Pick Your Battles

I just got into a yelling match (or, really, I sat there mindblown while this little uppity 20-year-old Napoleon told me how he wants the Hybrid to look for comp) with one of the DFR captains over the color scheme of the crash attenuator.

First, let me tell you how important the crash attenuator is: It is a foam block that is supposed to absorb all of the kinetic energy of the 100-lb car at 23 ft/s, just in case one of the drivers hits something. In other words, vital.

Secondly, let me tell you where it is located: It is bolted to the front of the steel tube frame on a quarter-inch aluminum bulkhead. It fits nicely UNDER (i.e. COVERED BY) the nosecone. Ergo, no one will see it except during the design event when the judges are looking at the pedal package, control system, and wiring.

Thirdly, we have this unwritten rule that if you make a part on the car, you get to paint it and mount it, as long as it doesn't interfere and it meets all the rules/specs. I spent two days (plus one waiting for glue to dry) making this thing. By myself.

I printed out the Thayer and DFR logos in the sticker printer and stuck them on, then painted over them and peeled the stickers back off. So my attenuator is purple with white logos, because the can of purple paint was available and full. We didn't have any black or Dartmouth Green. Then I wrapped the edges in the same neon orange tape as is covering all of the high voltage (Danger!) wires.

A few of the things he said to me:
"Oh, it will NOT be that color tomorrow!"
"I don't care if YOU made it, I'M going to FIX it."
"...Do we need to put this to a vote!?"
"You really don't listen to anyone else, do you??!"
"He [Donny, other captain] only let you do it because he's a huge wimp!"
"Its disgusting! Its the first thing anyone is going to see!!"

All the while, our extremely helpful, resourceful, intelligent faculty mentor is standing next to me saying to Mr. Napoleon "Its not important, just cooperate with each other, purple is fine..." Then leaves the room because he realizes that I share his sentiments exactly, I really don't care that I'm being yelled at, and that the stupid d-bag isn't even listening to him.

If he does paint over it while I'm not looking, if you know me, you know that he is in DEEP shit, and he better keep BOTH eyes on everything he owns for the next two years.

Everybody else makes fun of it, but this is the only kid who might be bold enough, stubborn enough, and a big enough jerk to actually make that move against me. I don't care what the color of the attenuator is, but I care if you're a big enough asshole to make a big deal out of it.

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