I’ve never had an issue with valets since I’ve only used them a couple of times, so I’ll relate an incident where I suddenly became a valet.

In high school, I was a receptionist at a retirement home. It was a pretty cushy job as far as high school jobs go, in that I only had to answer the phone and help direct visitors that came in. Most residents didn’t drive anyway, so there was no point in having a valet service.

One afternoon, there was a memorial service for the one of the residents, which meant lots of people were coming in from out of town. About 15 minutes into the service, a lady comes in clearly distraught that she was late, slapped her keys on the table, and asked for directions to the service. I pointed her in the right direction, and she raced off without a backwards glance.

Surprised, I looked down at the keys: Mercedes. I then looked at the front glass doors: a brand new Mercedes S500.

I was in a dilemma. It was blocking the entryway to the complex, something that was verboten for safety reasons, so the car had to move. However, I was 15 at the time, and had only recently gotten my learners permit. I called around, but none of the other staff were available, so I took the keys, hopped in the car, and drove it off. I found a visitor spot not far from the entrance, thankfully, as it was pretty intimating driving such a big, expensive car when I’d never driven on my own before. Thankfully, I got it parked without a hitch.

After the service the lady retrieved her keys and gave me $20 for being so helpful. So, not only was my first solo drive a brand new Mercedes, I also made an extra $20 that day (no small sum when you make $7/hr).