Woman holding keys to new carBy Kim Fernandez 

“Mrs Fernandez, I’m getting your car!” I was still walking up the driveway of the Washington Plaza Hotel after lunch the other day when Zion called out to me. We’d just met 90 minutes earlier when I’d pulled up and showed her my parking reservation and now, before I pulled the valet ticket out of my bag or even reached her booth, she was calling me by name and running (in 90-degree heat and long black pants) to fetch my car.

Less than a minute later, she pulled up, brushed off the driver’s seat, smiled again, and said, “How was your lunch? I hope you had a good one.” And just like that, I was off to finish the rest of my day.

Lunch was good but my parking experience was phenomenal thanks to a very easy pre-reservation system and Zion, who greeted me on both ends of the trip like a long-lost friend. I thought about her the rest of the day and decided to make an extra effort to treat people around me that way, too. She made my day; maybe I can make someone else’s, right? What a great lesson from a parking professional.

Kim Fernandez is editor of The Parking Professional.