Are Turo Renters Insane or Just Plain Stupid?

When I first heard about Turo, I thought, “Nobody could possibly be dumb enough to rent their car out to a stranger. Don’t these idiots know what people do with rental cars?”

I regularly rent cars for trips when I don’t want to put the miles on my own car, or when I’m on the far end of an aircraft flight. Considering the surprisingly low costs of renting cars, it frequently turns out cheaper to rent than to use my own car.

I also have little regard for the car, either. Hey, it’s a rental!

Haven’t you always wanted to smoke the tires off a car? Here’s your chance. Going to LA? This guy will rent you his Mercedes Benz SL Roadster for a mere $114/day.  This car has a base price well north of $80,000, and he’s willing to let some unknown from the internet take it for a few days for chump change? I love the renter’s benign, cheery feedback on the rental. You’d almost think they actually treated it with something other than total disdain.

How about this nitwit? $300/day lets you at his Ferrari California. Remember that scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Yeah, that happens every time.

So, if you decide to rent out your beloved BMW because you can’t afford the payments, you’ll find out that you’ve made a huge mistake. Every person, and I mean every, single person who rents it from you, is going to beat the living crap out of it. They’re going to redline that thing more times in 2 days then you would in 10 years of ownership.

Turo states that you’re covered when you rent your car. Sure, you’re covered when the damage is visible, but a 48 hour beating session may not be even remotely visible. There’s a reason why former rentals are not exactly in the recommended used car purchase list. When the odometer reads 30,000, the engine has the equivalent of 150,000 miles on it. Only a buffoon buys a former rental.

Whether or not Turo actually survives as a business remains to be seen, but while it’s still a going concern, I highly recommend getting out there and having a little fun with some sucker’s pride and joy.

Beating on a Bimmer!

Robbing the Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Cookies

It’s that time of year when Girl Scouts start their annual cookie sales to raise money to pay for all those wonderful programs that help raise healthy, confident young women.

At least that’s the goal.

Unfortunately, the Girl Scouts have been taken over by grifters at the very top who siphon off the majority of the profits from the hard work of these young women.

Varying by state, local chapters receive anywhere from .40 to .75 from each box they sell. The difference at that level is dependent upon how much is being taken by the parent organizations at the state level. Everything above that is for the national program.

As Girl Scout camps are being closed around the country due to lack of funds to maintain them, pay taxes, etc., the top rung of the Girl Scout organization is stealing more and more of the take from the girl’s work. Last year, at their headquarters in New York, $65,000 worth of renovations were completed for the executive bathroom. For one person.

That money alone could have saved a few Girl Scout camps that have been sold off for private development. These are spectacular camps that were purchased before the population exploded and waterfront prices went lunar. They will never be able to buy them back and these kids will never get to experience the cry of a loon in the night or the beautiful silence of canoeing across a calm lake.

When she arrived in 2011, Anna Maria Chavez, the CEO of Girl Scouts, was paid $98,000 for October through December, a portion of an annual salary of $393,380. She also got $71,906 in “other compensation” that which included expenses to move to New Jersey and retirement-plan contributions.

The first things that every Girl Scout learns are the promise and the law.

Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be

honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,

and to 

respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Ms. Chavez probably laughs at the absurdity of the law every time she checks her bank balance. Honest and fair? Use resources wisely? Ha, that’s for chumps.

But maybe that’s her point. “It’s a dog eat dog world, kids, and you should learn that there are evil people all around just waiting to steal everything you have earned. Like me! Ha!”

It is an absolute shame what is being done to these girls by the national leaders. Maybe even the Girl Scouts need to start a revolution. They could start a grassroots campaign to overthrow their leadership and install a more equitable form of governing. How would that be for a civics lesson for our future leaders?

One item that should be on the top of their list is getting their headquarters out of New York. Of all the institutions that should be run out of a smaller city with ties to a more rural way of life, it’s the Girl Scouts. So, once they remove the blood-sucking vampires at the top, they should shut it down and move it to Topeka. Or Missoula. Or Burlington. Most places would be immensely proud to have such a renowned institution move to town. Imagine the savings and goodwill.

If you encounter any young ladies selling cookies this year, do them a huge favor and not only buy a few boxes, but give them a check/donation for their local chapter, one that can’t be snatched by the New York crew. That’s money they can use to get out and have an adventure they’ll always remember.

The Hoax of Team Building

teambuilding

If you work in a corporate setting, you have most likely been subjected to the dreaded team outing.

Sold to employees as a way to build team cohesion, it’s really nothing more than a massive waste of time, a gross misallocation of resources, and almost always, an insult to the intelligence of the participants.

I have had the displeasure of spending at least one day a year for the last 5 years on some form of 8 hour endeavor of embarrassment as part of my job. It changes slightly every year, but they all contain similar elements of outdoor team exercises and puzzles followed by a few hours of debriefing. The debriefing element is a wonderful way to clearly delineate the morons in the office from those who are smart enough to mentally check out of the process.

The squad simpletons are very engaged in the whole process, blissfully unaware that it’s nothing more than another idiotic idea from some manager who read it in some Management for Idiots book and is merely trying to impress another idiot above.

None of the projects provide any type of true sense of accomplishment, mainly because they’re not real and have no bearing on reality. Just because 5 of you were able to walk on two planks together does not mean you’re going to function at the workplace.

Team building should be done at the office and involve an actual business problem or goal that can be solved rapidly, effectively and have an actual impact that can be translated and attributed to everyone involved. That’s how you give employees a feeling of accomplishment.

Oh yeah, a little reward never hurts either.

The industry that feeds on the team building hoax is no better than used car salesmen. Actually, I would put them far beneath car salesman, because at least I’ll get something that I can use in the form of an automobile. The team building huxsters are selling absolutely nothing of value, just like the snake oil salesman of yore.

Personally, I’d fire anyone who thought that a team building outing would be a good use of funds.