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    Wait, Don’t Hate

    | Tullamarine, VIC, Australia | Bad Behavior, Theme Of The Month

    (It is a busy day at the airport and I am working two separate car rental counters; although they are under different names, both are owned by the same company. We usually have someone else working the other counter, but because we expect the day to be slower my boss asks me to work both. The longer my line gets, the more agitated the customers are getting.)

    Customer: “I’m here to pick up my rental car, and I have a reservation.”

    (He hands me his confirmation page for the rental, and I begin creating his rental contract.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but it looks like it will be a few minutes before we have the car size you reserved clean and available for you.”

    Customer: “Oh, well that’s ridiculous! I have a reservation that I made three months ago, and you don’t have my car ready?!”

    (Although he did book in advance, I notice that the customer is actually four hours early to pick up his car.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. Let me try to call down to our service guys and see what they are cleaning right now. We’ll get you into that car as soon as it is finished getting detailed.”

    Customer: “If they aren’t working on the size car that I have reserved, I do not want it!”

    Me: “Of course, but if it is a bigger car you will automatically get a free upgrade to that car class.”

    Customer: “If you cant get the size car that I have reserved available, then I demand a discount or I will go somewhere else!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t give you a discount for us not having the car class you reserved 4 hours before your actual reserved time. I apologize for the inconvenience, but the free upgrade offer still stands if you would like it.”

    Customer: “I do not want a bigger car because that is not what I reserved! If that is all you can do, give me back my confirmation page, and I will find someone else to match the rates and actually honor my reservation!”

    Me: “You are more than welcome to do that, sir, but if you decide to come back for a car, you will have to wait in line again.”

    Customer: “Oh, I won’t be back!”

    (My coworker has now arrived at my sister company’s counter, which is right next to mine. She is wearing the same uniform as me. As soon as she gets ready to help customers, half of the people in my line form one in front of her. When I finish my last customer, I look at her line and see the stubborn customer standing at the end. When my coworker begins to help the person in front of the stubborn customer, I walk into the connected back office and back out to my coworker’s counter to help.)

    Me: “I can help whoever is next.”

    (The stubborn customer looks up, at first excited for it to be his turn. However, when he makes eye contact with me, his smile falls. He looks angry and confused.)

    Customer: “Why are you at this counter now?!”

    Me: “These two companies are sister companies, so I help out when she gets a line, and vice versa.”

    Customer: *he hands me his confirmation page* “So, I’m guessing this makes it that much easier to match my rate then, huh?”

    Me: “Yes, sir.”

    (I look down and begin typing away, and when I get to the screen that shows me which vehicles are available, I can see that the car class he reserved is available. However, now there is a ‘WAIT’, as someone that has reserved the same car class has already been waiting.)

    Me: “It appears that you are right on time for your reservation, but I’m sorry, sir; there appears to be a wait on cars. If you would like to complete your contract, I can get you in line to get your car as quickly as possible.”

    Customer: “Are you kidding me!?”

    Me: “No, sir, I’m sorry but I’m not. You were actually the first customer to be in line to get a car when you left my counter. Unfortunately, you are now are behind other customers that are waiting.”

    (The customer doesn’t say another word; instead, he snatches the confirmation page from my hands and proceeds to the doors of the concourse. I watch him for a minute until he gets into a taxi and takes off.)