Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An Easy Visit

A Biltmore guest with a sore foot had a meeting after breakfast. Could I come now?

I’m an early riser. so the 5:50 a.m. call found me writing this blog. Reaching the Biltmore, ten miles distant downtown, is no problem if traffic is moving, but it wouldn’t be moving soon, and I hate driving during the rush hour.

I considered sending him to a nearby 24-hour clinic. But a sore foot was an easy visit (i.e. not serious and not a respiratory infection). If I hurried, I might escape gridlock, so I told him to expect me around 6:30.  

I left my car at the entrance and hurried to the room. As expected, it was an easy visit. Leaving the hotel, I saw that my car had vanished.

Most Biltmore parking valets recognize me; this one hadn’t, so I had delivered my keys and my mantra (“I’m the hotel doctor. I’ll be here twenty minutes. They hold my car”). He had nodded and smiled and then proceeded to follow orders and drive my car deep into the building. Then he dropped my keys off at the parking kiosk whose attendant demanded the usual parking fee when I appeared.

I returned to the lobby to track down a manager willing to overrule the attendant. Following this, I waited my turn for the valet to retrieve my car. That fifteen minute delay pushed me past a critical point, morphing the half hour drive downtown into more than an hour to return.

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