imageI’ve never traveled to an island in the Caribbean without bringing a “triple A,” map.

So unprepared was I, that I didn’t even know the general direction of my destination. After marking all the visible defects of a sub-standard car from the AVIS Corporation in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I asked the gentleman at the gate if he could direct me in the direction to Salinas. “¿Dónde queda? He asked me. I was back at square one, he didn’t know where Salinas was located either. I told him I would look at the map and figure it out. He returned to his post and I thought he was going to open the gate, but he was kind to keep the gate closed. He showed me his map and said. “Take the Robledo bridge and highway 52.”

Let’s go back to the AVIS Corporation’s rental office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  My car was supposed to be at F15, and awaiting me was an empty spot. Apparently, customer service is not a quality that is esteemed at this location. When I made the reservation I told the lady to mark my arrival at 2 P.M. She didn’t. The male AVIS representative succintly told me he doesn’t check the status of Prefered customer’s flights. I was impressed by his lack of customer servive. He gave my car away while I was on my way to the AVIS lot, even though the driver had announced my arrival to them. I was on my way, feeing special  by the excellent service the AVIS Corporation has afforded me in the past. They had voided my contract. They had not even bothered to check the status of my flight that had been delayed over an hour due to metereological conditions at JFK International airport. It was snowing in NewYork City. The first snow of the season catches everyone by surprise, and ramp operations always go haywire when de-icing has to be preformed.

The car I received,was dirty, scratched and dented. Bird poo on top. I wasn’t about to return to the office to deal with those reps again. “You can return to the office and have them wash it. Notice he didn’t say, AGAIN? No, I just took my dirty substandard heap out of the lot and started to wonder if my allegiance to this company was worth it. I’ll have a talk with headquarters tomorrow. Something has to change. Meanwhile some bloke is still driving the immaculate car that was in F15. They know I expect a clean car. I’ll have to wash it when I get to Salinas.

It took me an hour to clean the Korean car. Now it looks better with its scratches and dents.