Driving You Crazy, Part 2

| CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Transportation

(It is the Friday before Memorial Day, and we only have enough cars for people who made reservations in advance. My coworker and I check our reservation sheet regularly and call any same-day reservations to tell them we do not have a car for them, and to check back at the end of the day in case of no-shows. We cannot reach one such customer, who comes in only an hour after making her reservation.)

Customer: “My name is [Customer], and I have a reservation for a car now.”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but due to the holiday weekend, we are completely out of cars right now. I tried calling you—”

Customer: “How DARE you tell me you’re out of cars! I made a reservation! I demand a car!”

Me: “I understand you made a reservation, which is why I tried to call you as soon as possible to explain the situation. We will have more cars coming in about two hours, and if any come earlier, I will be happy to call you and let you know.”

Customer: “I don’t believe this! Can’t you tell I’m dropping this off at the airport? I need a car now!”

(Her reservation does confirm she is dropping her car off at an airport, but it is a two-day rental and the airport is about an hour away.)

Me: “I see that, ma’am. Unfortunately, that does not change the fact that we do not have a car for you on such short notice. As you can see, there are no cars in our parking lot right now. I’m not trying to keep one from you.”

Customer: “This is unbelievable! I am a [Rewards Club] member! I am guaranteed a car when I reserve it!”

Me: “You are guaranteed a car if you make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance. And because you are a member, you are put at the top of our list when more cars come in in the next couple of hours. Otherwise, I would be telling you to come around closing in case of no-shows.”

Customer: “I work for this company! I work at [Other Location]! I know how things work around here!”

(My patience has worn thin at this point. It is my second to last day at this job, my next job is secured, and I know there will be no real consequences if this customer ends up complaining to my manager.)

Me: “Then honestly, you should have known better than to make a same-day reservation at a small location on a holiday weekend.”

(The customer’s jaw drops, but she remains silent.)

Me: “As I said, I would be happy to give you a call as soon as we have a car for you, which will likely be in an hour or two. Is there a number I can better reach you at than [cell phone number on file]?”

Customer: “No… no, that’s a good number… I’ll wait for your call.”

(The customer literally ran out the door, which only barely closed behind her before my coworker burst into a laughing fit at my comment and the customer’s response. We had an unexpected return fifteen minutes later, and I rented that car to the customer less than an hour after her reservation.)

Related:

Driving You Crazy

Time For A Time-Out

| Maui, Hawaii, USA | Crazy Requests

Customer: “Can you tell me the name of the shopping complex that has the bus stop near you?”

Me: “Yes, just a moment while I look it up.”

Customer: “Can you ask someone near you?”

Me: “It’ll just take me a couple seconds to look it up. Just a moment, please.”

(I find it.)

Me: “It’s the [Name] shopping center.”

Customer: “I know you have someone there next to you. Can you please ask them?”

Me: “There is only me at the desk. There is no one else near me.”

Customer: “Please ask someone who lives there. I want to be sure.”

Me: “Let me put you on hold a moment.”

Customer: “Thank you.”

(The customer is then placed in time-out, also known as ‘hold,’ while I do a face-palm and practice some deep-breathing techniques. After about a minute, I return to the phone call.)

Me: “It’s [Name] shopping center.”

Customer: “Thank you so much for checking with someone; I appreciate it.”

Me: “Sure, no problem.”

He Might Need A Smart Car

| Buffalo, NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Transportation

(A customer is waiting in line while I take care of renting a car for another customer. It takes about five minutes, and just as I am finishing up with him, the guy in line throws up his hands in frustration.)

Customer: “Ugh, this is taking forever! This isn’t that difficult, sweetheart!”

Me: “Be right with you. I’m almost done.”

Customer: “Well, I’m a premium member. I’m supposed to pick out my car and not even deal with you. Why the hell do I have to wait here?”

Me: “Oh, the premium members just go downstairs to pick out a car. You actually don’t have to wait for me.”

Customer: “It’d be nice if you had a f****** sign! Way to waste my time!”

Me: “Sir, you’re standing right next to a giant sign that says what I just told you.”

(Customer looks to his right, where there is indeed a giant, standing sign at eye level.)

Customer: “Oh, bet you think you’re so smart.” *stomps off*

Me: “That’s not exactly what I was thinking…”

Bugging Out About It

| NE, USA | Money, Theme Of The Month, Transportation

(We always know in the summer rental cars will come back with lots of dead bugs on the front bumper and windshield. This was a joke we used frequently.)

Me: “Wow, looks like you hit a lot of bugs on the road out there!”

Customer: “Yeah. I was out on a lot of country roads.”

Me: “You know it’s a $1 per bug cleaning charge, right?”

Customer: *immediately irate, stands up in a huff* “THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS. I WILL NOT PAY THAT! I WANT TO SEE YOUR MANAGER!”

Me: “Whoa. Just a little joke, sir.”

Customer: *sitting down, still upset* “Well, that’s stupid. And not funny.

(I stopped telling the bug joke after that…)

Not A Hair Out Of Place

| Austin, TX, USA | Bigotry, Health & Body

(I work as a driver for a car rental office. I pick up customers from their homes, or from the local service centers and body shops, and return them to the same locations when they return the car. I am male and have worn my hair long for nearly ten years. During this trip, I am returning a customer home. His head is shaved. After making small talk for a few minutes, he asks a question.)

Customer: “So, why do you have your hair like that? You look like a f****** f**.”

Me: “Well, sir. I’ve been blessed with the ability to grow thick, healthy hair, so I grow it out, and once a year I cut it off and donate it to ‘Locks Of Love.’ They take it and make wigs for kids with cancer, who DON’T have the ability to grow their hair anymore thanks to chemo.”

(There is silence in the car for a few minutes.)

Customer: “Hey, I’m sorry about before. I actually lost my son to cancer a couple years ago. I shaved my head to match his, and I keep it shaved to remember him…”

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