My multiple car wash accidents

This is a strange but true fact about me: I love drive thru car washes.  Other crazy fact about me: I've been in two accidents inside drive thru car washes.

I had never been in one of these car washes until after college.  The first time is a little scary.  You drive your car into this tunnel where a guy points which way to turn your wheel to place it on a track.   The track pushes your car down the tunnel.  When you get your car to the right place they either throw a foreign equivalent of the finger at you or they're telling you to put the car in neutral.  At this point, you are no longer in control.  Once you give up control you lose sight of everything while getting attacked by these things that look like Barkley from Sesame Street.


The question your wanting to know is: how does one get into a car accident in a drive thru car wash!?

This is how, the person in front of you freaks out and hits their brakes.  This has to me twice when I was in the middle of Barkley washing my windshield and I see a sudden glimmer of red in front of me.  And then wham!  I hit the car in front of me.  Both times the person just drove off when they finished their wash like it didn't happen.

You may have had a similar experience being part of a team.  Every team has a end goal and we are hoping every person is working towards that goal.  For the most part, everyone is.  However, there is something lurking in one of the team members.  It's the brake.  A team will have one person who does not like being out of control and not being able to see what's ahead will cause them to panic.  People freak.  The fear overwhelms.  They just have to be in control.  The unknown is just too much for them.  They hit the break and then people just pile up.

Are you a braker?  Does the unknown have you unraveled to the point that you think the best idea is bring yourself to a total stop instead of trusting the team process?  Every drive thru car wash has an emergency stop button and I've seen it used.  Leaders should reserve the right to hit the emergency stop button if they discover the process is causing more harm than good.

Here's a good rule of thumb: don't drive into a drive thru car wash if you can't handle the lack of control and not being able to see ahead of you.  Also rule of thumb, if you have someone on your team who likes to hit the brakes don't let them be first into the tunnel and certainly don't give them the keys to the teams' transpertation.  Does that make sense?  Experience is valuable for a reason.