Sunday, August 29, 2010

It hertz, don't it?

Here is an old joke I remember from my child hood (somebody gave me a child-sized hood for my 4th birthday):

A man walks into a store and stabs everyone and takes their money. Then he uses their money to patent certain DNA sequences that pertain to humans. Then the 1850's came and everyone was happy from then on. EVERYONE.

Hahahahahahha.... wasn't that hilarious? I really enjoy laughing and generally being in a good mood. After my 5 and a half hour flight in business class, I was in a pretty good mood. That is, until I got to the LAX Hertz rental facility.

Now, here is the deal with Hertz. I chose them to be loyal to because they allow me to accrue miles on United by renting vehicles from them. They also have the best elite program. It is called Hertz #1 club GOLD. So, if you are riding the rental car shuttle from the airport to the place where you pick up your vehicle, you are one of two people; a gold club member or an idiot. Gold club members have their car ready and waiting for them as soon as the bus stops. Their names appear on a magical board of excellence next to a lot number where their vehicle can be located. They also get one free class upgrade (if available). These people are happy people. All they have to do is get off the bus, get directly into their car, turn the ignition, pump the JAMS, run over some orphans who are in the way, receive a gift bag full of free moneydollars, and leave the facility. Everyone else (including my self) have to go into the facility and wait in line just so we have the chance to be treated like criminals.

You can actually buy your way into the Gold club by paying $60. But... I can't do that. That cheapens the status for me. Fortunately, Hertz actually delineates the people who buy in versus the people who earn the status. The people who earn it are actually in a separate category called Gold Five Star (I am not making this up, see the link above). And for incredibly insane individuals, they have the President's Circle. You have to rent 40 times in one year to attain this status. 40 freakin times. There are only 52 weeks in a year, so you have to be traveling for 40 of them................ I must have it....... my preccciiiooouuusssss

Well, this particular facility has given me problems in the past. The last time I had visited, I waited in line for about an hour, and was then told that I had to wait an additional 45 minutes for my car to be ready. As exciting as a Hertz rental car facility is, I wasn't too keen on sitting there staring at the color yellow for 45 minutes just so I could get into a shitty car and drive to my shitty hotel.

Well THIS FUCKING TIME was different. Nope... it actually wasn't. I got there and noticed a line. I dislike lines tremendously. It is probably because when I was a baby my family was attacked and killed by an army of SHAPES, and I believe the 'line' was the specific soldier to stab my family, all at once. God I hate shapes. Goddamned circles and rhombuses.


I didn't want to wait in line so I found a computerized electronic calculatronic auto machine. According to the verbiage posted around the device, I should be able to pick up my car using this kiosk and be on my INCREDIBLY marry way. INCREDI-ARY™! I spent about 15 minutes awaiting for the well designed software on the kiosk to get me through the annoying questions about my rental. Meanwhile, the line is growing ever larger. I finally made it to the screen that said "Your rental is being processed" when the computer suddenly said "I'm sorry, we are unable to process your rental at this time, please see an agent for help".

GLLAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR I was so angry that I instantly went back in time and slaughtered the dinosaurs until they were extinct. Yeah... it was ME bitches... not some asteroid.

So I waited in line. I tried to keep my self calm by imagining pretty flowers and forests. But that eventually led to me burning down the flower-forests... and enjoying it. Nobody needs flowers, they don't do anything, they just sit there looking at you... judging you.

After 45 minutes of line-waiting I finally got to a human. The first thing I said was "Is it always this busy"? in an incredibly lame attempt to vent my frustrations at someone. The man said "No, this is nothing, you should see it when its busy".

"Great", I thought. In that moment, it was clear to me that this facility has problems. My incident before, and the one I was experiencing now, were par for the course for these assholes.

The human took my credit card and driver's license and then told me that I would have to wait longer. I rolled my eyes at him and walked away from the desk. I immediately activated my cellular telephone and attempted to call up the Hertz rental headquarters to complain. I had complained about this facility before, but apparently they didn't do anything about it. The Hertz robot that answers their phone calls incorrectly directed me to reservations. I got some poor woman on the phone expecting to help someone rent a vehicle, instead, it was me, telling them their LAX facility is a disaster. She apologized and tried to connect me to a complaint hotline, which didn't work, naturally.

Fortunately, I noticed the manager of the LAX facility. I marched up to her, balled up my fist, power up my chi, pressed Up Down Up A,B,A to execute the fatality, and said "Hi m'am, whats going on here? I've been waiting for an hour (a lie, it was only 45 minutes) for my car"

She said "oh, I'm sorry, let me see how I can help you". She then told me that the Prius I was trying to rent was not ready. So I told her I didn't care about the goddamned environment anymore, it was 10:00pm and I had to drive to Pasadena to get to my hotel. She upgraded me to their "Prestige Collection" and I was on my way.

I found my car, a Chrystler Seabring convertible. I hopped in, popped the top, and drove to the Hilton Pasadena. It was late, and it was an incredibly bad idea to put the top down at 11 o'clock at night while driving 70mph on a freeway.

So, it was a shitty experience. Because Hertz's facility is so poorly managed at LAX, I may never fly to LAX again. I may just go to the Burbank airport instead. It would save me time believe it or not.

I know what you are thinking. "But Aaron" you say in an incredibly raspy and annoying voice, "why not rent from someone else"?

Good question. I am 3 rentals away from Gold Club. I WANTS IT... MY PRECIOUS. I am obsessed with the elite status. I just HAVE to have it. GIVE IT TO ME GODDAMMIT. Further more, I imagine that all the rental facilities at LAX probably suffer from the same problem; too many goddamn people.

So, I still haven't been able to try the hybrid. I really would like to try it to see what its like. Hertz keeps a bunch of hybrids of different flavors and varieties in their "Green Collection". Hertz has three collections; Green, Fun, and Prestigious. I wants it all. However, I do think its funny that Hertz assumes that a better car is always a bigger one. If you rent their small economy sized vehicles, they'll try to upgrade you to a bigger car, thinking that surely, being an American, that is what you want. Au contraire muthafuckaire.

An addendum to my experience with the Hertz rental process in Los Angeles: Upon returning my vehicle, I am used to pulling up to a stop sign, getting out, and having a Hertz representative inspect my car and print me a receipt. This time, however, I pulled up, was stabbed in the face by a cleverly placed hexagon, and left to die. No Hertz representative came by to inspect the car and print me a receipt. I have never, ever seen that happen before. Lots of folks were standing around their cars at the drop off location with their hands in the air. It was just... so absurd. I walked up to the customer service counter and asked for a receipt. The woman asked me how many miles I had driven and I told her that she should get off her ass and go look. She didn't. What a stupid question. 'Sir, do you happen to remember every number you see in life perfectly all the time'? NO! Needless to say, I did get my receipt, and left the facility, and vowed never to return.

In order to keep myself from returning, I blew it up.

Just kidding.

Or am I?

Un-baised research sponsored by Fox news, a drug company, and a religious organization found that I am not.

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