Monday, May 25, 2009

The Appeal of the VIN

I have been enjoying my weekend so much that I just realized I have not posted for several days. The topic I have chosen today is one you won't see many bloggers attempting to write about. For most people, writing about VIN numbers is usually certain death to your post. Since I have worked with them on a regular basis I think I'm up to the challenge. For those of you who may not be familiar with this topic, a VIN is a Vehicle Identification Number. It is a car's unique 17 digit serial number.

When listening to people read VIN numbers over the phone it can be hard to differentiate between some letters, especially ones like B & D, S & F, and M & N. If you don't have a clear phone connection these often get confused with each other. In order to avoid this, it is a common practice to say M like Mom and D like Dog so it is clear. I have noticed that there are basically two different styles for reading a VIN over the phone. The two groups of people consist of the serious prepared person and the intimidated confused person.

The serious VIN reader-I love these guys. They call in a VIN number like they are a military special ops team calling in bombing coordinates. They are very serious and use the standard military lingo-Alpha Tango Niner Niner Romeo Seven Foxtrot.... By the way what is up with all the dance names? Does that mean we are supposed to use Lambada for the letter L?

The intimidated people-They stress out because they know they are not familiar with the preferred army lingo. They hesitate and really struggle to come up with a word. They will say things like A ...like Alexander the Great, U.... as in uncertainty, M... like Marsha Brady. I am not criticizing them. I know it can be stressful to think up words that start with certain letters when you are on the spot.

In closing I have decided to write a short poem about VIN numbers. Please imagine a Celine Dion song playing softly in the background while you read it.

17 Digits, no more, no less.
What a combination of numbers and letters.
Your uniqueness is captivating.
You bring clarity and order to a confused world.
You are often audibly enigmatic.
Some wish you were shorter.
I say don't change.
I like you just the way you are.

9 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I had no idea VIN numbers could be so poetic!

Now, isn't VIN number redundant, since the "N" means number?

B.E. Earl said...

Having worked in the Auto Finance business for, well, forever...I get it.

Kelly said...

Nice post Chaka. Imagining that Celine Deon music in the back ground really did it for me.

btw my son must have been inspired by your haiku contest because for mother's day he wrote me this one...

When Mother awakes
She looks so beautiful that
There's no need to comb.

I was so touched!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

One can only appreciate passion like that.

Mary said...

You have the soul of an artist - I think. Have a wonderful day, Chaka.

peewee said...

Well then. I can honestly say that you and only you can make VIN's entertaining! WAY TO DO A 101st post!! Umm...but what IS your profession exactly? Car theif? Repo-man? chop shop owner??

Chaka said...

I have worked with insurance. I am not associated with the dark side of the force who file off the vin numbers.

Jeanne said...

Cause I came over thinking this post was about wine....

Eric said...

Maybe a 'Schoolhouse Rock' version of the VIN poem is in order?