Monday, November 12, 2012

Day One -- Now in Clarion, Pennsylvania

All my fears were for naught as I got a full tank of gas from Hertz. I had canceled my third reservation; kept the back up and then didn't cancel it. I was supposed to pick up the car at 10, and at 10:30 I got a message from the one I didn't cancel saying "we're trying to find a car for you." That's it for me with that location -- it is so mismanaged. Plus when I called on Sunday night about the amount of gas in outgoing cars, they told me that it was now 1/4, down from 1/2.

But back to Hertz -- even though it's in the next block (at the corner of 87th and Third), I had never noticed it in the six months it's been there. Now I know why -- it's a regular parking garage with no Hertz counter, but this very futuristic video/machine check in. No Hertz agent -- you talk live with a guy on the screen in real time.

Here was the goal... nothing more soothing than seeing a gas gauge on full.

This is closed on three sides and about the size of a phone booth. I'd never seen this before, but was able to work my way through it. You touch the screen to start, and pick up the phone handset, the guy comes on, you put in your credit card (similar to at a gas pump) and then he found my reservation. I had to scan my driver's license by holding it in a certain position and then hold it up to a place on the screen. It was really like talking to a live person.

I didn't know if "Agent Mike N" could actually see me photographing him -- but here he is, bad photo, I know, but you get the picture. 'Then the printed copy of your contract comes out of the machine, but this morning they were having printer errors, so it was faxed instead. So the parking lot guy got the fax, got my car, and I was on my way. 

This was a very pretty drive across the George Washington Bridge. It was a sunny, mild day -- no need for even a jacket -- and there was this giant flag hanging for Veterans Day.

The long, winding road through Pennsylvania.

Further west, it got cloudier. By the time I pulled into the hotel at 5, it was rainy and very windy.


Anonymous said...

I guess, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Have a safe trip! Stephanie

Barbara said...

Between the hotel check your blog showed me which looks like a drive thru, and now this -- oh my! we may never have to talk to a human being again!