October 31, 2011

What Valet Parking has taught me about thinking terms of probabilities.

          When it comes to Valet Parking, every establishment is different. From the high class restaurants to the hotels to the night clubs. Since I started, working the night clubs was always my favorite. It was always high volume in a short time frame. The places I worked, we would usually park anywhere from 100 to 200 cars in the span of about 6 hours, 9pm to about 3am. For the most part, night clubs are about status. Everyone going to these night clubs want to feel like they are important and getting the VIP treatment. In reality, they aren't. The only ones that really get the treatment, are the close friends of the club owners and the people that spend a considerably large amount of money.
         Valet at a night club really isn't about convenience, at all. Why? Because everyone usually arrives at the same time and leaves at the same time. All the club goers want to be seen dropping their car off right in front of the club as well as it being returned to them right in front. So it would never make a difference how many valet attendants are working, at the end of the night, bar close, when everyone leaves at once, there is going to be a wait for your car. Tips are pooled, and since it really didn't matter how many valets were working, it made sense to under staff to make more cash. The less valets working, the less people that tips had to be divided up.
          There is a high demand for rock staring, VIP-ing, or just plain leaving the car right in front where everyone can see it...what ever you want to call it. Back in the good old days we would have anywhere from 5 to 10 spots up front. Right there a function of supply and demand. The lower amount of VIP spots, the more it would cost to leave your car up front.
        Why do people want their cars parked up front? They don't trust the valets parking their cars in the regular lot, they want to impress the women, the car is expensive, they don't want to have to wait for their car at the end of the night, status, they have drugs, guns or cash in the car, the list could go on...Either way, a waste of money.

The best clubs to work were the hip hop clubs. Where the bangers, pimps, dealers, jersey chasers, and athletes would frequently hang out. Why? Because, apart from the athletes, their cars were everything to them. The going rate to leave your car up front would be 50 bucks. As soon, as someone pulled up in either a donk or expensive car, with out doubt they would ask, "How much to leave it up front?" Typically, if you knew they were a drug dealer or athlete they would pay the most to have their cars left up front. There is my edge. After working a spot for an extended period of time, you get to know people, who they are, what they do, and where they are from.
      I remember a night when Fred Smoot, Dwight Smith, and Pat Williams came in. All three of them in their white Rolls Royce Phantoms. Of course they wanted them up front. All I said, was I had one spot left that was going to be a hundred bucks, I could open up two other spots for the same price. As I would have to take down someone that had thrown eighty bucks. Not a problem and easy as that. My edge was, Athlete, Five Hundred Thousand Dollar car, and I knew how bad they wanted them up front. My edge was there so I pressed it. At the time, I had maybe one or two cars up front. Plenty of space.
       What if they would have said no? I would have thrown the cars in the regular lot. Twenty minutes later another opportunity would present itself as a dealer would pull up and ask the same thing. All that mattered was how much money you would throw to have your car left up front. It didn't really matter to me who you were.
         Rashad McCants, was one that I told plenty of times to get fucked. He never wanted to pay. I'm not going to leave your car up front just because you play for a horse shit basketball team.
       How does this compare to trading? Edge and probabilities. If you haven't clearly defined your edge you are probably trading with out a trading plan. Trading is all about probabilities. You never know what trade will work out and which will not. Since that is the case, when your edge is present, you have to take the trade. Trying to pick and choose which you "think" will work will cause you to pass on many winning trades.
        I knew back then, when valet parking what my edge was as well as I can clearly define my edge trading. Can you?