We got back to Boston from two days of climbing sore, tired, hungry, and happy. Immediately after returning to civilization, a few of us gave a winter climbing safety seminar to students from the Tufts Mountain Club. There was no better way to teach this topic than to show up all geared out from a weekend of climbing. After this meeting I had planned to hang out with Sarah. She just moved into a new house and has been complaining about not having any food b/c without a car it’s sometimes hard to get to a grocery store. She has some basics but nothing for a serious meal. However, after a weekend of being out in the cold I wasn’t exactly psyched about going on a grocery shopping adventure. I was more interested in a beer and a nap. However, I knew that it wouldn’t take much effort and it would make her really happy, so it would be a win-win for everyone if I brought her shopping. I offered to use Zipcar or RelayRides to take her to Trader Joes.
Both companies do car sharing by the hour only Zipcar has a fleet of new(ish) cars parked in strategic locations throughout the city while RelayRides is peer-peer car sharing, so you are renting someone else’s car by the hour (the Myers Bridges ENFJ in me makes me like this community sharing model better). To read up about how this process works, both as a car borrower and a car lender, check out their website, it’s actually a quite ingenious concept. We looked up Zipcars in the area but due to the last minute nature of our grocery shopping expedition, the only cars available were $10.75/hour and I didn’t feel great about spending $11 to go to the grocery store. Usually there are $8 cars available of you reserve them ahead of time, but today we were in a time crunch. Then I realized that I had $25 of free driving credit with RelayRides as I am a new member and hadn’t done any driving yet. For all intents and purposes, the process is exactly the same as Zipcar. You login online, put in your location and your timeframe, and search for cars that are conveniently close and in the right price range.
I found a brand new Honda Civic right down the street. I just had to hold my card to the sensor on the windshield and the car unlocked itself. We managed to make it to and from Trader Joes in less than an hour, spending only $6 of my $25 of free driving credit. So I didn’t have to spend any money and I was able to help Sarah stock her kitchen with food. While searching for cars online I found out that someone has a really nice convertible up for rent on RelayRides (they provide bomber insurance apparently). So once the weather gets a bit warmer I plan to do some cruising around with the top down. The best part about it is that the car is someone else’s! Win for me.
Sarah was grateful that I used my random act of kindness on her today. She came up with the suggestion for next month’s experiment that I should repeat this month’s experiment only do random acts of kindness for her every day. I said I’d think about it :)