Day 221: Bye, West Coast

Our last morning in L.A. started off with one of the best brunches I’ve ever had at the ridiculously popular Urth Caffé on Beverly Drive.

I only wish I could stay here longer just so I could try the mouthwatering pastries and other amazing items on its menu. Having waited nearly half an hour for our order, I noticed something just incredible about this place. It really is a well-oiled machine, with employees not missing a beat in such a crowded café. One employee even stopped in the middle of his hectic rush to tell us that they were packaging our order, only adding to my already extremely favorable impression of Urth.

The rest of the day was spent traveling back home (discovered more Snapchat location-based filters but will spare you the selfies), with a perfectly timed layover in Chicago. We boarded as soon as we arrived at the gate.

Oh, but I can’t forget about this: as soon as we got the receipt for our rental car at LAX, my mom noticed that were were charged an extra $100. Outraged, my mom spoke with a Dollar employee named Alex.

For the first five minutes, it seemed that this Alex would not budge on his argument that because we returned it an hour past the deadline, we had to be charged all these extra fees, in addition to the $15 late fee. He kept giving us wild guesses as excuses (“This is part of your insurance charge”—we waived insurance and used our own—”This is…um…”—yeah, what is that random charge?).

Anyway, if it were me, I would have given up. Plus, this guy seemed to be even more of a complete douche, when he made remarks to my mom, such as, “See? I should talk to her (referring to me) because we seem to be on the same page,” and “I feel like I need to talk to her (again, me) because you don’t understand me.”

Then, seeing that my mom would not accept his bullsh*t, Alex said he would try to see if there were any “notes” about our rental, and if there were, then he “might” be able to do something. “Only if there are notes,” he emphasized, when my mom seemed even slightly grateful.

By some stroke of luck, there were. According to Alex, the notes said that my mom had a “hard time understanding” when she was on the phone with another Dollar employee to extend our rental for a day. Suddenly, Douche Alex turned into Semi-Douche Alex (SDA).

“Alright,” SDA told us. “Since you had a hard time understanding that you have to pay extra if you don’t return the car on time, I’ll waive the fees for you.”

But then he only took off $30. My mom rightly pushed further, and in the end, we just had to pay the extra $15 late fee, which is all we wanted in the first place. Yes, we understand we were late (by an hour, no more). But to have to pay an extra day? Ridiculous.

The part that made us all laugh about this was that SDA pointed out that he could tell I was the older of my sister and I—something about because the younger one always needs to get what she wants. He proceeded to mimic the angry expression and attitude that Eva apparently gave when we questioned why we had to pay a full $100 more for being late.

That did it. My mom cracked up.

“What’s your name? Alex? I [will] remember you,” she told SDA.

After about 15 minutes of this nonsense out in the sun (while SDA was comfortably shaded in the stand), with a surprisingly patient line of people behind us (seriously, I tried so hard to gauge whether the people waiting were even slightly pissed off—BUT THEY WEREN’T. Even in the sun! They just looked confused and in need of help finding their car, if anything. #wtf #thankful), we boarded the shuttle to the airport.

Now that I think about it, while we walked through the main Dollar building to the shuttle on the other side, there was a huge line at the counter. Maybe people just expected to wait for everything and compared to that line, these 15 minutes of bickering were nothing.

What a day.

LAX Snapchat filter
Hey, LAX Snapchat filter.
View of fluffy clouds from Southwest airplane
Cumulus clouds? Whatever, I call them fluffy clouds.