I have flown to a few major cities. A few times I have been blessed to have someone pick me up. I always love having someone else drive. I was never fond of being behind the wheel. (To be honest with you, some of the world’s top people have someone else drive for them. I have never been the “petrolhead” that many of my friends tout to be). But on occasion, I find myself forced into driving while in a new, “farther out” city. And yes, I end up in a rental car.
My airport rental car experiences have been excellent or at least satisfactory. People are courteous or at least diplomatic. Someone wants to get you a car and get you out of the way. Just the way I like it.
But when you get away from the airport, the funny business begins. I have had substandard interactions with the people who ran one of the largest chains of car rental companies. (For comedy’s sake, I will call it “Rent-A-Suck”). It is one thing that the people gave away my car even though I had been in touch with them, it was another that they were assholes about it. I gave up and went elsewhere.
I had been looking into other career options while I had attempted to rent that car. And in one sad instance, I found myself applying for a management trainee position at that location. In the strangest of circumstances, I was called for an interview after the second time I applied for one of these trainee programs.
I am glad that it was a phone interview or pre-screen. I imagine that it could have gone uglier. Judging by voices alone, both of the people didn’t seem like that they were too happy to be there. (Note: One person was HR and the other person was a regional manager). In the most monotone voice possible, the HR person asked me some “easy cheesy” questions and I gave the standard answer they wanted. I whipped through a few of them with no problem. The only issue that poked out was that I had a few seasonal/short term jobs, and of course they asked me why I left one of my longest held positions.
I wasn’t offended that they asked. It makes sense that they did. But you could tell that they were either calling people for box checking purpose or that they had the wrong end of an “expectations vs realities” equation. They had a sour demeanor to start with.
I wasn’t mad that I didn’t get a “nod” of sorts. But I did get a laugh. Their company is known for their horrific hourly turnover rate and “jumping frog” management, leaving rapidly before the “Rona times” hit. It wasn’t two weeks afterward that their company posted the same ad for the same position. On a laugh track worthy schedule, another ad popped up for the same job/company a few weeks later.
The ultimate Seinfeld worthy follow up was a few years later when a retiree I know put in for a part time “car return” job with the same company. Relatively snotty interviewers, inflexible job, very few applicants, and the company more or less leaves the ad up. The retiree in question asks me the following: What did this company think would happen? Did they think they could find some poor schmuck to do this with their bad attitudes to start with?