As a part-time "temporary" driver for Enterprise, Alamo, and National (ERAC, yes they're all one company) I've learned a few tidbits of information which could benefit those of you who rent from these agencies:
• Of the three sister agencies, National considers itself the top. Accordingly, National cars are relegated to one of the other agencies as soon as they reach an arbitrary (and ever-fluctuating) "high mileage" point.
• National rarely, if ever, will offer mid-size, compact, or economy cars. Unless you're looking for a specific model of luxury car or SUV (National's bread and butter) go with Alamo or Enterprise. This guy explains how to get a deal (I don't advocate his suggestions, but it is interesting that in his mind—that of a car salesman—it's not lying, it's just being savvy).
• Never, never, never rent a car from any agency without performing a thorough examination of the vehicle (both inside and out). Document every scratch, burn, dent, or ding no matter the size.
• Every ERAC employee knows they'll most-likely be terminated if they damage a car. Minimum wage employees, like myself, move all vehicles from car-return areas, to the service areas, to temporary storage, from temporary storage, and back to the "ready" lines. And we are referred to as "temp drivers" because eventually we are either hired on full-time (for being careful, conscientious, and competent) or terminated. Most full-time ERAC employee's know better than to move a car; some managers prohibit their manager trainees and/or service associates from re-positioning cars (even from one spot to the next) because of the accident=termination policy. If you rent a car without checking it, you risk being blamed for employee damage.
• The below scratch and damage evaluator card is what employee's of ERAC use to determine if you are charged for discovered damage. The actual card is printed on clear plastic. I added the inches above the card so you can insure yours is to-scale.
Just a reminder: Pogo is still creating fantastic music. Head over to his channel to catch up on the latest (or—if unfamiliar—to experience something enjoyably-new). If this "mature content" video is not your cuppa...he has a wonderful collection of Disney (I highly recommend Wishery).
Camp Howze, Korea - SP4 - barracks is an open-bay Korean-war era quonset hut - after curfew, PFC Redbird wakes me up with his stereo - for many weeks I turn it off after he passes out (so I can sleep) - one night he turns it back on - we fight - I smash the boombox - he smashes me - I learn the folly of punching a drunk. Bruised and beat. Forced to replace a stereo. Seriously reprimanded. Three times a loser.
Fort Stewart, Georgia - SGT - I purchase a Hondamatic motorcycle - with all my post-divorce possessions strapped to it, I drive 500 miles - the skin on my arms above my normal tan receives a serious second degree sunburn. Scarred. Stupid. Permanently freckled.
Fort Stewart, Georgia - SGT - break up a "bar fight" - left thigh punctured in the scuffle, about an inch deep, by a small pocket knife - in order to avoid being reprimanded (failing to thoroughly search a suspect) I tell no one about the stabbing - doctor my own leg - patch my uniform. Sheepish. Careless. Lucky but dumb.
Yongsan, Korea - SGT - step off a public bus in downtown Seoul - as my right foot touches the curb, I experience a migraine (or mini-stroke) - the pain lasts less than a second - knees buckle - the most excruciating burst of blazing electric white I can conceive of. Dizzy. Relieved. Certain I'd have ended my own life to stop it, if it had endured for any length of time. Frightened.
Yongsan, Korea - SGT - my application to become a CID agent is returned disapproved - 'derogatory background check' is the stated reason. Crushed. Incredulous. Defeated (I have already turned down promotion twice to qualify for this position).
Yongsan, Korea - SGT - a week away from departure, my extremely distressed and confused, mentally handicapped, indoor-only cat escaped from the pet carrier (as we are heading to the veterinarian) - all efforts to catch him fail - left him on the streets of Seoul. Culpable. Downhearted. Glum.
Columbus, Georgia - SGT - my unit deploys to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield - unaccredited agents (like me) must remain behind - my new task is to efficiently terminate every "less serious" case - I close more than 80 in four weeks - admonished by the operations officer for continuing to investigate a soldier-on-civilian rape allegation - I question him - he replies, "she's just a Korean...they're all whores...close it...immediately". Blindsided. Aghast. Offended. Hamstrung by my probationary status. Disillusioned.
Columbus, Georgia - SSG - attempt to repair my acrimonious eight-year estrangement with my (bigoted) immediate family - vacation in Indiana - introduce my wife of five years - no one (including me) can let bygones become water under the bridge. Tense. Vexed. Ill at ease.
Columbus, Georgia - SSG - personal compass needle spinning - too much too fast - living life according to the whim of hormones and the schedule of supervisors. Weary. Crazy. Glad to put it all behind.
Mons, Belgium - WO1 - complete staff turnover - new SACEUR - all new supervisors (who've never heard the phrase: if it's not broken don't fix it). Discouraged. Worried.
Mons, Belgium - WO1 - Lisbon, Sarajevo, Istanbul, Livorno, Izmir, Norfolk, Harrisburg, Dijon, Ukraine. Tired of babysitting a couple of pretentious adults. More wary of back stabbing co-workers and fumbling foreign police than terrorists. Concerned. Cautious. Disdainful.
Mons, Belgium - CW2 - slip on a throw rug in my living room, land on my elbow and break my left arm - surgery - metal plate - terrible hospital (almost die from a previously unknown allergy to morphine-based pain med.) - worse surgeon (sharp heads of the 8 countersunk screws aren't sunk into the plate, points of six of the screws protrude through the bone) - office flunky during rehab. Embarrassed. Miserable. Bad health still about every 15-years (see 1979 and 1964). Most stressful series of experiences.