for a more promising opportunity.
At the valet company I worked for, the door was wide open for women to walk through. And I knew of 2 female managers among our nearby properties. This company sought female valets. They wanted them. But few applied.
This valet company was impressive for its openness to diversity. Just at my hotel, in addition to regular Americans, I worked with people from Albania, Ukraine, Mali, Ethiopia, and Haiti and Columbia. One of the guys from Albania could speak 7 languages.
Our female manager started out as the assistant account manager. She had zero valet experience. Her 4 year college degree appeared to factor in the hiring decision. Not having industry experience was a severe handicap that hindered her. She did do well, though, with conflict resolution and dealing with irate customers.
Anyway, that Twitter poster assumed that we did not hire women. She was wrong.
The only difference I saw between female valets and male valets was that the women appeared to more often land better tips (except for the dishonest valet who scammed her co-workers). Besides that I saw no difference. Female valets will speed just like the guys will. Damage and other sloppy valet work happens with both sexes.
If I was a valet parking customer and had a choice between handing a car key to a female or male valet, I would have great concerns with both.