The First Wrong
Imagine you are about to make a major international move, and are on T-minus one day before The Flight. You are about to move out of your current apartment (which you have to do by noon), run errands and drive up to San Francisco before rush hour traffic hits, because you have to get there before 6pm when the bank closes. You are without a car since you sold it the night before, and you have already arranged to rent one.
Imagine you get the following phone call an hour and a half before you are supposed to pick up the car:
Enterprise Car Rental Dude: I’m sorry, but we have no cars available for pick-up today. Would you mind rescheduling your car pick-up for tomorrow?
Me: I’m sorry, wait. What?!
ECRD: There are no cars available. I’ve looked all over. You’ll have to get a car tomorrow, is that okay?
Me: I don’t think you understand. I am literally moving out right now. I absolutely need that car. I don’t have a place to stay here at all! I need to be in San Francisco!
ECRD: I’m sorry, but there’s nothing available.
Me: Why the fuck didn’t you guys tell me that when I booked it yesterday?! I could’ve made other arrangements!
ECRD: …I’m sorry?
What would you do? If you are anything like me at all, you’d freak out, and that’s basically what I did. Even now, three whole days later, I can vividly remember the sinking feeling I had in my stomach when I received the call. This was swiftly followed by a hint of panic, quickly tamped down, chased after with fury and a mind blank with rage. In that singular moment, I felt utterly helpless. It is utterly amazing what one phone call can do to throw a spanner into the works.
Also, Enterprise is a car rental agency. How the hell do they not have cars to rent?!
That was the First Wrong.
The Second Wrong
This one started the week before I was supposed to leave. I went into my bank to order some Chinese Yuan to get me started in China. (Start up costs for living expenses are incredibly expensive!) Having ordered foreign currency before, I knew it took a couple days for things to get in. Everything was hunky-dory, and I was supposed to pick up my money T-minus 3 days before the flight. They were going to call me.
I was also in San Francisco picking up my visa T-minus 3 days before the flight, and completely forgot about my money, until the next day, when I went down to the bank, asking about the money. When the banker herself took 15 minutes to look for money, I had the same foreboding feeling that something was wrong. And I was right.
They hadn’t ordered my money.
The soonest I’d get it was T-minus 1 day before my flight, probably in the afternoon, when I was supposed to already be in San Francisco. However, she was able to ensure that I got my money from a branch up there, that I had to pick up before 6pm when it closed. She was extremely apologetic, and assured me that they would waive the fee to expedite the express transfer as it had been a bank error.
But still. Now, I had a timing deadline.
In actuality, I had two deadlines: I needed to be out of the apartment by no later than noon, and I needed to be in San Francisco at the bank branch, no later than 6pm. Totally doable, but also a complete time crunch.
And now I had no car.
The One Massive Right
This is where my friend Jennifer came to the rescue. She drove right over after she got off work at noon, and was basically helping me load my shit into her car while I was doing the apartment walk-through with my landlady. I was literally in my room with my landlady discussing the cleaning of the refrigerator, while Jennifer was downstairs shoving my suitcases and boxes into her car.
She then proceeded to drive me all around town, to the post office to mail packages off, to the library to donate my books, and then all the way to San Francisco, ninja-treating me to a delicious Vietnamese wrap lunch while I was busy making phone calls cancelling my auto and renters insurance and changing addresses for my credit cards.
If she hadn’t jumped to the rescue, I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done. She got me to the bank well before the 6pm deadline, and I was able to pick up all my Chinese currency with enough time to spare.
We were then able to meet up with my friend Jiewen, whose house I was staying at before I flew out the next day, and had the most amazing Mexican food at Nueve. If you ever are in the Bay Area, check out Nueve in San Bruno for the most delightful Chicken Mole Poblano I’ve ever had.
Honestly, despite all the stress and the chaos that were making me even more neurotic than usual, I’d have to say that dinner was probably the highlight of my day. I was able to spend some great quality time with two really good friends who helped me out when I really needed it the most. Jennifer spent a good 8-9 hours accompanying me on my errands all around town (though we did break for a couple hours at a couple parks in between), and Jiewen talked me down from my neurotic worrying.
With friends like these, I have to say that I am quite possibly the richest person in the whole world. I will also never rent a car from Enterprise ever again.