Let Me Just Wipe This Surprised Look Off My Face

, , , , , | Working | February 16, 2021

My mother and I were taking a leisurely trip to Arizona as I, twice a year, fly to places I’ve never been to see a concert and then make a long weekend of it and tour the surrounding area. Someone often accompanies me for the adventure, and this time my mum met me at the airport, flying in from a different city.

As we inspected our rental car, I noted that the rear bumper was very loose on the left side and pointed it out to the agent. She shrugged and said it was fine, but I insisted she note it, which she did with a literal huff.

We spent most of our travels on the smaller roads, but there was a stretch where we had to drive on the Interstate. The speed limit was a blistering eighty miles an hour, which was the absolute fastest I, a city girl, was comfortable with, so I hugged the slow lane doing the posted speed, pickups and massive trucks passing me like I was standing still.

As I raced along at eighty miles an hour, I could see the left side of my bumper starting to give at that speed. Suddenly, the left side gave out with a cracking noise and I pulled over to find it hanging by the still-attached right clips, but that was it.

Fortunately, I could see a home improvement store at the exit just back from where we’d stopped. I backed up the fifty meters or so and exited, dragging my bumper with me, and went in to buy a roll of duct tape. I called the rental company asking permission to tape their car, and they were reluctant to give it, asking me to come and exchange the car, but there were no near rental spots, so they acquiesced and I taped that bad boy up.

Returning the car was a bit of an ordeal but I was glad I’d had them note my concern. Over and over, they asked about an accident or crash and I kept saying that it had just fallen off.

They had me fill out an incident report and I wrote, “Noted it looked like bumper would fall off. Bumper fell off,” and handed it back to the agent.

To his credit, he chuckled at the description of the incident and sent my mum and me off to catch our respective flights. I asked for, but never got, reimbursed for my duct tape purchase.

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If They Can’t Handle Two Dimensions, Wait Until They Discover There’s A Third

, , , | Right | January 7, 2021

Customer: “What size trailers do you have?”

Me: “Either 5′ x 8′ or 6′ x 12′.”

Customer: “What does 5′ x 8′ mean?”

Me: “It’s five feet wide and eight feet long.”

Customer: “But what does that mean?!

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Sometimes The Classics Still Get You

, , , , | Right | January 6, 2021

Customer: “I’d like to know how much the truck costs?”

Me: “Which size?”

Customer: “The one that’s $19.95.”

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Champagne For My Real Friends, Real Pain For This Clerk

, , , , , , | Working | December 15, 2020

My husband and I have flown to Vancouver for a vacation. I booked a car for us online. My last name is commonly misspelled because it sounds the same as a famous product. Let’s say that my last name is “Shampaine,” which sounds like “Champagne”.

Me: “Hello! I’ve reserved a car.”

Clerk: “Last name?”

Me: “Shampaine.”

Clerk: *Checking computer* “Your reservation isn’t here.”

Me: “Oh, this happens quite a bit. Let me spell my name for you.”

Clerk: “I told you, it’s not here.”

Me: “My name is spelled S-H-A—”

Clerk: *Not touching her computer* “It’s not here.”

Me: *Giving up* “Tell you what. Here’s my confirmation number.”

Clerk: *Checks the computer* “Oh! Here it is. I see the problem: your last name is spelled wrong.” *Laughs*

Me: “It’s not spelled wrong.”

Clerk: “Uh, yeah, it is.”

Me: “I entered all my details myself online when I made the reservation. Are you saying that I don’t know how to spell my own name?”

Clerk: “…”

Husband: *Tugging my sleeve* “Let’s go.”

I wish I could say that was a rare event, but it happens a LOT.

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This Is So Not A Luxury Vehicle

, , , , , | Working | November 24, 2020

I want to fly home to see my family for Christmas, but after seeing how expensive flights are and that only middle seats are available, I rent a car to drive the 800 miles. About 500 miles in, my rental makes an alarming sound and displays a message that reads, “SYSTEM FAILURE – POWER REDUCED – SERVICE NOW.” There are also several symbols lit up, indicating several things have gone wrong. I pull over and call the roadside assistance included with the rental.

Agent: “Thank you for calling roadside assistance. How can I help you?”

I explain my long drive, the alert, and all the symbols.

Agent: “What lights are displayed on the dashboard?”

Me: “Um… there’s a yellow triangle with an exclamation point in it, a car that—”

Agent: “I don’t see that one in my system. Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes. I can take a picture and send it to you, if you’d like.”

Agent: “No, I’ll just make a note. What else?”

Me: “The second light looks like it’s a car bumper-to-bumper with another car.”

Agent: “Hmm, I’m not seeing that one, either. Anything else?”

Me: “The third looks like a car and a traffic cone.”

Agent: “Are you sure you have a [Make and Model] car?”

Me: “Yes, I’m looking at my rental agreement and the book in the glovebox.”

Agent: “Hmm, I’m not seeing any of these. You’re certain?”

Me: *Getting annoyed* “Are you sure you’re looking at the right car?”

Agent: *With an attitude* “Yes. Now, you should take the car to be checked out before continuing.”

Me: “How long will that take? I still have a long drive—”

Agent: “There is a place fifteen miles from you. I will notify them that you are coming. The address is [address].”

Me: “That’s the opposite direction of where I’m going. Is there one between me and [Destination hundreds of miles away]?”

Agent: “No.”

I’m highly doubtful, but I just want to keep going.

Me: “Okay. Can you send someone with a new car so I don’t have to wait?”

Agent: “Until we know what is wrong with this car, we cannot send another.”

Me: “Okay…”

I backtrack fifteen miles, worried the entire time that the car will give up on the road and I’ll be stuck. It does not, thankfully, but the shop didn’t know I was coming and I nearly have to pay for them to look at the car. Eventually, they agree to bill the rental agency, for which I am grateful.

I sit in the waiting room for two hours, only to be told that they found nothing wrong with the car. I get back on the road. I make it less than twenty miles, and the same alert comes up. I call again and get the same person.

Agent: “Thank you for calling roadside assistance. How can I help you?”

I explain everything again, adding the details of my first call.

Agent: “Yes, I am the one you spoke with. You can get it looked at again—”

Me: “No. I’m sorry, but no. I need a different car.”

Agent: “Unless we know what is—”

Me: “I took it to a shop. I wasted two hours. They said nothing was wrong, but it happened again.”

Agent: *Heavy sigh* “Fine. Hold, please.”

I hear him muttering about my attitude while he types.

Me: “I’m not on hold, you know.”

Hold music suddenly starts.

Agent: “Okay, I’ve arranged for you to swap your car for one at our location in [Town fifty miles away].”

I put the town into my GPS.

Me: “That’s further back than the shop you sent me to.”

Agent: “You can get the car checked out again or you can go back to our location in [Town].”

Me: “And they’ll know I’m coming?”

Agent: “Yes. The address is [new address]. Goodbye.”

I drove back and, surprise, they didn’t know I was coming either. I wasted another hour while they tried to find someone who knew what I was talking about and a car I could take. The next car was the same as before, just a year older.

I drove about 150 miles and the same alarm went off. By that time, all offices were closed for the night and I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. I called my parents, who drove the remaining miles and picked me up.

The next day, we went back for the car and had it towed to my parent’s mechanic. The mechanic determined that there was an issue with a sensor related to cruise control. The car was drivable; it just would not have cruise control.

When I returned the car after my trip, I told the staff about all my issues with the cars and the roadside assistance representative. They looked entirely uninterested, thanked me for my feedback, and ushered me out the door.

I guess next time I’ll suck it up and sit in the middle seat.

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