From Jacksonville, FL — 06/03/2009
I happened upon this thread while looking for something else and decided to read a response or two before moving on. I ended up reading a couple dozen.
I feel compelled to comment as sort of a rebuttal on behalf of the company, for what it's worth. I'll admit up front that I've only worked with the company for a short time, and as such concede that my perspective may not be as well rounded as some others who've posted. Still, my experience in the management program at Hertz has been remarkably unlike the majority of posts I've read. Here's how, along with a few of my opinions as to the cause of the disparity between my views and others.
I think that the most important issue for me to touch on is the respect I've received from upper management. The gentleman who hired me (whose name I'll not include only out of consideration for his privacy; though I intend only to compliment him) conducted one of the most professional interviews I had attended in nearly four months of job seeking. Since hiring me (which, incidentally, he did by meeting with me again in person and complimenting the heck out of me in several ways and asking if I'd consider accepting a role with the company; not by just saying "Hey, come on down cause we've decided to hire some new folks and hopefully you'll do") has called me on my cell phone FIVE times since he hired me just to see how I'm doing and to ask if there's anything he can do to make me feel more comfortable, teach me about how the business works, set me up with some training or just to let me voice any complaints about my new work environment. That's astonishing. He's the highest ranking name I know of in the area and he's making me and another guy who hired on with me part of his weekly check-up routine. So, it's safe to say that I don't feel as though I'm just being used by a company who doesn't care about me as a person and doesn't give a rip if I succeed or not. It feels much more likely that I'm being given the opportunity to be mentored on toward a real career; not just a job.
Secondly, my branch manager is a cool-headed guy who finished some paperwork the other day, walked out of his office, saw that we were swamped at the desk, and immediately went outside and started cleaning cars for customers so we could stay in the air-conditioned office and process rentals and returns. If he had the mentality that is presented by most of these posters, he would have sent ME out to do that while he took the desk. Keep this in mind as I move toward my point at the end.
Next, I get paid a decent amount each week to drive around in new cars and pick up successful and/or interesting people with whom I have an opportunity to talk and make jokes. I am getting a sense of the inner workings of a hugely successful business model. I get the opportunity to solve the transportation problems of everyday people who've been in an accident and just want to get back to their lives. I'm good with people and know how to say hard things softly when needed, and therefore rarely see a customer get upset by a policy I must enforce on a rental denial (when that happens). The other guys I work with (and I get moved around a lot to get a feel for how different locations function) have all been funny as hell and I've only met one bad apple so far who didn't understand the nature of the work we do.
The overtime is DELICIOUS to my bank account. The way I see it, if I'm going to get up and go to work for eight or nine hours, then I might as well stay for ten and make time and a half. I really don't understand that gripe that everyone seems to have about getting overtime. Most companies go bonkers about not letting their people work for extra money. Not Hertz. I put in the time, and they're happy to pay me for it. Sounds good to me.
I think what has happened to so many of these posters - and this is just my opinion based on what I've managed to take from my experiences with certain personality types; I could be completely wrong - is that they applied for a job with the word "management" in the title and thought that would mean that they'd sit at a desk all day and tell people what to do after a few weeks of classes on managing others. Then, when they found out that they'd actually have to put in some work, found out that they'd be learning the business from the ground up so that they'd actually be able to make decisions based on real experience rather than just theory, found out that they'd have to deal with the occasional dissatisfied customer and figure out what to do, found out that they would be expected to give some effort in return for their money earned, found out that they'd have to try to progress the company by increasing profits and contributing something to the bottom line rather than just doing as they pleased and getting paid regardless of output, then they just weren't up for it. Customer service isn't for everyone, and the concept of actually working toward a goal is less and less understood by the young folks of today. It's sad, but that's the truth as I see it.
Hertz is not an evil corporation hell-bent on working people to death with no intention of promoting them once they've proven that they're ready for it. From what I've observed, the management training program is designed to simultaneously solve the problems of manning the rental centers with capable, intelligent individuals and weeding out the applicants who put on a good show at an interview, but simply lack the drive and follow-through required to roll up their sleeves and dedicate themselves to something more important than the amount of time they're able to go out and party in their off-time.
If you're willing to work toward goals and won't freak out everytime a problem comes up, it's a great program. My branch manager has been with the company for three years. He's almost making six figures now. What's that sound like to you? Not a scam - for sure