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First Day Fail

October 8, 2011

1st day

The transition to a new role is never that easy, much less when you’re changing industries all together. My first day was nothing out of the ordinary…you know how it goes. Say hello to the new team, get your credentials, find your seat, get your computer, try to keep up with what floor you’re on, and who’s who. Aside from that I had the pleasure of checking out a pretty slick new Lotus one of my coworkers just purchased. See, the culture at Autotrader.com is all about cars as you’d expect, and the building is full of motoring enthusiasts.

The Lotus Exige S is a car you’ve probably never seen, as they aren’t as common as their Elise counterpart. Either way, both cars are simply stunning, and look like something out of an auto designer’s encounter with LSD. We took a stroll to the parking deck, walking past a myriad of other drivers’ cars, and come around the corner to see this bright yellow shifter kart looking car. As I walk around the car drooling, admiring all the track friendly goodies, Meghan asks if I’d like to go for a drive. The only logical answer to a question like this is of course, “yes.”

The car drives like you’d expect a track car to drive. The gearbox is aggressive. The interior is sparse, the engine is loud, and the amenities are non-existent. Ok, it has a radio, but that’s about it. The short little drive around the residential roads was a blast, and the car was all I’d hoped… and more.

You see, I say more because not only is the car unbelievably fun, but also holds up amazingly well in a high-speed crash. Yeah, we ended up wrecking the car at a rate of speed that would have landed most people in jail if not a coffin. After losing the backend of the car in a switchback, we spun around a few times before doing a backside nose grind of sorts on the median, missing an oak tree by less than a foot.

The last hours of my first day were spent on the side of the road, with a wadded-up 2-day-old Lotus waiting for a tow truck and a Police Officer. You may be asking, “What did your boss say?” Well, I can only assume that he probably decided that I was lost in the building somewhere, and left to go home. But have no fear, he drove right past us on his way home and saw me standing over the car in the middle of the road with the Police Officer on site. That moment had more fail associated with it than any other in my life. The thought must have been something like, “Hey, there’s Ryan the new guy, with a wrecked Lotus and the police…. really?”

So that was my first day in a nutshell. Oh, let’s not forget that we were dropped back off at the office by the nice police officer… in his cruiser, for the rest of my new co-workers to see.

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4 Comments
  1. Travis Poore permalink

    They ALLWAYS leave a legacy! Have you had crepes, lately?

  2. HAHA. Thanks Travis. I haven’t had them yet, but soon. Hope all is well man.

  3. Kim Higgins permalink

    If you were a real rockstar you would have told the police to turn on the lights and sirens on the way back to the office. I am glad you are ok!!

  4. Wow Ryan. Great first impression for an old gearhead in a new gig! At least you did it right by “testing” a Lotus. If you had wadded and rolled a Prius, things would be different… All the best buddy.

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