Five Minute Friday: INFLUENCE

Five Minute Friday Influence

Five Minute Friday: INFLUENCE

When I rented a car yesterday, I accepted the keys and paperwork from the representative, then went directly to the spot he had indicated: E2.

When I was handed the fob for a keyless entry car, I thought “I can do this.” Even though my CRV is a 2005 and anything but keyless, Tenley has a keyless car. Other people in 2019 have keyless cars. I COULD DO THIS.

I was a bit surprised that it was a Cadillac, but figured he gave me what he had on the lot, even though it was an upgrade beyond what I ordered.

I pressed the button to start the ignition.



A weird note on the screen, “place keyless device in pocket.”


There I sat, for about 10 minutes, watching YouTube videos of how to start a keyless entry Cadillac. I found the glove compartment and the old-timey paper manual and looked up how to start the thing. No luck.

I finally gave up and decided I needed to walk back into the airport, where the rental car counter was, and ask. I wasn’t happy about this development, but I needed to get going.

Then the voice in my head suggested something:

“Why don’t you look at the little tag on the key and make sure you went to the right car?”


[Picture me here looking at the little tag.]

[Picture the little tag saying “Acadia,” which is NOT a Cadillac.]

[Picture me walking to spot E1, pressing the “start” button on the Acadia, and the Acadia starting right up.]

The rep didn’t intentionally send me to the wrong spot, but his confidence influenced me to go there.

It took 10 minutes for me to stop being frustrated, stop searching for a way to start a car I didn’t have a key to, and to explore the evidence right in my hands that I should think differently.

What do you need to re-think today that might shed light on a message someone told you, confidently, that wasn’t factually correct and resulted in you not getting anywhere?

Five Minute Friday Deep

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)

12 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: INFLUENCE

  1. Reminds me of a trip I took out of LAX. I arrived kind of late, and parked in one of the long-term lots…and forgot to make note of the lot and space.

    It was interesting, when I got back. The attenant let me borrow his personal car and cruise around, searching for my lost vehicle…and my pride.

  2. I was right there with you. I would have totally doubted the Cadillac upgrade, but would have taken the attendant’s word at face value. Because that is my normal mindset, there are probably several things I should rethink. I better think of what they are.

    I’m glad you eventually found the right car. I would probably be sleeping in the Cadillac right now.

    • HAAA. I did leave the Cadillac in kind of odd shape b/c I had ripped the plastic off the manual in my haste — I just left the manual splayed out on the seat. I sort of felt like that was a justified message to send ha ha!

  3. Such a great post! Honestly people make mistakes. It happens all the time, and we are so responsible for our reactions. I love that you chose to see it as a teaching moment (with grace) rather then lashing out at the attendent!

  4. The internet is a good example! We seem to deem it reliable and let it influence us without exploring the evidence or what we already know. Sorry you had to experience the frustration but it sure made a great post today!

  5. Ha! I guess things like that happen to everyone. And this one was even your fault…but made for a cute story.

    I know it’s a free write and we are supposed to just go with it…but I cannot help by correct errors (and still I miss some).

  6. I can just picture this, and it’s exactly something that I would do! We all get caught in “one track mind” mode. It can be quite hard to step back and look at something from a different angle. Thanks for the reminder!

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