Archive for August, 2008

Sharing the tales of Flexicar

August 22, 2008

Thanks to the members that showed a little creativity and penned a tale of Flexicar. Here are some of their stories…

“Once upon a clear, crisp day, Kermit cruised along the Westgate Freeway on a journey into the far flung, unknown outskirts of Melbourne’s west.

Confusing mish-mash of entrances and exits, ever changing speed limits and unfamiliar terrain, Kermit quietly and cautiously navigated the roads, hoping to see the right signs that he was on the right path.

Suddenly, up ahead, a flash of sunlight glinting off a custard coloured car catches Kermit’s eyes. Kermit’s engine revs in excitement – could it be? Is it she?

Dorothy deftly navigates the twists and turns of the Westgate.

With newfound confidence, Kermit suavely and swiftly moves through the increasing traffic, propelled by the familiar red glow of Dorothy’s tail lights.

Would she remember him?

Kermit’s engine leaps in joy as Dorothy takes the very exit he was anxious he might miss. Like a beacon, Kermit follows Dorothy onto the Western Ring Road. As Kermit pulls up alongside Dorothy, he searches for signs that she recognises his sleek green outside.

A flash of headlights, a cheeky wink of the indicator makes Kermit’s engine flutter.

All fear of the unknown melts away as Dorothy and Kermit cruise side by side towards their destinations.

Although the journey ends with each going their own way, the memory of those moments they shared spurs Kermit on towards the unknown outskirts of Melbourne’s west.”

“A rainy stormy night in July. Four young Sudanese boys needing to get to their Theatre rehearsal. One week until the show goes on. A dash on the bike to Levi.

Heater up, CD of the month on, singing all the way to Dandenong.

Eight long-legs squashed in. Cd changed. Hip-hop beats play, free-styling begins. Rhymes, Rhythms and modern day poetry fill Levi’s internal world. Going deeper, embedding themselves into his upholstery, edging between his seams. He drives on with some new found Sudanese Energy.

Discomfort is forgotten and grooving embraced as we practice our car dance moves.

Warm Up complete”

“An AWOL work experience man/child, drizzly morning and a snot factory in full production. My morning wasn’t inspiring, my Flexibeast mocked me with its appropriately named Sneezy.. my troubles soon faded as Honda built heaters warmed my tootsies. Some zippy driving, a few snaps and 40min later, I was back at my desk, the morning depression tucked away in Sneezy’s boot. Love your work Flexicar..”

“Last year I nearly bought a car. Our faithful 20 year old Laser had been given the thumbs down by the mechanic. The radiater and exhaust system were full of holes. So I dutifully took his advice to look around for something newer – found something newer, signed the contract and then had two of the worst sleepless nights ever. I actually had nightmares about car accidents and apologising to my spouse as the new car spun out of control off a bridge!

Hmmmm – not normally been given to too much dreaming at night ever since I had kids – I thought maybe there was something in this. So the next day, which was the last day of the cooling off period, I rang the car yard and called it off.

I was going to take my chances – and try to reduce my reliance on the idea of owning a car – or at least a reliable one. So I resolved to treat my old lady Laser with the respect she deserved – ie short outings only, nothing too tiring, and make do with other means of transport for the longer trips. I put gunk in her radiator, made sure her vital fluids stay topped up and she doesn’t do freeways anymore. I then bought a bicycle for myself and scooters for the kids. And she hasn’t been back to that mechanic. But that left me in the dilemma of how to take the kids to the country?

Then my sister said ‘don’t they have car pooling in Australia, like they do in her home town San Francisco?’ That got me started on the search, and I found to my surprise I live less than 300m from a Flexicar pod. So when the mood takes us to leave town, now we have the extra fun of picking the car, and packing the overnight bags plus scooters to get to the car and then we start our journey on foot. It lends a certain sense of adventure to our trips a bit like catching a train or a plane, that doesn’t come with just getting in the car and driving off. My kids like Kermit best – but I’m a bit soft on Moe because it’s so easy to drive. But I can’t wait to try Thor.”

“7pm wed night. port melbourne

I had agreed to meet andy for dinner. A close personal friend from uni who had recently developed a neurotic attitude towards his new sexual orientation.

His choice right? must be the thing for the creative type, change your life and complain about it.

I needed to get away. anywhere. Concentrate on driving sounded good. besides, I had the new mazzy star cd in my bag. seemed like a plan

I booked a flexicar on the way to the pod

It worked. the confident feeling of driving a new japanese compact through the melbourne streets took my mind off andy neurosis

He was grumbling something about gay men never finding real love. I was listening to mazzy. something about what a good friend I was. people always say what a good person YOU are when trying to avoid what bad people they are.

We went to the veggie bar on brunswick st. My friend transformed into his social alter ego. Chatted to everyone on the shared table. The girls seemed to pick up that he was gay and enjoyed his snappy patter.

Thanks flexicar!”

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Your Member Relations Officer is talking to you…

August 20, 2008

Bonjour!

My name is Greg and I thought since a couple of months I’m working at Flexicar it was about time to introduce myself…As some of you probably know Debbie is not working here anymore and I am replacing her. I am your new Members Relations Officer and you’ll probably talk to me if you have any membership or general info inquiries – you’ll recognize me instantly: I’m the one with the funny accent…Same thing if you come by the office, you can’t miss me: I’m the one with the dreadlocks!

I won’t tell you the story of my life, but let me give you a bit of background: I’m 26 and come from Tahiti, French Polynesia, where the lagoon is green and clear, and the sun is shining everyday (no that’s not true). I did my studies in France and came to Australia on exchange with Deakin University a couple of years ago.

Yeah I can see what you’re thinking…Why Australia? Well it is fairly close to Tahiti (7 hours by plane) and I always wanted to come here and when it finally happened I loved it so much that I decided to stay. And why Flexicar? I first became a member of Flexicar and I really looooved the car sharing concept and the company; after being a member for a couple of months I applied to a Flexicar job advertisement and here I am!

Anyway if you want to talk to me, and I’m sure you do, please email membership@flexicar.com.au or give me a call on 1300 36 37 80.

Au-revoir

Flexicar Service Outage: Friday 1-Aug-08

August 8, 2008

Poor Flexicar! On Friday afternoon, 1st August, we had a service outage.

On Friday afternoon in Melbourne, there was an outage with the Optus mobile phone network. You may have noticed that your friends with Optus mobiles were uncontactable on Friday arvo. So were most of our cars.

The mobile phone network is how the cars communicate with the Flexicar server. So if the mobile network goes down then the Flexicars and the server don’t talk to eachother.

We do our best to maintain the Flexicar service at all times for our members. But what can we do when our service providers let us down?

What we did was notify all members who had upcoming bookings. Then we posted a big message on our homepage and on our phone system.
Luckily the mobile phone network was restored around 7.30pm, which meant that only a few people were inconvenienced and we could relax and start our weekend.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused to any of our valuable Flexers!
We hope that you had a great weekend.