Enterprise fallout continues . . .

On Wednesday I posted about how, through a combination of a corporate rule change and a zealous clerk, Enterprise Rent-a-car managed to keep my wife and I from attending the “life celebration” of my wife’s cousin.  What I didn’t tell you at the time was that the very next day was my 18th wedding anniversary with my wife.  Because of the extreme pain that I was in from the walk home, I was able to do nothing with my wife to celebrate the day – except aggravate one of my greatest ongoing concerns.

Let me back up the story.  Back when I was 16 years old, my parents split up, and as the oldest child of the family (someone at constant odds with both parents) I took their split very hard.  In fact, at the time,  I took it as my own personal responsibility even though there was nothing I could do to undo it.  Choosing  to move in with my father, and the woman who eventually became my step-mother,  I found that I had a ready access to alcohol.  Of course, I also knew that they monitored the liquor supply in the house – what responsible parent wouldn’t?  But with an IQ of 149, I’m nothing if not an efficient problem solver.  So, at 16 I started drinking hard liquor.  Gin, whiskey, tequila, even Everclear. I just consumed it in small quantities so the adjustments werren’t quickly noticed.

Eventually, I was caught.  No plan devised by a 16 y/o is fool-proof.  But, by then I had built up enough of a tolerance to liquor that I could consume quite a lot without losing all control.  My dad was concerned that I was an alcoholic, and on an intellectual level I had to grant that while I still felt I had control, it could be possible that the alcohol was deceiving me.  So, I quit, cold-turkey to assert my dominance over the possibility of dependence.

But, at the age of 17.5, I graduated from high school and reported to active duty in the US Army – where the accepted and normal way to spend off-duty time was in the copious consumption of alcohol.  Once again, the ugly specter of alcoholism reared it’s ugly head.  Mind you – I have never joined any sort of support group, nor have I every cried uncle when challenged by this foe, but my real point here is that this has been a demon I’ve kept a watchful eye on ever since.

I never quit drinking.  I also never allowed  alcohol to wrest control from me.  But at times, it has felt like a high-wire act to keep a balance between the ability to consume versus the effects of the consumption.  Never has that been more obvious to me than yesterday – when I wanted to be sober enough to enjoy our anniversary with my wife, but literally needed all of the pain relief I could get.  All because of what happened in my interaction with Enterprise Rent-a-car the day before.

We (my wife and I) ended up spending the day watching a marathon of season 1 of the Supergirl CW TV series, with her adding a shot of whiskey to every cup of my coffee.  But it upsets me that I was, once again, put in a position of feeling like I had to be mindful of that .

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Enterprise Rent-a-car fail…

My wife and I have known for some time that our car is not something to use on long trips, so while we’ve been saving money towards buying a newer car, we’ve been using Enterprise Rent-a-car whenever we needed to travel.  In fact, we’ve been a customer of Enterprise longer than we’ve had our current car – going on 10 years, now.  But never again.

In 10 years, we’ve never turned in a car late, had an accident, or failed to pay in full.  We’ve also never had bad service (except once when I went through the 800-number call center to make a reservation, and they messed it up so the local office didn’t get notified and didn’t have a car when we needed it), so we were happy to continue giving them our business while we saved towards the newer car we hoped to get.  That all ended this morning.

Last week, we learned that one of my wife’s cousins – a woman the same age as my wife – had died of cancer.  She was cremated, and the family was having a “life celebration” this afternoon.  I made a reservation – last week – for a car we’d pick up this morning.  When I arrived at our local Enterprise Rent-a-car office, they had a car ready for us, and just a little paperwork to do.  It was all very routine – until the clerk doing the paperwork asked me for a 2nd phone number.  I told him that I don’t have a second phone number.  He pressed me for a cell, or a work number.  I told him that I’m disabled and unemployable, so I don’t have a work phone, and since I rarely leave the house I don’t need a cell phone.  My landline is all that I need.  He kept pressing.  I even told him that he had the same information that has been in there for the last 10 years, and nobody had ever refused to rent to us before.  He said that the company had asked him to get 2nd phone numbers.  I said “asked” does not mean “requires” – he said, “yes, it does.”  This went on for over 5 minutes.  Finally, I said that if he wouldn’t rent to me with the information he already had, he would loose a sale.  He apologized, but stuck to his guns that he wouldn’t complete the contract without the 2nd phone number.  I then told him that he’d talked himself out of a sure sale, and that when I had to explain to my wife why she wouldn’t get to go say a final farewell to her cousin, it was a certainty Enterprise Rent-a-car would never get our business again.

Then, to add injury to insult, they wouldn’t give me a ride home.  It’s over 1.5 miles from there to our house, and my daily TOTAL walking limit is “no walking more than a mile”.    I’m in a LOT of pain right now, because their corporate office decided not to rent to someone who chooses not to be part of the whole “Totally connected and wired in” generations.

Cranky customer 3.0

As I said last week, the driver who picks up our trash dropped our bin 20 feet from the sidewalk after getting our trash.  So, I called and left another message on the voicemail of his supervisor.  However, since I have not yet received a response to the new message, I decided a more direct approach was in order.

So, this morning I was waiting when the driver pulled up on the street south of our house.  As he walked up the sidewalk to get the bin, I limped down the stairs of our front porch and we had a chat.

I explained that I’m disabled, and the woman (he called her a young lady) he talked to is my wife, and that she was home sick the day he talked to her a couple of weeks ago.  Not only does she work, but sometimes has to go out of town; so, I have to be able to put the bin where I can get it.

He was very polite, and agreed to get it from where I have been putting it, and just as importantly to return it to there.  I told him that eventually my doctor wants to do a hip replacement, and that after he does I’ll start putting the dumpster over where he suggested.

Over all, I think it went very well.

Another Cranky Customer update . . .

It would seem that our discussion with WCA isn’t concluded yet.  Last night I took our trash dumpster out and put it where I usually do.  This morning my wife actually watched the driver take the dumpster down the sidewalk, empty it into his truck, and then park it in the LEAST ACCESSIBLE PLACE IN OUR YARD.  It isn’t even close to the sidewalk this time.

Yes, I have called the Joplin office again.  I had to leave another message.

Cranky Customer update…

Well, I had to wait until late afternoon Thursday to get the call back from the WCA “supervisor” – but it turned out to be worth the wait.  The entire conversation lasted only 2 minutes.

First he asked my name, to be sure he called the right number.  Then he asked what the problem was, and I quickly described what was going on.  I concluded by saying, “I’m disabled, and he’s wanting me to more than double the distance I have to take that dumpster.”  At that point, he cut me off.

His reply?  “I’ll have a talk with the driver on that route, and inform him that your dumpster is fine exactly where you’ve been putting it.”  No more problem.  I guess we don’t need a new trash service after all.

Not customer service oriented . . .

This rant is brought to you by WCA, the national chain of waste collection (trash hauling) “professionals”.

Last week, when my wife was taking some time off to manage stress from work, she answered the door when a WCA driver knocked.  We’ve been getting our trash picked up by WCA for a couple of years, but not by any choice of ours.  They bought out the company we chose, who had always given us good service.

The driver wanted us to change where we were putting our trash for pick up.  I was sleeping, and my wife was unprepared for the confrontation, so she just guessed that it would be alright.

It isn’t.

I try to take care of the trash as much as I can, because my wife already does enough, and the city doesn’t want us putting the trash to the curb until the night before pickup.  Also, the city insists that we return the dumpster to behind the house by noon of the day of pickup.  So, I have been using the driveway to move the dumpster because it is easier on my leg.  The ground between the garage and the side-street is uneven and has no walkway, sidewalk, or driveway.  Being disabled, that is a major consideration.

So, last night, I put the dumpster out where I have since we bought the house.  This morning when the driver came by, he moved it down the public sidewalk to the corner, more than doubling the distance I have to drag it back.  When I tried to call the company, the local number they acquired when they took over our old service had been disconnected.  Now we have to call their office in JOPLIN, MO, just to address a customer service issue, and they don’t publish an 1-800 number.

I called anyhow, and the receptionist asked me how they could help.  I described the problem, and she transferred me to a “supervisor”.  I got his voicemail.  There is no telling when he’s going to hear the message, let alone respond.

I think it’s time to get a new service.