Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Grandpa Mirror

I've mentioned before that I work for a rental companyHere and here too.  So one of the perks of the job (gotta have perks to get paid so little for this much stress) is a free car.  Yes, it's a rental car, but really people...it's a great perk.  I don't have to worry about gas, I don't have to worry about insurance, I don't have to worry about maintenance or repair.  But so I don't have to pay taxes on it like it was part of my salary or something, I have to trade the car out twice a week. 

I usually aim for swapping the car out on Mondays and Fridays.  None of us are as my old boss...he doesn't even bother putting the car on contract and will keep the car for two weeks.  Then he'll just leave it in his parking space for the weekend expecting someone to figure out that he doesn't want it anymore and move it. He's actually complained about the incompetence of another manager because they didn't move his car even though he said (in an empty room) that it was good to go.

Every manager up there makes fun of each other for being so particular about the car they drive.  Apparently none of us notice how hypocritical we are as each and everyone of us is super picky.  I really could list off the two or three go to cars each manager prefers.  Most of the time I grab a recently returned, therefore dirty, car and am good to go.  If it's the weekend, many of my fellow managers make the detail guy give theirs the works.  I am happy to say that I've never abused my power in this way.  But do take a clean car at least once a month. 

Here's where I complain about having a free car...I know I'm a spoiled jackass.  Here are the complaints: 

1.)  Sometimes the selection just sucks!!!!  Or worse, every car I want has some funk nasty BO or some other crazy smell that even our cleaners can't remove.  BO and Smoking are the two worst, but I have to say that Pickles are close to the top (left in a fast food bag in a closed car in 90 degree weather...eew!).

2.)  I have to install the car seat twice a week.  I'm super fast at it now, but anyone who has ever tried to leave a hospital with a newborn and has struggled with the stupid thing knows what I'm talking about.  You can't just use the car's seatbelt any more!

3.)  Unlike my fellow managers, my office when not at home has four wheels.  Therefore I have to move EVERYTHING over every time I switch cars.   So I end up leaving tons in my garage because I don't want to move things constantly.  Then I end up not being prepared when I need some random item I usually would have while at one of my stores.  This is why the sales managers pay taxes on theirs...they keep their cars for a month at a time but don't have to transfer over their marketing crap twice a week.

4.)  I have to learn a new car completely.  Seats are different!  Can I just say that the radio is a big deal given that I'm driving 50% of the time...but I'll not go beyond that statement.   I have to adjust the mirrors, and figure out the AC and find the freaking 12 volt adapters for my phone charger.  One of the worst is finding the dome light.  Yes the dome light...absolutely no consistency and when do you use this?  In the dark, so I'm fumbling around in the 4 main areas they hide these things until I nearly have a wreck and just start yelling at the kid instead of providing light for my wife to locate the thrown pacifier!  But seriously, adjusting to a new car is difficult until you're used to it.  An opportunity I rarely have.

My god, I'm just now getting to the actual reason for the blog.  It's sad when the back story to get you to the meat is twice as long as the actual post itself.  But you're still with me, and that's a good thing.  So the new Ford SUVs we've had for the last 6 months or so have had a new feature.  Do you remember those Grandpa Mirrors on cars?  No, that's not what they're actually called, but I only see them on commercial vehicles and Cars Old Men Drive. 
Well, Ford has decided that they'd improve the concept and embed it into the side mirror.  Really nothing new there, but it's where they chose to place the stupid thing!  Here is a shot of me driving.  It doesn't translate the best, but I was driving, so I couldn't bother making sure the angles were perfect or anything.  If I'd held my IPhone up to my eye, You'd see that the side mirror view is consumed by this tinier mirror. 

Basically where you normally look, the upper left corner of the left mirror and the upper right corner of the right mirror now have a secondary mirror there.  It does give you the convex super view the old man mirror provided.  I just get distracted and have to search for my regular view.  This may not seem like a big deal...a few weeks of driving a the car and I'd adjust right?  Wrong, I don't drive the same car for and entire week, let alone for weeks and months!!! So in the mean time, instead of glancing at my mirrors, I'm freaking studying them as I drive.

I guess it shouldn't really bother me...some of our cars have those back up cameras in the rear view mirror...that was trippy the first few times.  Some have the little pop up window display of your speed in the windshield.  Some have the compass direction in your mirror as well.  This though was the biggest distraction I've encountered outside of blind spots since driving.  Distractions while driving are BAD. 

As a side note...I was looking for an actual image of a grandpa driving a car with one of these.  My Google filter must be turned off because there were some very, er, unique images of grandpas in cars.  To be honest, you'd have to swap the word Grandpa with "Boy Parts" and Cars with "Purdy Mouth" to make that last sentence accurate!  Instead here is a safe for work image that I did find amongst the porn. 

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