Saturday, July 2, 2011

I love my job.

I work as a Reservation Sales Agent at a large rental car company. I have to say, I love my job. The people are amazing, the pay is great, and the work is good. 

However, I feel the urge to let everyone know a few things. As many of you know, the 4th of July is an enormous holiday in the United States. People like to go on vacation during this time. Here are a few things to think about while on the phone with the rental car company:
  • The person on the other end of the line really does want to help you. Really. We do not benefit from being rude or unhelpful, so when we say something is unavailable, we aren't hiding a car somewhere. I will do my best to find you a vehicle. 
  • Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance: a lovely military adage that is so very true.
 Book a reservation as soon as you have the date you will be arriving/departing. It is free — we just take a name and a phone number. It will hold a car AND a good rate for you. Like a flight, the price of a vehicle increases the closer you get to the day you need it. At this point, the cars are all booked up/sold out for the holiday weekend and much of the summer holidays. Yelling at me about how we are a rental car company and should have cars is pretty much pointless. Again, it is like yelling at the person working at the reservation desk at an airport. Do you think that they are going to be able to get you a seat on a sold-out flight... in five minutes? No.

I'm not paid per reservation I make. I'm paid my hourly wage whether or not I book any reservations — no commission involved. I'm offering to hold these vehicles for your sake, not mine. 
  • I understand that you want the best rate possible. Times are tough and I completely understand your asking me if I have any discounts to give you. However, when I mention the two that I know of, and let you know that you must access the website for the code because I literally do not have access to that information, kindly refrain from yelling at me. It is policy that you must provide the discount code, and I have no way to access that information. I don't even have access to Google, seriously. I have no web access whatsoever. 
Also, I understand that you may find our rates to be high. Screaming at me does not help, because I have no control over our rates. 
  • Please arrive on time to pick up/return your vehicle. If we close at, say, 6 pm, and you arrive at 6:30 or 6:45, we will not be there. You have to put in a pickup/return time to book a vehicle. The system will not allow you to input a pickup/return time when the office will be closed. You know what time you should arrive. Please do not call me and demand that I "get someone down here to open the place up" so you can either pick up or drop off a vehicle. If it was an emergency/act of nature that caused you to be late, and you have some sort of proof, we are very understanding. 
If you overslept and have to wait for/keep your vehicle for another day, I cannot help you with the fee/lack of vehicle. Again, if you overslept a flight departure time, the pilot isn't going to make a u-turn to come back and get you. 
  • When you call my office you dial an 800 number, and you have called a location that books reservations internationally. We reserve cars for people and locations in multiple countries. Telling me that you want to get a vehicle from the location on Main street does not help me, and I'm going to ask you for your zip/postal code or some other identifier. I am not trying to be rude or redundant, nor am I slow or especially stupid. I'm trying to make sure I'm giving you a rate from the Ontario, California airport, not a random location from Ontario, Canada. Saying MAIN STREET again, loudly and slowly, does not help me at all.  
  • Which brings me to my final point: I'm fairly intelligent. Not brilliant, but average with a dedication to being the best I can be. I'm not a genius, but I get good grades and am a year ahead in school. I'm fairly well-read. I can hold my own in many realms of discussion. I run a minimum of 2 miles a day, along with dancing and walking a total of 3 miles a day to get to/from work. When you call, I'm dressed in business casual clothing with my hair done, nails manicured, and wearing tasteful heels. I'm not some idiotic dropout that you have gotten stuck with. Treating me like a moron isn't going to make booking a reservation easier for you or me, and really just shows how narrow-minded you are. 
Truth be told, I love my job 99% of the time. That one percent makes my life miserable. Following these guidelines will keep you from falling into the misery percentage. 

Really, a majority of this is common sense and basic kindness. If you realize that the person on the other end of the line is a human being and not a complete and utter moron, things will go well for you. 

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