Friday, January 28, 2011

Lost & Found

I've mentioned that I work for a rental car company several times before.  The type of customers we get in our stores span the class spectrum.  The upper crusties  who's Land Rover is in the shop and they've had the audacity of making them drive a lowly rental instead of a loaner...the nerve!  Your typical business man who is just making a run to Dallas for the day...typically your very best customer!  Your weekend renter who's own car is a piece so they'll fork over the big bucks for a half price rental to take the family to Six Flags!  The bottom of the barrel praying their credit card can handle the deposit and then turn around and lodge a complaint against the agent because they're looking for a discount after the fact.  This industry keeps you on your toes.  I've had to talk to bat shit crazy customers who've thrown things at my agents and ones so looped up on drugs after their recent accident I can't believe we actually rented a car to them.  None the less, when something goes south, I'm the one they call.
I've dealt with more than my share of Slimers in my career!

So it's when I have to deal with someone who isn't an actual customer that I get the most absurd interactions.  I'm talking about the kind that choose to call you because something has happened with one of our employees or one of our vehicles.  

Customers' vehicles being involved with hit and runs are common place.  Hello, you gave us your credit card and driver's license!  Did you really think we wouldn't cooperate with the FBI after your crime spree?  (That was a fun one!)

Like many of my locations, the one in question today is in a super busy strip center.  About a year ago this same location gave me one of my favorite experiences involving a lady who wasn't about to let him come between her and a McDonald's breakfast!  For brevity sake, lemme just tell you that threats of gun violence were involved.  I've also talked about two of his other customers in the past.  (Link, Link).

Yesterday was unfortunately my instigation.  I got to the store about an hour before close.  We were talking and at some point he asked me if I could figure out this phone he had sitting on his desk.  He explained that the UPS guy had brought it in from the sidewalk out front assuming it was one of his customers.  (Skipping to the end of the book here, it wasn't one of our customers.)  It had rang earlier but he couldn't figure out how to unlock the phone to return the call or find any other helpful numbers to try and uncover the owner.  Lost and found calls are typically the best when you've found someone's item.  They are so happy and you get to be the hero for a few seconds.  Here's an example of when things don't have a warm fuzzy ending.  I'll spare you the multitude of drugs and weapons we've found.  I can understand leaving a CD or sunglasses, but 5 pounds of weed or a loaded .45?  Not items you just "forget."

It took a few seconds of playing around but I was able to work my way through the touch screen slide keyboard heavy as hell Motorola.  So I called the last person back.  Names have been change to protect the idiots innocent.  Justin O'Malley didn't answer the phone, nor did it roll to voicemail.  Must be a land line.  So I saw that "Dad" had called a few times too.  I gave "Dad" a ring.  "Dad" answered and I explained who I was and what the deal was with the phone and I swear that a stoned Andy Griffith responded that it was his daughter's phone! 
SOOOOO not what I was expecting when I Googled Andy Griffith.
Didn't he sing gospel?
Isn't that the nosy neighbor from Alf? 
Way to get randy Andy!

He said she'd be by to pick it up.  I told him the store's hours and he seemed to follow me, though the stoner voice was winning out over the kind and happy Grandpa voice.  I hung up and relayed the story to my guy and told him he's probably both old and a stoner, after all this is Austin, TX.  He said, you know he's about to call that phone to get a hold of her.

We continued talking and the phone rang as we both cracked up.  It wasn't him, but Justin O'Malley, the first guy I called.  Turns out it's the lady's son.  He seems to be more with it that good ole gramps.  I gave him the low down and asked what his mother's name was.  He said "Justin O'Malley."  Scratch the sentence about being with it! I asked him what his mother's name is.  He replied "yeah, it's my mom's thanks!"  Are we having a connection problem or is Grampie's wacky weed the good shit?  So I said "Who will pick up the phone?" He says "Oh, she will."  Gritting my teeth, I ask "and her name?" He chimes in with "she's Cindy O'Malley. Oh, I probably ought to get your number or something."  "Here it is."

We got off the phone and it occurred to me that I should have told him what time we close as Grandpa was sure to forget.  Then a few seconds later the phone rings again.  It's Dad! Grandpa must be trying to track her down.  I answered "Hello."  Stoned Andy replies "Whaaaaaat arrrrrre youuuuuuuu doooooooin'?" Do I sound like a Cindy? I took a deep breath and said, "Hi this is Dorn, I spoke with you a few minutes ago about your daughter's phone."Oh that's right, can't call her on the phone because you got it!" "Yes, sir." "Well thank you, good bye."

At this point the store is closing in 30 minutes and I'm thinking we should just set the phone back on the concrete.  Then Cindy calls the shop.  They chat for a moment before she wants to know where they are located.  My guy told her the shopping center where he is.  She tells him she doesn't know where that is.  I hear him attempt rational thought with her. "Ma'am, weren't you here? You dropped your phone in front of the store." I hear a deep sigh and he proceeds to give her the address.  Five times.

She then asks what time they close and upon hearing that says she can't make it.  She asks if he'll meet her somewhere in the city and he informs her that's not going to happen.  But he can leave it with the wine bar next door since they'll be open later.  He has me step out side to read their sign as they've recently changed names.  I do and when I come back to hear him telling her their address is the same as his, they are in the same shopping center.  He gives her the address again and the name of the wine bar and directions to the shopping center.

After he was off the phone, he looks at me and says Dad was in the hospital, "now don't you feel bad talking about him that way?"  I smirked, "Not at all, he might have a morphine excuse but his progeny got it somewhere!"

See if I go above and beyond any time soon!  I just don't know how some people survived childhood, let alone walk among us today!


  1. Oh, God...what a bizarre family they are! And that photo of Andy is simply horrifying! I know old people have sex but I DON'T WANT TO SEE IT.

    I will never understand people who aren't grateful for the trouble someone goes to on behalf of their stupidity.

    Hopefully, you've had people who negate the experience with this wackadoodle.

  2. Kathryn, there are always people who make my job enjoyable. These are just the ones who stand out!

    Old people sex is definitely something I didn't need proof of, even if it's from a pair of ancient actors.