The next time your driving down the street take a moment to glance at the drivers around you and notice how they drive and what they are doing. Look at what they are driving and what it says about them. In my business I have to deal everyday with all types of drivers. The following is a sample of the categories they seem to fall into. See if you fit any of the following driver profiles.
This is the guy (or lady) that seems to know only one speed-Warp Factor 5 and seem to take advantage of every new technological gadget known to man. They drive like they are trying to set the land speed record and only hit the brakes when absolutly necessary. If their car had phasers and deflector shields they would simply blast or bump other cars out of the way. Can usually be seen talking on a cell phone while making notes in a PDA. Tend to drive upscale SUV’s and imports. Some of my least favorite customers because they abuse their cars, never do maintenance yet want it fixed immediately at little cost. They pay no attention to noises or warning lights until it’s too late. Always in a hurry and it’s impossible to talk with them abiut their car because of the cell phone that is permanently fused to their ear.
These people also drive at breakneck speed, but unlike Picard’s they like to weave in and out of traffic. They also enjoy riding right on the rear bumper of the car ahead (known as drafting, for those of you unfamiliar to NASCAR racing). They usually drive pickup trucks or midsize two door domestic coupes. You may see a sticker or two on the rear with the name or car number of their favorite race driver. Personally, I have #3 on my car, and my wife accuses me of drafting, but I know I don’t.
Grapes of Wrath
Okay, this is more of a economic class than driving type, but we still have to deal with them on the road anyway. These are the cars that should have been retired long ago. You can usually pick them out from the baling wire and duct tape used to hold various pieces on the body. There is also usally one or more wheels that wobble so bad that you just know it’s going to fall off any minute. These people tend to pile so much junk in their cars that they can’t see out the rear window. I have actually refused to work on cars in this condition before because I was of what might be lurking in all that mess or what disease I could contract. Always complain about the cost of repairs, but usually have money. Favorite excuses for not maintaining car properly: “I’m getting ready to trade it in.” and “Just fix it good enough to get by.” They get mad when it breaks down again two years later eventhough they haven’t taken time to have it inspected or properly repaired since the last time they were in.
Ma and Pa Kettle
We all know them, they may be our own parents or grandparents. They drive older, large, rear wheel drive sedans that look brand new and probably have less than 500 miles per year on them. They drive in the fast lane at least 20 miles per hour under the speed limit oblivious to those around them. They are usually paranoid about the least little pop or squeak out of their car. If their car has white wall tires the white walls are at least a half inch bigger then when they were new because they scrape the curb everytime they park. These are some of my favorite customers because they know that it costs money to maintain a vehicle, they take care of their cars and they know that quality work takes time.
Princess or Prince
They drive cutesy little cars and SUV’s. Usually drive at a reasonable speed, but swerve from lane to lane as they try to change the CD in the stereo, drink a tall skinny latte, and talk to their friend. They don’t do maintenance because “like, I don’t have time, ya know,” or “like, my Dad never told me about that.” My favorite story about one of these was a 20-someting year old guy who had his car towed 30 miles to my shop because he had a flat tire. When I asked why he hadn’t put the spare on, he said “Spare what?” He had to call his mom in Michigan to give me a credit card number to pay for repairs. He would also file into the category “Waste Of Space.”
Yuppie Man or Woman
Drives a SUV so big it has it’s own zip code. Doesn’t need it, but damn, it sure looks good in the driveway. Never hauls anything in the back bigger than the mother-in-law. Always complains that it “just doesn’t ride smooth.” Well, duh. It’s not a luxury sedan. Complains about the cost of parts and labor. Can tell you exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it, but can’t tell a wrench from a ratchet. And everytime it breaks down it’s someone else’s fault. Thinks that Consumer Reports is the infallible word of the Almighty. SUBGROUP-YUPPIE SINGLE GUY: Drives an exotic sports car to make up for lack of manliness.