While on a business trip to Charlotte, Brian did what he often does: he rented a car. The trouble is, when he got to the rental car facility at the airport, there were no cars available. The rental car company had botched something in the supply chain.

Brian wasn’t happy. Neither was a fellow traveler, who was also waiting on a car. However, as Brian outlines in his second installment of “Looking Out My Window,” he and the other traveler had decidedly different ways of handling the situation.


There were two customer service representatives manning the counter. I walked up to the person who was free. The other representative was already dealing with another customer, who wasn’t happy, either. And he was pretty much letting the whole state of North Carolina know it.

“I need a car right now!” he growled to the person behind the counter. “I’m going to sue somebody if I don’t get a car!I want to talk to your manager!I’ve never seen such incompetence!”

I learned through his bellowing that he is an important attorney and demanded to be treated as such. The representative nodded along with the man and tried to assure him that they are doing everything possible to get a car for him promptly.

While my fellow traveler got all hoarse and sweaty, I talked to the other person behind the counter.

“How can we help you, Mr. Gale?” she asked.

“Just get me a car,” I told her. “At this point, I don’t really care what kind. I need to be somewhere, and I just need a car so I can get out of here.”

She was pleasant, she apologized for the inconvenience, and she had a car on the premises for me within 10 minutes. I was wheeling my suitcase out the door while Mr. Attorney was still spewing vitriol and spittle.

Maybe he was having a bad day. My flight had arrived early, so I was in a pretty good mood overall. If my flight had been delayed or they had lost my suitcase, my fuse probably woul have been quite a bit shorter.

But it still doesn’t excuse the way he was acting. It did nothing to solve the issue. All it did was worsen the day of the representative who was waiting on him. Instead of promoting patience and understanding, he was paying forward whatever garbage was weighing on him.

In situations like that, the person on the other side of the counter can become your biggest ally. I was nice to the woman who waited on me, and she went to bat for me, getting me a car as soon as she could. The person helping our attorney friend probably wasn’t ready to go above and beyond the call of duty to get him a car.