Rental Cars and a Life Lesson
Any of us who have traveled know things don’t always go as planned. Not only that but in most cases we cannot control the circumstances and sometimes #(&* happens. Late one evening my wife and I arrived at the Budget Car Rental location and entered a line of 20-30 people. Bummer. There were only 4 Budget staff members. Double bummer.
Over the next 30 minutes the line gradually moved along and I was #1 in line. At this point we heard a LOUD voice from a disgruntled customer as he’s leaving the counter: “It’s my 40th birthday and I reserved a Ford Mustang convertible! And they “F’d” me (actual word was used).” He repeated this several times on his way out the door.
Then I’m up next – with the same Budget person who had just disappointed the upset 40-year old. And guess what? I had also reserved a Ford Mustang convertible. He looked at my reservation and said “Oh boy….”. I already knew I wasn’t getting what I had ordered. We talked about how that could happen and have a relatively pleasant conversation. Over the next 10 minutes he found a brand new Dodge Charger. He discounted my rate by 50% over what I had reserved, and he wrote on the rental contract that I was authorized to bring it back empty with no additional charge.
My predecessor in line walked away unhappy, a total stress ball, and he didn’t get any special accommodations. We got more than we expected and had a great experience with Budget. I wasn’t even particularly nice to the Budget manager. I simply offered him the same respect I would want from others. Sometimes we don’t even have to be wonderful – we just need to NOT be an “XXX-hole”.
The life lesson? Roll with the punches. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff.