My first job out of college was working for Enterprise Rent a Car.
ERAC is a great job for recent grads. I truly enjoyed it. I am glad I don't have to do it the rest of my life, but I highly recommend it as a first job for recent grads. Especially Soc majors. And Poli Sci. Marketing. Psych. History. Basically, for anybody who isn't an engineer or accountant.
When I made my trip to Austin, I rented a car for the 3 hour drive so as not to put my poor Saturn through the strain. I rented from ERAC.
I get a little sentimental about ERAC. I always lovingly reminisce to the 20-something assigned to me. I tell my war stories. I worked for ERAC in Los Angeles in the late 80's. Most of the people who work there now weren't even born in the late 80's.
Lemme tell ya - I've got stories these kids couldn't imagine. Like the time we rented a car to a used-to-be-famous actor whose initials are Tatum O'Neill. She had a shrieking fit in the lobby because we asked for her drivers licence. We weren't going to keep it Mrs. McEnroe, we just need the number. Sheesh. Rude.
Most of the really really rude people were the people in West LA who drove very high end cars and thought they were better than everyone. Many were from the east coast, which for some reason they expected to impress us. (Excuse me, sir? Anyone can live in New York. You don't have to fill out a membership application or anything.)
When I returned my car this trip, there was a customer in the office who was EXACTLY like those assholes in LA. He was going over the rental agreement with a fine toothed comb, and every time he didn't like a word, he made the girl re-print it and sign it.
Rental car contracts are pretty standard. Basically, you agree to borrow the car, pay the agreed upon fee and don't intentionally damage it. If you want, you can pay a little extra to have the rental car company cover any accidental damage. Or not, and if there is an accident, your insurance covers it.
Is that so hard?
Still - a contract is a contract, and I understand that he wanted to understand the whole thing. That is not unreasonable.
What is unreasonable was the way he reacted to every little clause as if the girl behind the counter was trying to personally defraud him.
"I am NOT signing ANYTHING that states I have to pay extra if the gas isn't full. I can't control your gas tanks. There is NO WAY we are doing this deal if that clause is in there."
Patient Rental Girl smiled and reprinted it, then he'd find something ELSE to bitch about. I swear she reprinted that thing at least four times while I was there. I was there about five minutes.
As I was leaving, I couldn't help leaving a parting comment.
I said "Jeezes Chryst, dude. You're renting a car, not buying a house."
There was an embarrassed silence as Contract man stared blankly after me, as did most of the employees and all of the other customers.
The young man who drove me home was silent until we got on the freeway.
Then he said "That was awesome".