Hierarchical, competitive, high-pressure,
I am from a middle class background. All of my grandparents came from other countries (parents are first generation Americans) so hard work, commitment and loyalty are qualities I pride myself on. I been working since I was 16 (I am 24 now) and my parents have instilled that you bust your ass at work and the rest will take care of itself. I have taken this message to every job I've had, retail, restaurant, landscaping, officiating, tutoring, and never I have been more unappericated and disrespected than I have been at ERAC. Every review is on the money; they told me I would be working 48 hours a week (worked 55+), I would make $33,000-$35,000 and would have "choice time." I throw quotation marks on choice time because it was when management choose when to give you time off. I covered one day because I knew we were understaffed, a problem that is not exclusive to my particular branch, so my manager (who didn't train me more than saying where to go or which car to pick-up or clean) promised me I would be out by 11am. Mind you, this was my off day that I requested nearly 2 months in advance because I had a hotel room booked in AC for my sister's birthday. Well, by the time it was nearly 3pm, he finally decided to let me head out to the day. He didn't even thank me but at least my Assistant Manager realized how much of a favor I did. And I realize sales you have to stretch the truth or tell people what they want to hear, but this was another level all together. Lying to old ladies who are renting a car for 2 weeks that have a $100 deductible and telling them $19.99/day for our "protection products" makes more sense than your insurance that you pay for annually isn't my idea of appeasing my conscience. Another shady practice is that their stance on lunch is that it is a privelege and no employee is necessarily entitled to it. I have gone a whole week (6 days with over 60 hours) with no lunch. Your manager will buy you pizza to scraf down in about 5 minutes. They expected my branch to do the work of 8-10 people, given our size is what we needed, with only 5 people. If you like long hours, poor compensation, grabbing your ankles with a smile on your face and washing cars while dressed like a clone, then ERAC is for you.
Peanuts get your peanuts (see above review)!
For those of you who don't know what a service agent is, let me give you a quick break down. Right before I started with ERAC, there were two seperate positions: Drivers (hired to pick-up and drop off customers as well as help move cars between rental offices) and Car Preps (hired to clean cars). The problem with that set-up was if a branch didn't have a car prep to clean cars, then it was up to the rental agents to clean the cars, not the drivers. I have seen branches where the rental agents are outside on a 90+ degree day in their dress clothes cleaning cars (that means vacuuming, washing, trying to get questionable stains out of upholstery, etc.) while the drivers just sit inside in the AC and do NOTHING!
When I started in October, 2009, drivers were being paid $8.00/hr while the car preps were paid $8.25/hr. The service agent position was created to combine the two positions so now you have one person doing both jobs. When I applied for the service agent position (a position I was told that I was overqualified for; yeah, no kidding), I was told it paid $8.00/hr. What a joke. So I worked at that rate of pay for a while when ERAC finally came to their senses and increased the service agent pay to $8.50/hr since they realized were doing both jobs.
As time went on, I soon proved myself to the area manager, branch managers, assistant mangers, etc., that I was truly a hardworker and earned a reputation as someone who is dependable (I do anything the company requires of me without question) and flexible ( I always worked whatever hours they needed me to as well as working at different branches).
After my first year, I got my first raise: .34 cents/hr!!!! (I guess that's the new rate for hard work at ERAC).
I'm not sure if it had anything to do with my yearly evaluation, which is quite a story in itself. I was working a 12pm-6pm shift when my branch manager told me about my evaluation needing to be done. It was about 1 o'clock and not much was going so I suggested we could do the evaluation then. She told me we would get to it later. At about 5 minutes till 6pm, she starts typing up my evaluation super quick and hands it to me for approval. Every category was marked MR (Meets Requirements). When I commented on my early arrival every day (I always come in 15 minutes early) and spotless attendance, she said that if she were to mark anything in the other two columns: ER (Exceeds Requirements) or O (outstanding), then she would have to make specific comments to justify it and she DIDN'T HAVE TIME! By far she was the most counterproductive person I have ever worked for!
Soon after, she quit ERAC due to the threats to her position as branch manager regarding her sales numbers. Sound familiar?
When my next manager arrived, he was only an assistant manager for a month (see kids, you can move up quickly ) at a different branch and given the manager position if agreed to take charge at the branch I worked at which had a reputation of being a low sales branch. Upon meeting him for the first time, his first words to me were "Service Agents are the biggest waste of money in this company." Hey, nice to meet you, too! I knew I had my work cut out for me but like I said before my reputation speaks for itself, so it wasn't too long after that I proved him wrong. Soon after, he began treating me more like an asset than a liability. We got along great but I knew it was too good to be true. He soon jumped ship and took a position as a branch manager at a better location with better sales numbers.
Now I'm working for my third manager in a little over two years, whom I get along with great but with one hitch: she began cutting back my hours as well as the hours of the other service agent that works at our branch at the request of Corporate ERAC. Since things have slowed down, I have gone from working an average of 33-35 hours/week, to now being put On-Call where I would be lucky if I even get 15 hours/week. As a matter of fact, this week Jan. 23- Jan. 28, I'm only getting 5, that's right, 5 hours!!!!!
I'm only making $9.24/hr now, which seems to be cutting into a certain family's multi-billion dollar business. Sorry ERAC, I didn't mean to be such a financial burden to you. How silly of me to think of myself as an asset to this company when ERAC truly sees me as a liability!
Yes, that's right, you guessed it: I am now forced to find another job while they continue to pinch pennies only to turn around and replace me with someone else when things start to pick up.
Even now when my manager calls me to come in, I can't even begin to explain the lack of motivation I have when it comes to doing my job.
ERAC has turned me into someone who used to take pride in what I do into someone who could care less!!!!
In regards to Choice Time that I earned, since my hours have cut down to almost nothing, I was forced to use my Choice Time to add hours to my week but without taking any days off! Isn't that a form of irony? Also, I didn't add anything to the Overall/Salary Ratings. Enough said.