As a not-infrequent-traveler, I often rent a car. In a new city with appointments to keep and people to meet, that challenge is most conveniently met through scheduling a vehicle for my use in advance of a trip. My growing user stack of identification card, usually identified as “preferred customer” status, has a handful of these automobile rental companies represented.
From past experience my office staff has even signed me up for a standing account with a few of these companies. The competitive nature of this business is obvious. Friendliness is all over the staff at these various venues.
Smiles and low-pressure are the watchwords at the pick-up desks. Friendly conversation banter only follows when efficiency and swift service need a moment for the computers to catch-up with the necessities of registration. Then, it is off to the car.
My favorite companies are the ones that send you to a line of cars which are all prepared and ready to drive. They are grouped in categories of your rental agreement. Normally, that refers to the size of the vehicle or the specialty of the car.
The last trip I wandered among the full-sized vehicles. It was the best rental rate that was available. All of the sub-compact and compact vehicles were already rented.
It was as if the vehicle winked at me. Perhaps it was a twilight zone call in a stratosphere that only I could hear. Yet, my choice was confirmed by my smile. If possible I try not to rush the introduction. My driving position have to be customized. Wipers, mirrors and horn have to be identified.
My generation has to pause when the audio system lights up. The days of having a simple on and off switch went the way of the Goonie bird. Now, an entire panel colorfully offers complete entertainment.
Now, there is a small icon that makes me smile. It is the feature that has become an all-time favorite accessory. This simple switch adjusts the heated seat.
I turn it on. Then, as the gradual heat emits it’s comforting and soothing waves of warmth, I feel good. It calls for a moment when my eyes shut and I take in the welcome, relaxation and comfort that comes from the simple touch of a button.
I am ready for my duties. Life has found its balance. This is my favorite vehicle option of all time.
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography