Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rental Car Treasures from Washington DC

I'm sure that I will change the tune of this blog one day. But for now, I guess we all have put up with my ramblings.

This time, I want to expound on just how important it is to be polite and be nice to everyone, no matter how grumpy, tired, or fed up you are.

In this case, I had just arrived in from Orlando. The previous evening, I had landed in Orlando at midnight and met my family in a nearby hotel for a quick five hours of sleep before I headed up to Washington DC. So to be clear, I arrived at midnight and then returned to the airport to catch my flight about 6-1/2 hours later.

So, 2-1/2 hours after I land and I'm freezing to death at Washington National Airport and I arrive at Avis to find my name on the board and that all is well. Boy, was I glad, because the line for the "preferred" rental counter was about 25 deep and I was in no mood for lines.

So, I went out to get into my intermediate car. Instead of a car, I found a Jeep Wrangler four-door with a hardtop. I'm thinking, COOL!! I haven't driven a jeep since my Army days. But the problem occurred once I opened the door and tried to find my registration card. There was NO card! Now what do I do??

I decided to track down one of those guys that run around at the speed of light that park the cars and then run back to get another. He directed me to this lady who later turned out to be the manager. I very politely explained my predicament and told her I was absolutely freezing. She told me to follow her and she would take care of everything. Turns out that they had given away my car not once, but twice (hey I got there on time, so what gives??)

Well, true to her word, she gave me a top of the line Cadillac CTS with the high-output 3.6 v6. This car had absolutely every option known to mankind including a super duper GPS unit that rises out of the dash, sunroof (good for these frosty days), headlights that follow the way you turn the wheel (to see around corners), satellite radio, and rear folding seats.

About those rear folding seats. As many of you know, I am preparing a major move for my family up to this area and to that extent, we have purchased a property and are in the final stages of a refurb of the property. The kitchen was very neglected and we decided to remove the entire kitchen, fix all of the walls, make the doorway bigger, tile and put in new cabinets and appliances.

If you have seen me the last two months or so, you would think that I am a zombie. Well, I am and it is because of my traveling, taking care of my home in Orlando, trying to manage and help with the refurb effort up North here, and oh yeah, I'm working. I started a new project to boot that is very demanding. Funny how things happen when you are on vacation. I joined the project an advisory role, worked about 2 weeks before Christmas, then I took vacation for a few weeks. When I returned, I found out that I had been appointed tech lead with a ton of responsibilities.

When I was home for Christmas, my wife and I went all over looking at cabinets. We settled for IKEA cabinets because of the price point, immediate availability, quality and durability.

This week, I had to pick up the cabinets in Woodbridge and drive them back to my new home. Since IKEA sells all of their products flat, I was able to pickup all of the cabinets, load them in the CADILLAC and then take them back to my new house for assembly and installation. I was so amazed that it all fit. Those folding rear seats were key. Maybe I'll buy another Caddy some day.

So remember, being nice does not cost you a thing and more often than not, you will reap benefits beyond your wildest dreams. If I had received the Hyundai Elantra that I ordered there is no way I could have picked up my cabinets.

Next, I get to buy my first-ever set of matching appliances.


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