P>That's as far as I got before we got a flat tire. Nothing like leaving our dream hotel, where we treated like royalty(and a prince was staying there, so we know they must do that a lot) to cruising down the road, hooked up to theMiFi all set to write about our adventure in Cleveland, and then hearing, Sarah say, "Dude. I think something's wrong with the car. I think we have a flat tire." Sure enough, that's what we got. Exit off the highway and straight into the closest filling staion. Which by the way, my use of the term "filling station, just resulted in a 3 mile discussion as to the use filling station versus gas station. To sum it up in fewer than 3 miles, we decided it's regional. Sarah uses gas station, I use filling station. Which is ironic since wee only live about 10 miles from each other. But back to our adventure...
Given our rental car status, it came with "Avis 24 Hour Road Side Assistance" and the quotation marks around those words is no accident my friends. I phoned "Avis 24 Hour Road Side Assistance" and explained our situation. "Yes, we are in a safe place," I answered when he asked with the same level of empathy and concern if one is asked, 'Would you like fries with that?" At the same time, two men approached and offered to change the tire. We waved them off as we knew "Avis 24 Hour Roadside Assisance" would be helping us any moment. The reality? We would be helping ourselves any moment because "Avis 24 Hour Roadside Assistance" told us, "We will have someone out there in about 30 minutes and they will put the spare tire on the car, then you will drive the car to the nearest Avis location and pick up a different car." So I ask, "Can you please tell me where is the nearest location?" Turns out it's a a whopping 6 miles from our present location. I make the suggestion that a car be brought to us and we switch them out and be on our way as it is only 6 milies way. The gentleman, and I am being kind here, tells me to hold and he will see if that is "even possible." He returns after
I age about 3 years a few minutes to inform me, "We can't do it. We contract with an outside company. They will have to change your tire and then you will have to drive it to the Cleveland Airport." I thank him. Why? I dunno, he's done nothing for me at all. Because I know I can change a tire in under 20 minutes and we will be on our way. So I change the tire as Sarah gets on the phone to call Customer Sevice and explain what is going on and why this isn't making us feel all warm and fuzzy. At this point, we're not angry, just annoyed. We are 6 milies away! It's not rocket science and how did we ask to be caiught in an eddy of bureaucracy?
Andrea from Avis Customer service gives it a try, she connects Sarah with the folks at the Airport Avis and listens in as Sarah is told "We will have to have a tow truck tow the car back to the airport." And Sarah again suggested, very nicely, if we could just have someone bring us a car to swap out since it was only 6 milies away, Sarah was told, "No. You have to wait." Sarah asked to speak to Andrea again and the resonse Sarah received made her just say "Wow." into the phone because it was just that rude. Andrea sadly had been disconnected from the call. We can only imagine the "Avis 24 Hour Roadside Assistance" folks wanted to keep their rude behavior a secret from Avis Customer service. Maybe they have a reputation to protect. Sarah missed Andrea very much. She was nice, this was hell. And while Winston Churchill said "When you're going through hell, keep going," but he probably never had to deal with "Avis 24 Hour Roadside Assistance."
I was happy I had decided to wear something casual for our drive, because I don''tchangie tires when I am dressed up. In under 20 minutes tire was changed, donut in place and we were on our way to the airport to change out the car. We are now cruising down the turnpike in another car without sattelite radio and it smells like someoen must have shaken up a carbonated canistor of Febreeze and let it go.
It''s definitley someting we're both going to have to get used to. The other car smelled like weed.