I love to travel, and I certainly do have my favorite destinations. And one of them is Los Angeles. And why not? 95% of the time it’s beautiful, sunny, warm, and for an airplane geek LAX is perhaps THE best plane-watching airport in the country, if not the world. Great beaches, amazing food, celebrities, show business, what’s not to love?
So after a pleasant and uneventful flight from Dallas to the SoCal, I get to the Avis car rental pickup near LAX. My assigned car, a white Toyota Camry, didn’t have a key in it so I had to go back to the Customer Service kiosk, where an Asian woman with a thick accent was in the middle of throwing a fit at the agent. “How you can give me a car that is WHITE? I ask for RED car! I no drive a car that is WHITE!” and I mean she is full-on hissy-fitting this scene. The Avis agent, bless his heart, is non-plussed by this hysteria and says repeatedly “Ma’am let me see what I can find.”
He is click-clicking on the keyboard as she becomes more and more worked up. Shouts were becoming shrieks and the accent was getting thicker as she got madder. I was thinking “she’s gonna blow!!!” as the meltdown continued. Of course, I had noticed a HOT red Mercedes in a Premium spot just outside the office door, and wondered if that was what she was working to scam the agent out of. But she keeps hissy-fitting, for a good four minutes. Finally he hands her new paperwork and keys to a red….Ford Fusion. “That not the one I wanted!” she screams. And out of nowhere the Avis agent, who did not at all look Asian, raised his eyebrows and starts to bark at her for a good two minutes in what I believe was Cantonese. Looking shocked, she eventually gave him a haughty stare, took the keys, and stormed out.
I was next in line, and before I walked up to the counter I quietly asked him “You need a minute?” He says “nah, we get those all the time. This just happens to be when a lot of the flights from Asia arrive.” I blurted out “MAN, you did an INCREDIBLE JOB with her!!!!!! Where did you learn that language??” He just looks at me, smiles and says “This is LA. You learn!” Then he asked me what I needed and I told him I needed keys for my car. He asked for my name, told me to wait a sec…..printed out some paperwork….and handed me the paper and a set of keys and thanked me for my business.
I drove out of the lot in the red Mercedes. In just a few minutes I was rollin’ down….Imperial Highway….big nasty Husband at my side….Santa Ana winds blowin’ hot from the north…..we were born to ride…..
I LUV LA! (And I love what being nice to customer service people can do!)