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May 19, 2008

Hello,

I thought I would share this recent experience that we had with Advantage Rent-A-Car during a very unfortunate time in our family's life.  My husband recently worked for them and was terminated due to Advantage refusing to allow him time off of work to attend to a recent death in our family (a funeral, travel time, grieving time)  refusal of bereavement time (which according to federal law, is 7 business days). He was terminated from employment after 5 business days.  It was placed on his permanent employee records that he voluntarily resigned from his job, or basically, "he quit". Which is not true.  

He filed a complaint and was referred to the Director of Human Resources.  He emailed a paper trail of communications back and forth requesting an Appeal Hearing (which is part of the Employee's Rights included in Advantage Rent-A-Car's Company Policies).  After the Director of HR received his written appeal letter, he was told by Janis that she would call him back, he also has contacted her by phone numerous times requesting her to call him with no response and a month later, he has not received a callback or an appeal.

After some research over the internet, we have found out that Advantage Rent-A-Car has been in serious violation of child car seat laws in the past and numerous other incidents.  You can read the story about that at the following links:

http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/2007/dec/22/advantage-rent-cars-frightening-car-seats/

http://consumerist.com/354104/mothers-blog-spawns-investigation-into-unsafe-car-seats

Dear Janis,

I have spent the past 15 years of my life in the sales and customer service industry. Of that time, the past 7 years of my experience have been, in the automobile industry.  During this time,  I have been surrounded by less than honorable people.

As I sit here writing this to you, I am contemplating my life and the experience that I have just had with Advantage Rent-A-Car.  What attracted me to the Corporation was Dennis E. Hecker's Vision of building a company dream during a recession and his positive way of looking at things during difficult times.  To quote him,"Good People Helping Good People".  He goes forward no matter what adversity he faces.  He helps people in all walks of life through his charitable projects in order to create a better world for everyone.  I have always believed that "success breeds success" and that is another reason why I was attracted to this organization.  Then to my dismay, (on April 1-4, 2008) after I had been working for Advantage Rent-A-Car, I found harsh discourse between different levels of management and a complete lack of communication.  I observed that it was due to certain dishonorable individuals that this blocking or lack of communication was taking place.  I was disappointed that this was taking place because I knew from experience that lack of communication causes destruction within a company infrastructure.  I was also saddened that levels of management were in severe discourse with one another. 

 

It is my belief, that there is no I in Team.  I am disgusted that certain employees who are in positions of power are causing destruction to the Dream of a Great man without his knowledge.   I am also very upset that these people are also exhibiting some of the most unprofessional behavior that I have witnessed in a very long time. 

For instance, my first day on the job (April 1, 2008), I was in orientation with Ashley Read, who is my direct manager and she had her shoes off sitting in a lotus position in front of me answering her cell phone talking on the phone with her boyfriend, interrupting the orientation every 10-15 minutes.  This was extremely unprofessional behavior and detrimental to my ability to focus and concentrate on the material that I was attempting to process and complete for company training.  Also, 4 days after I was working with Advantage Rent-A-Car(April 4, 2008), Ashley Read and my co-worker Will McDonald started making condescending comments about the Regional Manager, Marcie Salter, behind her back, of which I will not even attempt to repeat.  Also, Ashley Read and Will McDonald were making condescending remarks about the customers while on the clock in the building.  Not only did this cause me to distrust them, but it also lowered my moral and trust in Advantage Rent-A-Car's company procedures and policies.

 

 I asked myself, why would Advantage hire dishonorable people like this??  I did not understand how Advantage could tolerate this type of behavior that could be extremely detrimental to the company’s positive image.  I thought, what if a customer were to walk back in for some reason, after they had left and overhear the comments that Ashley and Will were making about them??  and What if that customer happened to be someone high up and influential who just happened to be friends with influential people from a competitive company, wouldn’t this destroy Advantage Rent-A-Car’s professional image and Good Reputation??  I asked myself, Isn’t this important??  I believe that it is important to Dennis E. Hecker, but he does not know that this is taking place in his company by his employees.  This saddened me even more.

 

Surely this would not continue, but it did.  I did not complain or join in with this behavior.  Then a couple of weeks later an event occurred which shook my entire family.  “Family”, yes, that is the word.  That is why I respect Dennis E. Hecker.  He is a good family man who has devoted his life to the betterment of his community and the betterment of this world, by accomplishing many things that not many have strived for.  This is what I strive for, a chance to achieve great things in service of others to make the world a better place. 

 

Now, the event that I had meantioned earlier was a Death in my family (April 9, 2008).  The death of a person, who was considered a pillar and encouragement to the community, someone who was loved by many for her selfless service to others and the betterment of everyone.  During this time, I should have received uncontested bereavement leave of at least 3 days off from my manager April 10,11 & 14, 2008), Ashley Read.  Instead, I had to listen to my manager threaten me with the loss of my job, complain and harass me to the point that I felt I had to go back into work (on April 11, 2008).  This stressed my family out with so much mental anguish that we all ended up depressed and physically sick with a retro-virus and bed-ridden (from April 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15, 2008).  My baby girl, my wife and myself ended up having to go to the emergency room at the hospital (Exempla Lutheran Medical Center located in Wheatridge, Colorado-on April 16, 2008) and be placed on IV’s on medication in order to recover.  I have all of the paperwork from the doctors/hospital and the obituary to prove what I am saying.  Yet, to my dismay, I was treated like a liar during a very sensitive situation, while we were attempting to make funeral plans. 

 

 This was not what I expected.   I expected a manager over employees (Ashley Read) to understand and to be trained regarding granting automatic bereavement for 3 days.  I expected her to know what to do in order to pull someone else from another location to cover my absence.  I did not expect her to behave in the manner that she did.  I was not in the frame of mind to handle the stress that she was placing on me.  I was still in shock and so was my entire family.  I knew that I needed to speak with Ashley Read’s Manager and to discuss the situation with someone more experienced and level-headed.  I requested to speak with Marcie Salter twice (on April 15, 16, 2008) and each time I was given a brush-off attitude, cold shoulder and a run-around.  Ashley told me that she did not have the phone number with her and would call me back with it.  She never called me back the first or second time that I requested it.  All I got from Ashley Read when I called her back, was, that she had spoken to Marcie Salter and that she had instructed me to call Human Resources in San Antonio, Texas. 

 

I did not understand why Ashley was deliberately trying to prevent me from speaking with Marcie Salter?!  Marcie Salter was the person who had hired me.  I did not believe that I could communicate with Ashley anymore regarding the situation and I knew that it was the best decision for me to follow the chain of command and go above her head to resolve the issue (April 17, 2008).   I just wanted to get through this horrible experience and help my family.  My family needed me.  It wasn’t like I had planned for a death in my family!  I did not want to miss work, I needed the money!  Due to the harassment, the situation only became worse.  This only caused my wife and I to become extremely frustrated.  This is why my wife and I eventually said some things that we shouldn’t have said, in anger to Marcie Salter on April 17, 2008.  We both are very saddened and distraught that something this simple had to come to harsh words.  (My wife spoke to Marcie and started asking questions in anger regarding company policy at Advantage Rent-A-Car).  We regret any comments that may have been made in anger due to the continuing unprofessional behavior of Ashley Read.   We both issue a deep apology to Marcie Salter regarding this misunderstanding.

 

I realize now, that Marcie did not know what had taken place regarding Ashley Read and that communication of the issue between Marcie and I was deliberately blocked.  I now believe that Ashley Read was communicating a completely different scenario to her Boss, than what it truly was.  I also believe that Ashley Read realized at a certain point that she had miscommunicated the information regarding my situation to Marcie Salter and that she did not wish for me to reveal this to her.  I believe that she was blocking me from speaking to Marcie in order to cover up her mistake.

 

I find it extremely disturbing that an employee (Ashley Read) would be allowed to behave in such an unprofessional and immature way in a position of authority over others.  I find it disgusting that an employee of a company, that has a reputation of such High Integrity as Advantage Rent-A-Car, would allow a manager to damage another employee’s work record in such a volatile way, as Ashley Read has now damaged mine.   I also have a very difficult time finding any positive words to say to others regarding Advantage now.   I have not only had a death in the family, but now I have lost my income for my family. 

 

It is my highest hope that this situation will be resolved in a professional and civilized manner and that my job will be restored to me, as it should be, due to the fact that I did not do anything wrong.  Unless, a death in the family and a misunderstanding is cause for termination of an employee at Advantage Rent-A-Car.  I am refusing to back down on this issue because I know that I am telling you the Truth.  I have proof of what I say and I am more than willing to present it to whoever needs to see it.  I realize that Colorado is an At Will Employment State, but this is ridiculous.  I believe that none of this would have happened, if Ashley Read would have acted in a professional manner, had not harassed me and automatically allowed me to have the bereavement time off for 3 days. 

 

What kind of a company allows a manager to behave this way?  What kind of a company allows a manager to deliberately deceive their manager above them and even Human Resources, by telling them that an employee has voluntarily quit their job when they DID NOT QUIT, destroying their work record and income?  What kind of a company allows a manager to deceive others in order to cover up their own mistakes? 

 

I do not believe that it is Advantage Rent-A-Car owned by Dennis E Hecker.  Dennis E. Hecker is not this type of person and I do not believe that he would approve of this behavior by his employees under him.  I believe that he is an honorable man and that he truly understands what the word, “Family”, means.  When you make your decision today, I would hope that you would keep in mind who it is that you actually work for and that you and everyone there at Advantage represent Dennis E. Hecker’s highest dreams and ideals. 

His Highest Dreams and Ideals that he worked his entire life to accomplish, not to be destroyed by those who are misguided, misinformed, dishonorable, or those who are only out to fulfill their own selfish desires, without a single thought to who they have to walk on to get to the top of their field.  Thank You for your patience and an ear to hear what an honest employee has to say.

Sincerely,

Jason

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday May 19, 2008, 3:07 pm
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