I really need to pull it together. I am on a business trip and when I landed I went to retrieve my rental car from Avis. I looked on the board, saw my name, P. Moran and headed for the parking space where my car was. I loaded all my stuff, got in, adjusted the mirror and prepared to start the car. I glanced up at the rental card, because since I have stolen a rental car once, I always double-check.
Stop – you know you’re curious about the first stolen car, go read it, I’ll wait here. Do you want me to hold your keys? If you’re in a hurry just read the part under fairy amusing.
Welcome back. So, I checked the card on the dashboard. Yep, P. Moran, that’s me. Wait, P. Moran, I am actually P. Morgan you silly people.
I thought it was strange that they spelled my name wrong since I have my whole profile saved in the system, so I flipped the card over – who the heck is Pam Moran?! Could they have really goofed my name up that badly? Since I already have a special mark next to my name in the Avis system as someone who grabs any car lying around, I thought it best to go back and check the board again. I take all my stuff out of the car and start walking back towards the Avis Podium. An Avis employee sees me walking back with my stuff. “Ma’am, is everything ok with the car?” (I wish he would have said Miss). ”I think I may have almost gotten in the wrong car or you have some typos on my rental card,” I explain.
We look at the board and there is P. Moran and, what do you know, P. Morgan is right below it…
Make me feel better, share with me a blooper you have committed.
I am currently on business travel. I got up at 4:00 am yesterday morning (don’t ask me how I feel about this) and was at my destination by 9:30 in the morning. I travel approximately once per month to the same location. My destination and itinerary have become familiar and I am typically on auto-pilot for the duration of the trip. Herein lies the problem – as I was driving from the airport to the office, I was on auto-pilot and almost took the wrong freeway. This reminded me of previous business trips mishaps that were more amusing than getting on the wrong freeway. So here are three in order of mildly amusing to so funny that if you’re not laughing, there might be something wrong with you.
Mildly Amusing (though not at the time):
I did my 4:00 am wake up call and flew in, I worked all day in the office, correction, I worked until 9:30 pm in the office. I then drove two blocks to my hotel, desperate to crash. I gave my rental car to the valet. I normally self-park, but was so tired, I decided not to bother. I stumbled into the hotel blurry eyed and on fumes. I went up to the front desk, threw my corporate card and elite card on the desk like I owned the place and hoped they could get me to my room before I slept in the lobby. I didn’t notice at first that he was typing more than usual. Finally, he said, “Mrs. Morgan, I am sorry, but are you sure you have a reservation?” What?! I physically shook my head hoping it would help me process his question. It dawned on me that I was in town for a conference and had not made my own travel arrangements… It turned out my hotel was 30 minutes away and it was now approaching 10:00 at night (remember, I got up at 4:00 am). I now had to rescue my bags from the bellman, wait 15 minutes for the valet to bring my car back and head to the correct hotel. I was tired and frustrated; so as a further poke from the universe, my GPS wasn’t working. I got lost three times trying to find my hotel! When I finally got into my room, sometime after 11:00, I turned on my computer to cancel my early morning call and my laptop died!
Same trip as above (I should have stayed home!). I checked out of the correct hotel to fly home. I had asked the valet to have my car waiting because I was going to be cutting it close, having a morning meeting before I scurried to catch my flight home. I ran out of my morning meeting, handed some money and my ticket to the valet, grabbed my keys and headed for the airport. Halfway to the airport, I went to turn on the radio and thought, ‘hmm, that’s funny, I could have sworn the button was on the other side’. I ignored the feeling for a few minutes, then on a hunch, I looked at the key chain, it said Avis, my rental company, so I kept driving. It was still bugging me, so I grabbed the rental car agreement and flipped it over – “WHO THE HELL IS D. SMITH (name changed to protect the victim) and why do I have their tag?!!!” I had taken the wrong rental car! At this point, I am one mile from the airport. If I turned around, I would certainly miss my flight. For me that was not an option, because I wanted to get home to see my kids! I called the hotel valet from the car and made them stay on the phone while I pulled into rental car return. I did what I do best – I put on my biggest apologetic smile and started talking. I explained that the valet gave me the wrong car and I was going to miss my flight and inquired if could just return the one I had. I was in luck, because I had no personal belongs in my car and D. Smith had no belongings in the car I “stole”. The hotel tracked him down, we made a deal and I flew home. As a side note, I am sure you all assume it was the same car in the same color – uh, no. Two different foreign four door cars, one was silver, the other champagne. Oops, I now try get electric blue cars whenever possible!
This was not my brilliance, but certainly wins. A friend of mine was on a sales trip and had been at a big, wine-filled dinner with clients. He stumbled into bed pie-eyed and bordering on incoherent. In the middle of the night, nature called and he staggered out of bed, headed for the bathroom. Still drunk, he walked through the door and then the door closed with a click. He had gone out the door to his room! And, he sleeps naked! (His wife told me the story, I do not know the sleeping attire of my male friends). He now has two problems – the urgent need to pee and he is locked out of his room in the middle of the night, naked! Solution one: he pee’d in the drain of the ice machine. As he is figuring out problem two, he hears the elevator door open and he throws his naked 6 foot tall, football player frame against the hallway wall in hopes of being missed… He gets lucky and uses the house phone to call the front desk. While waiting for security to come up, he finds an unlocked housekeeping closet and grabs a towel that is just enough to cover the ‘public display of indecency’ parts. When the security guard comes up, he averts his eye, keeps the verbal exchange short and files workman’s comp the next day I am sure.
Whether your work brings in a paycheck or raises a family, we all have those times when auto-pilot (or too much wine) gets the best of us. Remember that when someone steals your rental car or you see a naked guy in a hotel.