Rental Car Mentality

How many cars have you or a friend rented? Have you ever heard, “Don’t worry, its only a rental…”

To me, this attitude is troubling.

It implies a certain disrespect for another person’s property and them. It suggests that you have the right to abuse the tool in your possession with no consequences.  It insinuates that the problem of maintenance and upkeep is a stranger’s problem and you have the right to cause them more work due to your temporary possession. (Possession is 9/10ths of the law right?)

How many tools have you borrowed from friends? How many times have you rented anything and it barely survived your temporary ownership? What about when you own the car? Ownership of the car will cause you to think about how it is being used and how well it is being looked after.

The College of Engineering does many things with the budget money we have. We make nickels scream and pennies are treated like gold. I think I still have my first dollar… Periodically I hear, “I pay $40,000 in tuition, I think we should be able to afford __________.”

This weak analogy argument is an uninteresting and misdirected expression. I understand its feeling but I think the speaker is not taking into account their personal actions and their effect on the budget.

We have facilities personnel tasked with keeping the engineering buildings clean. They only have so much time to go throughout the entire building cleaning floors, picking up trash and wiping down tables. When our students take it upon themselves to make more of a mess (during midterms and finals), the building takes on the appearance of a warzone. We then have to spend more money cleaning it up…cause-effect.

That last point is the important one. We are spending money on services that could be spent on engineering resources. This is apparently because our students feel that the Oompa Loompas of Engineering will come along behind them and clean up. (Because that is what they are paid to do… right?) Never mind the cost, cause I’m not the problem and I’m not paying for it…

The fact of the matter is that if you are not participating in keeping the Engineering Hall and Haggerty Hall clean then you are part of the problem and you are wasting money that could be spent on more important things. Rental car mentality does not belong in our halls.

Participating means telling someone to pick up after themselves.
Participating means sweeping up the crumbs off of a table from a midnight snack.
Participating means keeping where you live clean.
Participating means you are proud of Engineering Hall and Haggerty Hall and would like to take care of them…

So.

What are you going to do?

My 2 cents. – An Engineer

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