The Dreaded Rental Car

There’s nothing like having a car reservation, keys almost in hand, when you’re told, “Oh no!  You can’t have it now!”  This is exactly what happened to me in Denver when I flew in to visit my family a few weeks ago.

I found an amazing deal online for an SUV (in the event of almost guaranteed snow in Wyoming.  When does it ever NOT snow?). Peyton and I arrived in Denver, and rode the shuttle to the rental car agency.

As we reached the front, both Peyton and I realized that they had been dealing with some very grumpy customers ahead of us, so we did our best to cheer them up!  I told them I wasn’t picky and that I was just grateful to have a car.  The two agents helping us told me they were giving us the “Golden State” discount because LeBron had rented a car from them so they show Californians love.  I asked if he was serious.  He said no, the joke was on me.  But it really lightened the mood!

He then gave the keys to a runner and asked them to pull up the vehicle.  I made an off-hand comment about Cheyenne, and he asked me, “Where are you going?”  I told him just over the Wyoming border into Cheyenne…..to which he replied, “Oh no!  You can’t have it now.”  I looked at him and laughed, and he said, “No.  I’m serious.”  I said back, “This isn’t a LeBron joke?”  At this point, he looked mortified and explained that because they were a smaller agency, they can’t allow the cars to be driven out of the state.  Y’all.  I haven’t seen a car company do this in years.  What transpired next, I’m going to keep in a short concise outline for you…..I CANNOT AND DID NOT MAKE THIS UP:

  1. Agent calls a buddy at another car company and asks what they have.  I tell him I’ll take the cheapest one, because I know now that my fantastic deal is gone with a last minute reservation.  Just give me a vehicle with four wheels.  “Thank you for holding it for her.  Take care of her, Bernard (name changed to protect the partially innocent).  She’s good people.”  Thank you, nice agent.
  2. “To get to Agency B, get back on the shuttle and ride to the airport. Get off the shuttle and wait for Agency’s B’s shuttle.  Go to their location and speak with Bernard (still not his name).  He’s going to hook you up.”
  3. Get on shuttle. Get off shuttle.  Wait ten minutes.  Get on shuttle.  Get off shuttle.  Stand in line.  Let four people go in front of me because I’m waiting for Bernard to finish.
  4. Get to his desk, and he tells me that even though he’s not supposed to, he can get me the car. He asks me if I can bring it back a day early. Well, I’d rather not but if I have to, I’m desperate for a car, so I will.  He says never mind.
  5. Two minutes later, he asks me for my phone number and email for the reservation. He prints out a paper, and tells me he now can’t give me the reservation because he doesn’t really have anything, but he’s just made me a reservation at Agency C which is right next door.  I just have to walk across the lot and check in with them.

Really?

  1. We walk outside to find a giant fence.
  2. Peyton and I walk on the edge of a four-lane road to NOT go to the one next door….agency C is actually TWO buildings down.
  3. I pray we don’t get smashed by a semi.
  4. We wheel our luggage to Agency C and I joke with Peyton that it’s quiet over here. Wouldn’t that just be a hoot if they told us to go to a different building to pick up a car.
  5. We get to the front door and see a sign that says, “For all rentals, please see Agency D next door.” We just finished walking past it.
  6. Walk to Agency D where the kind man at the front asks me if everything’s ok, to which I pour out my heart of what’s been happening for the last two hours.
  7. Tells me he sees the reservation and is going to take care of it. BUT….
  8. Before he does, I see that Bernard (now I want to tell you his name, but I won’t because I’m trying to be nice) has booked me a luxury vehicle that’s well out of my price range.
  9. Try to explain to the kind man at Agency D that I don’t that big or expensive of a vehicle. He just keeps telling me that’s what’s booked and that’s what I’m going to get.  He finally explains that he can’t change a reservation.  I have to do it online.
  10. I pull up Agency D’s website and book a car for far less.
  11. He pulls up Agency C’s website (No, I am not lying) and says he doesn’t see one. I explain that I booked on Agency D’s website, whereas he pulls up another screen and confirms my reservation.
  12. Peyton and I go choose our vehicle and head to Cheyenne. Three hours later.

Here’s what God taught me in this whole process.  I could’ve gotten angry and taken it out on all of the agents from start to finish.  I was beyond frustrated and really just wanted to get on the road to see my family.  I could’ve thrown a giant fit and ‘made myself feel better.’ But God tells us that we shouldn’t be doing that.  We are to be representatives of Christ in our speech and actions.  If I had gone off on everyone, that would’ve led to nothing but hurt feelings for them and maybe a fleeting moment of satisfaction for me.

We see in James 1:19-20, “This you know my beloved brethren.  But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

These verses not only helped me in this instance, but it is constantly helping me in my day to day actions.  Because trust me, it is VERY easy for me to be quick to speak in anger!  It’s something I have to work at every day.

I encourage you, dear friends, to remember this verse and walk along side me in conquering angry speech!

~Erin

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