I have another story for you. The weirdest things happen to me. Things that I don’t imagine happen to many other people.
I’m currently traveling for work. I picked up my car from the rental place and everything seemed fine. It was odd that they gave me a big ass RED Monte Carlo, but you just need to go with the flow in these situations.
Everything was going along just fine. Then following an after work shopping trip to the fabulous Nordstrom’s Rack I needed some sustenance. I went to a quick serve restaurant so I could get back to my hotel and relax. When I parked the car, the key would not come out of the ignition. I tried everything I could think of. The car was in park. The dials were where they needed to be. There was no reason I could discern that was making this happen. I started to rack my brain at this point. How would I be able to leave the car? If I left it unlocked it could be stolen because the keys were in it. I couldn’t think of a way to lock it. My brain was turning this problem over and over and I kept jiggling the key in place to see what I could do. At one point the key FOB (the part of the key with buttons you push to lock the car, unlock the car, sound the alarm, etc.) came off the key chain. As I sat there with the key FOB in my hand, a lightbulb went on in my head. I can use the key FOB to lock and unlock the car. DUH, problem solved. YEA!
So I thought.
I got to the hotel and I was able to lock the car. I drove the car to work today and tried to remove the key but since it didn’t work, I thought I would try my tactic from the previous evening. I just locked the car again.
After work, I went to dinner with co-workers and when one of my co-workers drove me back to the Monte Carolo, it was lucky that she stayed until I got in the car.
I hit the button to unlock the car and nothing happened. The key FOB no longer worked. The battery was dead and there was now no way to get into the car. Thank goodness Elaine was still there. She brought me back to my hotel and we arranged a pick up in the morning. Her sage advice to me was to make the car rental company solve this problem. I quickly realized she was right and went up to my room to give them a call and a problem to solve. If you think about it, this is the place where the company has the opportunity to hook me for life as a customer or make me avoid choosing them in the future. How would they help? After all they gave me a defective product. I was willing to just get by with the defect. But the defect turned into defunct. I couldn’t do anything with the product anymore. I needed a replacement.
They did get me a new car, making me wait for 3 hours. I’m only 20 minutes away from the car rental location. When the driver finally got to me with the new car, he had no idea what was going on. He had to call me twice for directions on his way to bring me the car. The rental company had not told him anything. Not how to get here, not where the car was, not why I didn’t have a key. Nothing. This resulted in a total of four calls from the tow truck driver who delivered the car (including a call that came after he had delivered the car–I thought we were done and I could get some sleep). I’m not mentioning the company name as I think it’s enough that they won’t be getting my business in the future. I just wonder sometimes what lesson I need to learn that continues to present me with these oddly challenging situations.
I feel I rose to this challenge and am hoping my new rental car will start ok in the morning ;). I know it’s not a big challenge like a horrible disease or the death of a child or anything like that, but in the end it’s the little things that tear us apart. I feel lucky to really just find it amusing. (and good blog material)