Vincent Cheung

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Monday, October 31, 2005

Real life bumper cars

Funny thing about the car rental that Microsoft gives me. I didn't have to specifically sign anything regarding collision damage or insurance when I rented the car. Presumedly, since Microsoft handles so many car rentals for its interns and new employees that they have their own insurance policy or something.

Anyways, I got into a bit of a bump the other day. It was pretty dumb and it was the first time that I've ever damaged a car, and I've been driving for almost 9 years. I was working late here and when I was backing out of my spot in the parking lot, I saw that there weren't any cars around me or behind, so I looked back and reversed pretty quick, because it's fun going backwards. Next thing I know, I'm jarred back and the car had smashed into something. Hard. I thought I hit the tire on something. There was a concrete post to my left that I had neglected to see and the front side of my car had smashed right into it!

It was a pretty good dent and there were large scratch marks on the car. Fortunately the car still worked fine (didn't hit the tires or whatnot). The only thing was that since the metal side got bent pretty good, the door made a large creeking sound when I opened it.

I remembered reading on the interns mailing list about people having accidents with their cars and just exchanging them for new cars with no repercussions or costs. One girl said that she made 3 car exchanges in one 3 month internship! I recall one guy also saying to bring the car back low on gas b/c they didn't charge for it :)

So, I kept using my car until the gas was down to about a quarter before taking it in for the exchange (that was yesterday). The service guy was nice and noticed the tank but let me off saying that it was going to be serviced anyways. If it wasn't for the guy at the desk inside, I would've gotten away with it too! He made me go fill up the tank (US$40). But, in terms of the accident, all I had to do was put down my info and a description of what happened. No questions asked. He did ask whether to just charge it to the company and I nodded my head. I think they handle a lot of car accidents from Microsoft employees at that location as that's the closest Avis place to the main Microsoft campus.

So, the car I've got now is a metallic blue Chrysler PT Cruiser. I'm not a big fan. I think the PT Cruiser's a pretty damn ugly car. Seems like such an old person's car. Though the colour's not bad - it's the same as my little sister's beatle. It's not that quiet, doesn't show the name of the song on the radio, and I don't like the way it drives, but at least it's smaller than the boat I was driving before (Chevrolet Impala). Oh well, I'm only going to be using it for two weeks and I don't drive that much.

Consequence free car accidents, now that's the way to live. Wonder how much tolerance they have? Who wants to play bumper cars? Meet in the middle of the freeway at 6 ;)


Sarah said...

that's a horribly ugly car.

my condolences.

Vince said...

I might need to smash up the car so I can exchange for a different one :p

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