From TEXAS — 12/26/2009
Don't buy all these horror stories.
Pay: Tough while starting out, but most companies that don't require a specialized degree are going to be this way...hate to break it to you. The pay gets better.
Respect: The people I work with are very cool. I am respected 100%. Like any job, there are times when mgmt asks me to stay late, or change my plans, but you've just got to keep a positive attitude about it and know that it will pay off eventually.
Benefits: I don't have a lot to compare to, but seems fine so far.
Job security: Work hard, don't complain, perform every day and you will keep this job for however long you want.
Work/life balance: It's tough, but you get used to it. I worked in the restaurant business so I was on a terrible sleeping schedule. I thought I would never adjust to the early and long hours of ERAC. About a month into it, it's not that big of a freaking deal. So many whiners on this site. I will say this...I am single by choice, and it would make it a lot tougher if I were married. That's why they like to hire people right out of college.
Career potential/growth: As with other companies, promotability has slowed some. Still, I guarantee if you work hard, keep a positive attitude, and perform, you will get promoted...over and over again. ERAC isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. I've mentally quit the job several times, but then you just get back on the horse and keep plugging away. It would suck to be stuck in my position for the rest of my career, but that's not how it's set up. You've got to buy into the concept, set your goals, and make it happen. There is a guy above me that has been with the company for about 12 years, and he makes 400k. That is insane. He is great at what he does, and he stuck it out through the tough times, and obviously it has paid off.
Location: I am where I want to be, and could move if I wanted.
Co-worker competence: My coworkers are great people. There are going to be bad seeds in every bunch. There are times where I think to myself that someone above me isn't as qualified as I am, but that's a freaking job! Work hard and pass them right up.
Work environment: It's a nitty gritty job, and it's not for the faint of hearts. Yes, you have to wash cars. It's not fun, but that's why it's called work. Yes, you deal with crappy customers that have no respect for anything...not for themselves, not their rental cars, and not for you. It's sad that there are so many people like that in this world, but that's life. You can't take it personally, and yes it can be draining, but it just makes you stronger. It's easy to forget all the great customers you deal with when the bad are, well, really bad. If you are unfortunate to get stuck in a branch where your management and co-workers have no sense of humor, this job will be much tougher. You deal with a lot of crap and you've got to be able to have that release.
The bottom line: I have been with ERAC for less than a year, so I still am at the crappy starting out stage. It will get better. ERAC puts you through the meat grinder from the get-go. The ones who can stick it out and see the big picture will and do succeed. It's a pretty darn good way of finding out right off the bat who is going to be a hard worker and a candidate for the upper levels of the company. If you are lazy, it's not for you. If you have a bad attitude in general, it's not for you. If you can't deal with crappy people and learn to smile and let what they say go in one ear and out the other, it's not for you. If you have a family, it's going to be tough, no doubt. At the two-year mark, I will look back and see how far I've gotten. If it is worth staying, I'll stay, if it's not, I'll leave. I've got goals, and plan on making them happen. A last note, other companies are very eager to hire former ERAC employees. Most know that you get a great education in the business (if you actually try at it) and they know that ERAC works their employees very hard. If you think you can get over the tough parts of this job, give it a shot. Don't let these negative reviews deter you if you think you can stick it out. It's a heck of a lot easier to go write a long review about a job when you are pissed off, but I can tell you, the people I work with like their jobs, and understand what is to gain.