Opening the glass entry door and walking across the threshold, I’m swiftly attacked by an average sized, four legged creature with black hair, sharp white teeth and dark eyes. Startled, I nearly trip backwards into the closed door when I realize this ball of energy is a Labrador of some sort – most certainly a young pup. “What is a dog doing in the building?”, I ask myself.
I courteously pet him and wipe a bead of sweat off my brow. Today is mildly hot and the sun is beaming down. The air conditioner in the Jeep is out and has been out since last summer, but that’s another worry for another time.
“Hi, you must be Kyle?” asks a young woman with dark hair and a bright smile.
Just as I begin to reply, a youthful man with lively eyes and a buoyant smile approaches me and extends his hand in a friendly manner, almost as if we were old pals.
“Hello Kyle, I’m Ray, we talked on the phone” he said, “nice to meet you!”
Not Your Typical Office Space
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when I first met with the staff of Rent It Today (RIT), but it was understood that whatever the work environment would be like, it wouldn’t be entirely dull or mundane like other office jobs I’ve heard about. When I began my official work week, these notions were perpetuated and sealed in my mind’s eye.
The pleasant manner of the RIT “cast” is straightforward and disarms potential awkwardness by being awkward (I mean this flatteringly). Referring to the staff as a “cast” works allegorically because in many ways, RIT represents an ensemble of characters in its own show. In addition to the personalities that make up the RIT family, the house itself plays a part. Each room of the house is as unique as those who occupy them. Family is a fitting word when describing the social nature of RIT because there’s a camaraderie only found in the closest of families. Often times, the jokes and sarcastic barbs thrown back and forth between veteran employees resemble the verbal volleyball found in a fraternity house.
All Kidding Aside
As I learn more about the vision laid out by RIT founders Matt and Jason, the clearer their objective becomes. At first, I was slightly confused by what the exact function of RIT was. Did it rent the actual items? I learned early on this question is asked incessantly in the call center, where employees respond with: “We don’t house or store the actual items but we can direct you to a company that does.” It led me to think maybe this one line of dialogue could be recorded and used for callers on hold; nevertheless, the call center manages to break the ice with callers.
From what I’ve observed in one week as a content writer, there’s an indelible human element to the RIT experience. It’s an element that’s noticeably absent from much of the modern corporate world. Many of today’s Fortune 500 companies are struggling to identify with their employees’ personalities. Some work environments are stuffy and leave the staff relentlessly anxious in a sprawling office space of endless cubicles, but RIT strips down that veneer in a folksy and honest entrepreneurial fashion that only a small business could deliver.
Using the unvarnished template of Zappos.com as inspiration, Jason has managed to pull together a motley crew of personalities who let their character surface in the workplace while bringing their work ethic to the table. This freedom is critical because it allows room for polite objection, new ideas and growth – both financially and philosophically.
Bridging the Gap
Should you need a knee walker for your gymnast daughter who sprained her ankle in practice or an affordable PA system rental for your first concert at the local tavern, I encourage you to contact Rent It Today and have a friendly exchange with one of the call center operators. Just remember one thing: we don’t house nor do we store rental inventory but we can certainly connect you with those who do, and we will be happy to do so.