Driving Closer And Closer To The Edge

, , , , | Right | December 9, 2019

(I work at a vehicle rental office. It is a Saturday and it has been very quiet all day. I’ve just had a flight land which all my reservations for the day are on, so I have a very long line of customers. As I am helping customers I am continuously letting the people behind them know I will be with them soon. A young girl approaches my counter.)

Young Girl: *gives exasperated sigh, throws her card and driver’s license down on the counter* “I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes already!”

Me: “I’m very sorry. All of my reservations for the day were on that flight just landed. But we’ll get you going here. My name is [My Name] and I’ll be helping you out today.”

(I take her card and driver’s license and examine them. I see that her reservation was for four hours earlier.)

Me: “I see that you are using a debit card. I want to make sure that you are aware of our debit card policy. You need to be at least 25 years of age and we do a hold of $500 on the card as well as a credit check.”

Young Girl: “Why do you need to do that? That’s absolutely ridiculous!”

Me: “Well, a debit card is connected directly to a bank account. Banks do not establish credit when they issue a debit card so we have to do the security hold of $500 and also perform a credit check through Equifax.”

Young Girl: *rolls eyes and sighs exasperatedly again* “Fine. Just hurry up.”

Me: “Okay… So, I have you dropping off in Madison later tonight?”

Young Girl: “Yes, I’m going back to college.”

(I continue typing in her information and going through the process. When I get to the very end, the computer informs me that her card did not pass the credit check. Generally, debit cards do not work well for young people to rent cars simply because they aren’t old enough to have established credit.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, but your card did not pass the credit check. Do you have a major credit card I would be able to use, instead?”

Young Girl: “This is ridiculous! I’ve been here for half an hour now! Why can’t you use my f****** card?”

Me: “Well, it did not pass the credit check; that is all the computer tells me. You can call this number at Equifax for further details if you want but I cannot use that card.”

Young Girl: “Try it again. I know there’s enough money on there.”

Me: “That may be; however, the credit score is not related to the amount in your bank account. I have no way of bypassing a declined credit check. Unless you have a major credit card, I cannot rent to you.”

Young Girl: “Run. The card. Again.”

Me: “That is fishing for credit and I could lose my job for that. The card will not go through again if it did not pass the first time.”

Young Girl: *stamps foot* “Can I use my dad’s card?”

Me: “No. If you are going to be the main driver of the vehicle, we need to have a card in your name. It is illegal to use someone else’s card.”

Young Girl: “Even if he signs for it?’

Me: “Even if he signs for it. Every car rental requires this. Here are your card and driver’s license. I am very sorry but those are our policies. I cannot rent to you today.”

(The young girl stalks out of the airport and the next customer approaches the counter. I apologize for the wait and move on to help him. He is very gracious and kind. As I am in the middle of the transaction with this customer, a man comes stalking up to my counter and barges in front of the man I am helping. He starts screaming at me.)


(I’m getting quite tired of this. I still have a line of customers and I have not done anything wrong. I know they have all been waiting just as long as he has.)

Me: *trying to keep my voice from shaking while I look him straight in the eye* “Sir, the reservation was for noon. You chose to arrive at four-thirty when I have a flight arriving and it happens to be at the busiest time of my entire day. I will be happy to help you but you need to go to the back of the line so I can help these people who have also been waiting.”

Man: “WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FORTY-FIVE MINUTES TO RENT A F****** CAR!” *grumbles and steps aside*

(I finish with the current customer and look up to see the man has budged in front of the man who was next in line. I smile apologetically at the man and ask him if it is okay that I help these people. He nods.)

Man: *throws his card on the counter* “Use my f****** card, then.”

Me: “Sir, in order to use this card, you have to be the main driver of the vehicle and we need to put the rental in your name.”

Man: *points at daughter* “She needs to get back to college. YOU EXPECT ME TO JUST DRIVE HER ALL THE WAY BACK THERE?”

Me: “In order to make this a legal rental, that is what would be required if you want to rent with your card.”


Me: “He’s not in right now. But I would be happy to take your information and have him call you on Monday when he is in.”

Man: “Just do the rental on my card and add her as a driver.”

Me: “Technically, she needs to also have a major credit card to be added on as a driver.”


Me: “In her name. It needs to be in her name.”


Me: “Her card is a debit card.”


Me: “It is not a credit card. My computer cannot run it as credit because it is not a credit card. It is attached to a bank account.”

Man: “Rent me the f****** car, then, and I’ll f****** drive her all the f****** way to Madison, then. Like I don’t have better things to do.”

(We process the rental with me only asking the absolute necessary questions. I give him the keys and he and his daughter walk out while he is cursing up a storm. I can see the apple does not fall far from the tree. I move on to the next and last customer.)

Me: “I am so sorry about that.”

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When The Script Is All

, , , , | Working | October 21, 2019

(Our car is going to be out of commission during a very busy week for us, so we decide to rent a car at a place near our home. However, they have one of those things where you get routed to a centralized phone service that is not local. I am a woman.)

Me: “We would like to rent a midsize car at [Location] for five days, starting this afternoon.”

Operator: “What state is that in?”

Me: “It is in Vancouver, Canada.”

Operator: “I see seven locations in Vancouver.”

Me: “Yes, I’d like the location on [Street].”

(The name of the location and the name of the street are the same, and not similar to any others in Vancouver.)

Operator: “The address is [Number and Street]?

Me: “Yes.”

Operator: “What time is your flight coming in?”

Me: “We are local, just renting a car while ours is in the shop.”

Operator: “Is this an insurance claim?”

Me: “No, we’re paying for it ourselves.”

Operator: “And when do you want to pick it up?”

Me: “Today between five and six.”

Operator: “And drop-off?”

Me: “Wednesday at five.”

Operator: “And what size of car would you like?”

Me: “Any four-door midsize car.”

Operator: “And what is your name?”

Me: “I’ll give you my partner’s name, as she is the one who will be picking it up and driving.” *gives obviously female name*

Operator: “And what time will your husband be there?”

Me: “My wife will be there between five and six.”

Operator: “So, he’ll be there at four?”

Me: “No, she will be there after five.”

Operator: “Okay, will he be using a major credit card?”

Me: “Yes, she will be using a Visa card.”

Operator: “Is it a major credit card?”

Me: “Yes, it is a Visa card.”

Operator: “But is it a major card?”

Me: “Yes.”

Operator: “…”

Me: “…”

Operator: “Um… okay. And what time is your flight leaving?”

Me: “We are not flying. We are local.”

Operator: “Is this an insurance claim?”

Me: “No. We are paying ourselves.”

Operator: “And would your husband like a navigation system for an extra $10 a day? It gives directions, and restaurant and event recommendations.”

Me: “No, thank you, we know our way around.”

Operator: “Oh! Is this an insurance claim?”

Me: “No. It is not insurance. We are not flying. We just need a car for a few days. My wife is a woman, and she will be there between five and six to pick up. She will be using a Visa card, which is a major credit card in Canada. We will drop it off at five on Wednesday.”

Operator: “And what time does your flight leave?”

Me: *giving up* “Eight pm on Wednesday. What time do you suggest we drop it off?”

Operator: “Around five.”

Me: *briskly, in an effort to bring the Hell to an end* “Excellent. Thank you so much; please send me an email confirmation.”

(Amazingly enough, the car was waiting for us at our local branch.)

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That Name Is A Gob-Stopper

, , | Right | October 15, 2019

(I work at the call center for a national truck rental company. When people call in to get a quote for a truck, we have to ask for their name and phone number. Most people don’t make a fuss about it, but some get angry.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [My Name].”

Customer: “Hi. I’d like to get a quote for a 17′ truck on Saturday.”

Me: “No problem. Can I get your name?”

Customer: “Willie.”

Me: “And your last name?”

Customer: “Wonka.”

(I start giggling.)

Customer: “I get it; you’ve gotta put something in your boxes.”

(We finish up the rest of the quote. He declines to reserve the truck.)

Me: “Well, sir, this is one of the best calls I’ve gotten in a while. Thanks, and have a good day!”

Customer: “No problem, young lady! And from the chocolate factory, thank you!

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Cold Cold Murder

, , , , | Right | September 18, 2019

(I work at a boat rental. It’s spring. The lake is around 60 degrees, and it’s around 70 degrees.)

Me: “And do you need a swim ladder?”


Me: “You know, probably not.”

Guy: “Nah, if we throw somebody off, we want to make sure they can’t get back on.”

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Getting You Where You Need

, , , , | Hopeless | August 2, 2019

(Around four months ago, I got the call from my mother that my grandfather had suffered a massive brain aneurysm and was in ICU. She didn’t tell me that they didn’t expect him to live, but I knew from my experience in healthcare that his time was limited. I told my mother I was coming home to see him. The only problem was that I live 1,000 miles away from home. My wife helped me get a rental car so that I could begin the trip. We called a car rental place that had a location at the local airport. The customer service representative for their 1-800 line asked for a credit card to book the car, and I informed her that I only had a debit card. I asked if I could use my wife’s card, and she told me I couldn’t unless my wife was coming with me. She told me that I could use my debit card if necessary, but that a $100 deposit would be placed on my card until I returned the car. I agreed and booked the car. My wife drops me off at the rental place, and my conversation with the location’s customer service representative is as follows:)

CSR: “All right, I have Nissan Altima booked for [MyName]. I just need your ID and the credit card you’ll be using to pay!”

Me: *handing him my ID* “I spoke to a woman over the phone who told me I could use my debit card, but a $100 deposit would be charged to my card.”

CSR: “I’m not sure why you were told that. We don’t even offer the option to use a debit card for in-state drivers.”

(At this point, I begin to cry. I don’t know what I’m going to do to get home before my grandfather passes. I’m a wreck. Before I can decide what needs to happen next, the customer service representative addresses me again.)

CSR: “You look like you really need to get to where you’re going, though, don’t you?”

Me: “Yes. I’m trying to make it to Iowa to see my grandpa in the ICU. I don’t think he’s going to make it.”

CSR: *nodding* “I’m going to do an override. I do have to place a $250 hold on the account, though, because the transaction will be considered high-risk. Is that okay?”

Me: “Yes! Thank you so much!”

CSR: “Travel safe!”

(I sign the paperwork, get in the car, and begin my 17-hour drive. When I return the car to the rental place near the hospital, I ask the representative when the deposit will be returned to my account.)

CSR: “Oh. There’s no deposit on your account. You’re good to go!”

(It warmed my heart that the man in Maryland was so willing to help me in such a trying time. I made to the hospital in time to see my grandpa before he was too sick to speak to us, and got to be with him while he took his final breath, all thanks to this man’s kindness. Rental care employee, you made me feel that it’s not always hopeless.)

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