The Slow Boat To Austin

Another brief iPad post today because the hotel’s wifi is slow and I still have a long drive ahead of me.

Well, so much for getting good gas mileage. When I arrived at Hertz yesterday at my appointed pick-up time to get the gas-sipping compact car I reserved twelve days ago the only vehicle available was a big, boxy Jeep Liberty. Fuck. I was told that they were out of cars because it was Spring Break. Really? It’s just like the old Seinfeld routine:

Jerry: I don’t understand. Do you have my reservation?
Rental Car Agent: We have your reservation, we just ran out of cars.
Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That’s why you have the reservation.
Rental Car Agent: I think I know why we have reservations.
Jerry: I don’t think you do. You see, you know how to *take* the reservation, you just don’t know how to *hold* the reservation. And that’s really the most important part of the reservation: the holding. Anybody can just take them.

If it had not been thirty minutes before their office’s closing time on the night that I was looking to leave town I would have told them to stuff it and either forced them to bring me a different car or tried to arrange a rental from another company.

The Liberty has already consumed more that half of its gas tank on the 196-mile, all-highway drive from Atlanta to Tuscaloosa. In comparison the Chevy I rented/received for my 486-mile, all-highway drive from Atlanta to Clearwater in February just about made the entire trip on one tank of gas.

I groused about this turn of events on Twitter and hear from Hertz. Today I will be contacting Hertz seeking some sort of compensation.

And on top of it all, the Liberty doesn’t have Bluetooth (so I am using a audio input jack), a thermostat you can set to a specific temperature, or a trunk (so I have to remove all of the stuff I brought on the trip at each hotel stop). These are all First World problems, I know.

It might not sound like it, but I am trying not let this ruin my trip; I’ll let the fact that, due to an imposed demo that I have to give next week, I will be working each day that I am “on vacation” take care of that.

I was beat by the time I got to the hotel, and even with a decent night’s sleep am not feeling all that sprite this morning. I need coffee and/or adrenaline.

It’s already 5:25am Central and I need to start moving. See you tomorrow when I’ll be blogging from Austin.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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7 Responses to The Slow Boat To Austin

  1. martha says:

    The Escape doesn’t have a trunk but there is a (for lack of a better word) ‘roller shade’ that covers the storage area. The Liberty doesn’t have that? Sounds like the Liberty gets around the same gas mileage as the Escape…is it a 6-cylnder? Honestly, driving that far on TX interstates, I’d be nervous driving anything smaller.

    No Jerry did throw a fit once (yeah, I know, shocking) when he got a huge truck (like Ford F150 huge) at the car rental counter…they gave him a substantial credit for the ‘extra’ gas he was going to use.

    I was at the office at 5:45 am, I’m working at home but left something at the office at is due today…I was back on the road to boxing class by 7. The commute was lovely that time of day.

    Have fun in Austin, like I said Jerry’s brother and sister in law live there if you get in a jam or need any advice (they are both much cooler/hipper than I)…

  2. Barb says:

    Felicia has a Jeep Liberty (I think it is a Liberty, its a Jeep something). I think its a fine size for a road trip, and, jsut keep on Hertz, I bet there will give you some sort of discount. And, did you ask, maybe you can exchange it for something else on the road somewhere or in Austin?

  3. Steve says:

    I think you should do some basic math on what you expected to rent, how far you drove the gas guzzler, and what the difference in the mileage and cost would have been. Save your gas receipts as well. I’m with you- if you have a reservation, then that’s the car you should be able to rent- I get the rental car catch-all “or similar”, but I’m guessing the Jeep isn’t “similar” to what you reserved.

    Lunch with Debbie’s folks. Her dad had fallen last week and was still bruised and slightly swollen. We had “the talk” about getting them some “help”- Debbie thought there would be a riot, but they were interested and there’s a meeting with the doctor next Monday to discuss further.

    I ran about 25 minutes last night- I’m not sure whether it was the temperature, the pollen, the fact that I haven’t run in several weeks or the radioactivity, but it wasn’t really pleasant. And just because I need the excuse to get my arse moving, I’ll be repeating the same thing at George’s tonight.

    Barb, any schedule info from Allan?

    Travel Safe Paulie.


  4. Barb says:

    Steve- we can do Saturday or Sunday 4/12 or 4/13, though Sunday might be the better idea (as Allan works Friday & he may have a rough Friday night with no sleep). We do have TJ’s generator at our disposal, he will not be able to attend, and he will be out of town somewhere. Just let me know what other tools Allan needs to bring.

    We had dinner with TJ & Mary last night for Allan’s birthday (since it is today & he is at the firehouse). Looks like Kevin & Katrina will be here in the states around the beginning of August.

    I’m actually going for a road bike ride in Roswell tonight. Meeting Michelle (Toothless Beaver). She & Canucklehead bought a house right near the river, so it will work out perfect for some after work rides.

  5. Kevin says:

    Steve: it’s the pollen. This is like running in Beijing smog, except pollenier. I ran last night and couldn’t shake the think layer of pollen and saliva in my mouth the whole time. Can’t think that’s doing much for my alveoli, either.

  6. Currently somewhere in Texas. Made the mistake of following my Garmin’s advice to get off the interstate.

  7. Steve says:

    No texting and driving!

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