Once again today, I drove my car rental into a gas station and suddenly realized that I had no idea on which side the gas tank was. I checked both side-view mirrors hoping to see the cover in one of them, but with no luck. So, I made a guess, pulled up to a gas pump station, got out of the car, and sure enough I made the wrong choice. Got back in, backed up, drove to the other side of the island. Wasted time, added annoyance.
This scenario, sadly, gets repeated with an embarrassing frequency for me. On which side of my car rental is the @#$ gas tank? I frequently think about checking which side it’s on while I’m driving down the highway, or in a meeting, or in a hotel, but I always have something else on my mind when I can actually check and inevitably fail to do so until it is too late.
I can’t believe that I am alone in my repeated “which side” dilemma. It's a consumer need and a usability issue. Car rental agencies should put stickers like the one shown on the right on their dashboard to help poor customers like me when I’m in a mad rush to fill up the tank on my way to the airport.
I’m tempted to make one myself and bring it with me whenever I travel. But then I’d have to remember to check which side the tank is on to know how to orient the sticker…