TOP TEN THINGS I LEARNED FROM OUR OTHER BUSINESS 
Saturday, May 9, 2015, 11:49 AM
Posted by Administrator
Most of law revolves around human nature: greed, kindness, feelings of superiority, brilliance, stupidity, good, evil. With this in mind (and, with thanks to Dave, who invented Top Ten Lists and who will be going off the air in a few days)....here are the Top Ten Things I Learned From The Scooter-Rental Business:

10. There is at least one person...one of our renters (I met him, yesterday) who believes that it is legal to let an 11 year old boy drive a motor vehicle with a license plate on the street..even after we demanded the renter's driver license and the renter signed a contract that specifically said they weren't allowed to let anyone else drive. (At least this kid didn't wreck the scooter....a 15 year old, whose father knew it was wrong, did wreck one.)

9. A lot more people tell you they damaged your scooter AFTER you put it in your contract that you'll charge them $100 if they leave without telling about their and you find the damage, later.

8. People who don't tell you about the damage they did, (almost) always:
-Wait until you are busy with other people to bring the scoter back, and,
-Walk away quickly as they tell you "That was great! We'll definitely be back."

7. Most 18 year olds are so appreciative that you'll rent to them that they take care not to wreck. (Along the same lines....flight crew (Flight Attendants, Commercial Pilots) are the best renters...they bring the equipment back on time and in better shape than it was when you rented it out to them.)

6. You go where you look. Every incident we've had (except one where I did not see the renter, afterwards, and could not question them about what happened) was people running into the curb while they were looking at the curb (Q: "What were you looking at?" A: "The curb." Q: "Why..... did you want to hit it?") or falling while they were looking at the ground. While, outside of riding/driving, you likely won't hit whatever you are looking at, in a metaphorical sense......I believe that you do always go where you look.

5. (As it was when I sold Volkswagens in the 70s....yes, there really was a decade that began in 1970), accountants, engineers and dentists read contracts. Lawyers don't read contracts(except for a staff lawyer from the local appeals court who read our rental contract and refused to sign it and made her whole family leave...."Who would sign this?", she said. "Nobody reads it.", I replied). But (and I've asked people) everyone knows what it says: Break the scooter---pay us, if you get hurt---you can't sue us. If you want to rent the scooter, you sign the contract. Life has risks......get used to it.

(Yes, I do see the irony between 1 and 5, above. In 1, I imply the renter read the contract and rely on this fact to criticize him.....and in 5, I say almost nobody reads the contract.)


4. People from New York City(and, I am from NY, near to the city...though I am a 1983 graduate of the University of Florida, School of Law) want to be loud and argue and get a deal. Otherwise, they are fine. I find it interesting that non-Parisian French people we do business with don't like people from Paris, but, Americans are fine with New Yorkers. To pushy New Yorkers I say...in a fairly loud voice: "I'm from New York, where are we going to this?" It shuts them right up.

3. Adrenaline changes people. Motor scooter riding is a small adrenaline rush........30mph down the street, traffic racing by, leaning into the curves, the car heads your way but doesn't hit you. When you get back, it was the best time ever. It was great! You'll write a great review as soon as you get back to the hotel. Then, the adrenaline wears off......and, it was only a real-good-time....later, a good time. The review on Yelp or TripAdvisor can wait a while...'till we get back home.......when I have a chance...

2. People on vacation don't talk to a lot of locals. The hotel people are tired of tourists...they'll talk and be nice but there usually isn't much behind it but courtesy. I, on the other hand, really would like to know if there is some way to fly out of Eastern Europe and back to the US if you don't get that 6:30AM flight out of Budapest (apparently, no) or whether the Basque woman really believes she is Spanish (again....no) or whether the Irish favor England over France (another: no). (Note: My conversations with foreigners usually gets my wife mad at me. She thinks they are humoring me. I do not and I can still recall the few non-tourist-industry locals we've spent time with in our travels:
-Moto Guzzi riding German on ferry on Lake Como.
-American married to Swiss who worked at UN on ferry on Lake Geneva.
-Dutch man who either tried to pick me up outside souvenir store in Amersterdam or who genuinely believed I looked like someone he'd met in Spain.
That's it.

1. Most people...from all over the world.... are honest, nice, careful and trusting.

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