After graduating from an institution of higher learning called Rockford College in 1974, and returning back home to St Louis to marry my college sweetheart, I was fortunate enough to have hooked on with a building supply company (Georgia Pacific) that would lay me off inside of four months.
Being young and naive, I never saw it coming, nor did I realize that being laid off was actually a blessing in disguise. The recession in the housing market, which led to my sudden unemployment created the perfect opportunity to start another random career, this time, in the car rental business, with a company called "Executive Leasing". I was hired, and stuck around for twenty-six years, while becoming one of its highest paid, and probably, most irreverent executives.
The company would change its name to Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and I would be embarking on a career that would pay me more money than I ever dreamed possible, in a business I truly loved. At the peak of my career, which happened to be my final year with Enterprise, I was raking in close to $4 million per year while overseeing one of the company's most profitable and fun-loving operations.
I retired after making it through the first year of the current millennium. By that time, the company that I loved had evolved into a humorless bureaucracy; not that there's anything wrong with that; but I clearly didn't fit in with that type of environment, so it was time to go, with no regrets; except of course, I wouldn't be making so much money.
The history of Enterprise, through my irreverent eyes, examines the remarkable transformation of a company that only leased cars for the first five years of its existence, started its rental division almost as an afterthought five years later, thus inadvertently going on to become the largest and most profitable car rental company in the world.
This book captures my perspective of the events that shaped Enterprise and profoundly affected not only countless careers, but personal lives as well. The observations I make are my honest opinion and may not be shared with others however please keep in mind that I'm usually right.
The company's success began with the simple, but not particularly "easy" goal of its founder, Jack C Taylor, to deliver the best customer service possible at all times; and remarkably has continued through the efforts of its front line employees, who so consistently; often thanklessly; take care of its customers, day in and day out. These are the people who work the hardest and typically get paid on the lower end of the spectrum. This book is dedicated to you. Hang in there. Someday, you may become a big shot.
After all, if it could happen to a guy like me, who never really took anything too seriously, it could happen to you.
FOR THE REST OF THE BOOK, VISIT THIS WEBSITE: http://www.outskirtspress.com/LarryUnderwood