15 December 2010

Awkwardness and Bad Valets

Current mood: cogito ergo sum

Hey there's this pretty pretty girl I know
He broke her heart and now she’s letting go
What you two had was never love you know
So let me show you what it feels like
I'll never make you cry, always kiss you goodnight
~ “Just Friends?” by Kill Paradise

Recently, I have been subjected to some awkward situations which made me wish that I could pause time and ‘gently’ explain to the ‘awkward actor’ why I would like to punch them in the face. First, I am going to rant about valets. Let me preface this rant with a disclaimer: my brother used to be a valet. He was a damn good one. I believe that if all valets were like him, I wouldn’t have to take deep breaths before reclaiming my car. Now, on to the valets who vex me. I have a new car insurance company – and they have this special little device that plugs into my car to monitor my driving habits. With this device, they are focusing on 3 key risk factors:

  1. ANY driving time between 12midnight – 4am
  2. Distance and average speed driven each day
  3. HARD BRAKING! (Hard braking is the use of a brake to decrease the speed of the car by 7 mph in 1 second.)

I was very excited about this device because I knew that if I could drive carefully for 30 days, I could get a significant discount on my very expensive auto insurance. To make this process transparent, the insurance company allows drivers to view the captured data online. Imagine my surprise when I viewed 7 hard brakes during times that I was not in possession of my vehicle. Instead, it appeared that the valet who was driving LUCIUS V around had an issue with braking. Futhermucker! When I called the insurance company to inquire what I could do to avoid valets ruining my driving record, the only advice the girl could offer was ‘gently remind them about the device in the car’.

So I did! And I promise, I was kind. I did not tell the supervisor – I notified the valet himself. I pointed out the device and just asked that he be careful while braking to avoid triggering the ‘hard brake’ warning. He looked confused; but said he would alert the other valets. I still tipped the kid and everything. No matter – that same valet team parked my car several more times with the same results. Grrrrrr! So, I have been forced to remove the device and send it back before the 30 day risk-free time period was up. So, no discount for me!

With no device in the car, I realized that I could no longer monitor how valets drove. I suppose ignorance is bliss in this case. No longer fearing the hard braking valets, I utilized another valet’s services so that I did not have to walk through the bitterly cold parking lot at a photography event I was working. When the event was over, I gave the valet my ticket, and then waited almost 15 minutes for my car to be delivered. The place was not busy and I didn’t know what was taking so long – until one of the other valets asked me how long I had been waiting. When I told him, a confused look was quickly replaced with a bright light bulb appearing above his head. He then asked me the one question no manual transmission owner wants to be asked by a valet: “Is your car a stick?” As I nodded, I saw LUCIUS being driven very slowly through the parking lot and toward the portcullis where I was waiting. When the kid got out of my car, the other valets asked him why he didn’t call one of them down instead of attempting to drive the car himself. The DAMN VALET doesn’t know how to drive a manual. WTF!?! How can you be a valet and not know how??? I can only imagine the horrors he put my clutch through, trying to go from reverse to 1st. I laughed it off and was very friendly; though I really wanted to kick the kid’s ass for attempting to drive a car he doesn’t know how to drive. Bloody eejit!

Moving on to the second topic I wanted to cover, let’s discuss the “sideways, one-armed hug”. This hug/squeeze should only be used by males with other males at sporting events or while watching sporting events. Otherwise, this hug is awkward (at best) and insulting (at worst). I am not especially fond of strangers or acquaintances touching me at all. However, if you are going to touch me, it had better not be to give me a one-armed hug. Either commit to the real hug or stick to a wave. There are so many issues with the one-armed hug which bother me. I will focus on the top 3:

  1. I don’t like being pulled toward people sideways and squeezed. I just don’t. It puts me off balance and wrinkles my clothing.
  2. If you do not know whether or not I want to be embraced by you – then err on the side of caution and don’t touch me or be bold and embrace me fully. I have a lot more respect for confidence than I do for the awkwardness of a one-armed hug.
  3. The one-armed hug is never acceptable with someone you just met. NEVER! If you didn’t know my name before today, and you give me a one-armed hug, I will be visualizing stabbing you in the eye with an ice-pick.

Alright, I am feeling much better now. Thank you!

PERSONAL NOTE: I love you. Yes, you.

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: If you ever give me another one-armed hug, I will be forced to take drastic action.

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.