Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just funny

For your holiday entertainment, I'd like to pass along a conversation between the Thin Man and a car rental company that I overhead a few months back. The event occurred before I started blogging for him and it still greatly amuses the cat.

"Can I help you?"
"Yes. I'm coming to town for a convention and I need to rent a car."
"Excellent, which credit card do you use?"
"I don't use a credit card; I'll be paying cash."
"I'm afraid we can't do that sir."
"Do what?"
"Accept cash. We have no way of knowing that you're not a criminal."
"Ma'am, if I was a criminal, I'd have a credit card. I'm confused--what part of 'all debts public and private' was Mister Washington lying about?"
"I'm sorry sir but we only take credit cards. It's company policy."
"I understand that. I also understand that under Federal law, you have to take cash."
"Just a moment and I'll get my manager...
...What seems to be the problem here?"
"I'm trying to rent a car and you're company is refusing my money."

"Okay, let me see if I get this straight: I can pay for the car with cash and I can leave a cash deposit for the security fee, right?"
"That's correct, sir."
"Then why do I need a credit card if I can pay in cash?"
"Company policy will not allow me to rent out a car without a major credit card on file."
"On file for what?! This is some kind of discrimination isn't it? You're just yanking me around because I'm southern."
"I assure you sir--"
"What's your name? My lawyer's going to need it. The law is very clear: you cannot refuse a man service because of his race or creed and you must accept legal tender FOR ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE!"
"Let me transfer you to my area manager."

"I'm sorry for the confusion, sir. My people should have explained the matter to you more clearly."
"That's all right. So I can pay with cash and leave the deposit in cash--that's payment. The major credit card is for identification purposes."
"Yessir. The card is ID along with your driver's license."
"Well I don't have a credit card. Surely you're not telling me that just because I'm a luddite you can't rent me a car."
"Oh, no sir, we work very hard to accommidate all religious beliefs. We'll just use another method of verifying your identity."
"You mean in addition to the three forms I already have to provide."
"That's correct."
"So what else do you need?"
"A current utility bill and a pay stub. The utility bill will need to be current showing a zero balance."
"You've got to be kidding."
"No sir, what would be the problem?"
"If my balance is zero, my utility company doesn't issue a bill. It's kind of implicit in the word BILL."
"Well, I'm sure we can work something out on that, just bring in your latest set of paperwork from them and the pay stub."
"About the pay stub, what if I'm self-employed?"
"Oh that's no problem, just bring in your last pay check."
"I don't cut checks to myself."
"What do you do for a living, sir?"
"I'm a writer."
"But surely you get paid."
"And don't call me Shirley but seriously, other than checks made out to my name, the only formal payments I recieve are royalty statements."
"Bring in a recent one of those."
"How recent?"
"One or two weeks should be fine."
"I only get statements quarterly."
"Four times a year."
"Hmmmm. Well that certianly is irregular. How much was your latest one for?"
"Hold on, I'll check...twenty-one dollars and fifty cents."
"We can't rent you a car."
"Why not?"
"You don't make enough."
"I'm paying cash!!! You said all this other stuff was for identification purposes."
"That's correct."
"Then rent me a car."
"I'm afraid I can't do that without a major credit card."

"Cat, I don't think I'm renting a car."

1 comment:

Starbuck O'Shea said...

Yes, because only in America could this happen.

I have a strong feeling I'll be having this same conversation sometime next year. Or 2010. Not reassuring.

I'll have to print this out so that we can save time up front...