Wednesday, October 1

word of mouth

my phone rang (and by rang, understand that I do mean buzzed silently in my pocket) in the middle of the first panel of the conference I attended last weekend. and even though this was an expected phone call, I could not answer it just then. I was listening to talks on digital pop music criticism and massively open online educational surveillance.

the message would probably be from the owner of the car I had parallel-parked next to the night before, on Riverside Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota. it was nearing eleven o'clock at night. it was dark. my rearview mirror was dimmed. it was a tiny little smart car. I couldn't see it at all and I backed right into the thing.

I didn't see much damage, but since my own night vision was not to be trusted at that point, I took a couple photos of the car's front bumper and left a note of confession.

the message was indeed in response to that note. my head was full of dreadful scenarios as I listened... a chirpy salesfellow named Jason from Car2Go greeted me via voicemail with so much positive spin in his voice I immediately stopped worrying that I'd been just as blind to some dreadful gash on the car as I had been to the car itself. instead of any kind of angry blame, Jason explained that the Car2Go fleet was used to encountering occasional rough treatment on the streets of the city. no worries. and then he took a few extra minutes to tell me about the business, sandwiching his pitch inbetween thanks for my honesty.

since I'm not a regular Minneapolis resident I can't take advantage of this particular car-sharing service. but it was so nice and surprising to get such a happy little message that I thought I could at least blog about it. if this particular car-sharing program happens to operate in your corner of the universe, I can tell you they seem like pretty nice folks.

I considered joining a car-sharing dealio before the semester began, during my week of carlessness. they do seem cool. I've met several folks around here who use ZipCar, and much of the philosophy behind the whole car-sharing setup is awesome. making do with less is important.

but on the other hand... part-time access to a fleet of shared, borrowable vehicles like these wouldn't have been very convenient for flying around to Minnesota and Iowa last weekend. so.

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