When I had lunch with Barbara on Election Day, she mentioned that when she rented a car last Friday (a week ago today), she was given a car with a quarter tank of gas in it along with a wish of "good luck." I am renting a car on Monday and thought that won't be a problem on Monday.
However, yesterday NY started rationing gas and I started to worry. I called Dollar where my reservation is and they told me I'd get 1/2 tank of gas. Well, that's better than 1/4. There's a Budget right next door and I called them and they said they were doing full tanks, but when I tried to make a reservation they had no cars.
So then I made a reservation with Thrifty as a back up -- they had cars, but when I asked about the gas, they said 1/4. The only other place that had cars was Hertz, but it was $200 more for the week. Before I made a reservation, I called the location and they told me on Monday I'd either get 1/2 or a full tank so I made a reservation there. You know I am usually careful with money, but to me $200 is worth it to not have to eye my gas gauge for the width of NJ (where gas is also rationed.)
I now have three separate reservations, which is something I don't do normally. In fact, I don't like when people do that, but in this case I am. I think I'm going to go straight to Hertz, despite the extra money, but I'm not going to cancel the other two until I'm in the car.
I don't entirely trust Dollar as they are the folks who had no car for me for my Oshkosh trip and luckily I got one on the spot from Budget, but, again, it cost me more. Even without the gas situation, I feel better with a back up reservation.
I know in the scheme of things of what people are facing with the Sandy aftermath this is a problem the size of a gnat's butt. I get that, but it seems always like nothing comes easy. What struck me, though, is that this isn't a gas shortage. If it were, then how could one company give 1/4 full cars and another give full tanks?
I got a mani/pedi today and the manicurist was telling me that she missed work because of the storm and needed the money so she tried to get into Manhattan from Queens two days after the storm and knew it would be three or four hours in line for a bus so she called her uncle who said he would drive her into Manhattan.
However you needed to have three people in your car to come into the city so after her uncle picked her up, she rolled down the window at the bus line and said that they could take two people into Manhattan and two women jumped at the chance.
As it turned out, one of the women cleaned offices and desperately needed to get to work for the money to pay her bills. She told Marianella that she was about to give up and said a prayer Please God, get me into Manhattan somehow, and 10 seconds later, Marianella called out offering a ride. It gave me chills, and I said, "If she wasn't before, that woman is a believer now!"