Monday, April 14, 2008

First Class Service At The Orange County Airport Rental Counter

I left Hawaii to head over to John Wayne Airport (I just love saying the name of that airport). On the way there, the flight attendants needed a doctor to help a woman who was apparently hyperventilating. I'm not sure what exactly happened, but in the middle of the in-flight movie, which was Enchanted by the way, one of the flight attendants asked the entire cabin over the plane PA system, "If any passenger is a doctor, could you please ring your call button?" Luckily there was one, and she attended to the passenger. The passenger was about seven rows ahead of me, so I didn't see much. So if you're expecting a dramatic ending, I'm afraid I have to disappoint you.

We landed at John Wayne Airport (there I go again), and I got my bags and marched off to the rental car desk. I show the rental car guy my credit card and my license, and he said to me "Hi Terence, I'm Dave." All of a sudden we're friends, and he's telling me how nice my picture is. Then he whipped out a GPS unit and started telling me that I HAD to have it, and I'm thinking where the hell did he get that from?

I went along with him and explain that I already have a GPS unit. He replied, "Oh really? What kind? That's smart you have one. Not too many travelers are as smart as you." He then saw my gigundo tennis bag, and said, "You play tennis? I wish I could play. You look like you're pretty good. Do you have uneven arms? Tennis players develop uneven arms."

I was starting to get antsy, and plus I was pretty tired from my flight (I still can't get over how far Hawaii is from the mainland. It looks so close on the map!) But I tend to indulge people who are trying to be nice, especially to those who are providing a service to me because I feel indebted to them. I often tip delivery men, for example, fairly generously because they always look like they're about to die from sprinting from the restaurant to my apartment building. So when a situation like this starts to seem like eternity, I have a hard time saying, "If you don't mind, I need to get going..."

He gave me a Chevrolet Cobalt, my second one after Kauai. This time it was red (there's a theme here). Then he looked at me, suggesting that a serious discussion was about to ensue. All he had to tell me was to warn me about driving around in Orange County. I kind of thought that he wanted to have a "let's drive while we talk" discussion, but luckily it didn't come to that. If he hadn't been behind the Budget rental car counter, I would have started to suspect that he didn't even work for budget.

Finally the guy let me go. I gathered my bags and headed out to the garage. On my way out, I managed to knock my big ass tennis bag into the sliding door so that somehow it became unaligned with the door's track. I turned around and realized that the half of the door I had knocked into was now staying open. Oh well. I already had paid my dues at the rental counter.


Aaron Weber said...

Was he cute? Did you give him your phone number?

Wayne said...

Haha. That's the OC. People tends to be 'overly friendly' :)

Michael said...

I remember being astonished by the friendly-to-the-point-of-being-annoying people I encountered at the airport on my very first trip to California years ago. It takes some getting used to--especially for hard-boiled New Yorkers like me.

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