Quantcast
Jump to content


7 Years of Bad Luck - a tongue and cheek look at mechanics and their superstitions


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

7 Years of Bad Luck

Black cats, a rabbits foot, a 4 leaf clover, the number 13, avoiding stepping on cracks, and always take the driver’s front tire off first. Ok, I’ve heard most of these superstitions, but the tire thing? What’s that all about? Well, there are some of us mechanics who have a few superstitions just like baseball players, sailors and the like. A lot of mechanics won’t admit it, or don’t think they are superstitious, but we all know you are.

Whether it’s a lucky screwdriver, a special place you always lay the air ratchet, or maybe how you organize your tool box there’s bound to be something in the way of a superstition somewhere among that pile of tools. Shy of calling out the witchdoctors to dance clockwise around a car while carrying a dead chicken and chanting some sort of low baritone incantation before every diagnostic procedure, I think it’s safe to say there are more than a few superstitions in the of auto repair biz.

 

I’m not one to think I’m even the least bit superstitious (knock on wood). I just don’t believe in that stuff, because I’m not superstitious. OK, OK, my wife says I am, and points out my flaws all the time, even if I won’t admit it. For instance, I won’t start a car after I’ve done a bunch of work on the engine, unless I’ve left at least one tool under the hood. After it’s started and checked out, then and only then will I pick up all my tools. Superstitious, you say? Maybe, or it could be because even after I’ve put everything back together something may or may not be as perfect as it should be. At least then, when I have to redo something, all the tools are still right where they need to be. But, you can bet even if I finished a job and I know everything is right, I’m still going to leave at least one tool under there … just in case.

I’ve watched techs nervously cross their fingers or keep their eyes shut while turning the key for the first time on a new motor they just rebuilt. (Usually followed by a sigh of relief and a couple of Yahoo’s! or the other, and we all know what that would be.) Or the guy who would never put a car in his service bay when the car color had the same first letter of that day of the week. (Totally weird. He eventually quit, and now works on forklifts instead. Yellow is a good color for him.) I once worked with a tech who wouldn’t start a repair unless he had a pocket screwdriver, for fear it would jinx him without it. It didn’t matter if he was just changing a battery or scanning for codes, that pocket screwdriver had to be in his pocket. As a joke, a couple of us hid all this guy’s pocket screwdrivers, and then watched him beg and plead to borrow one. Cruel, but it was still pretty funny anyway.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a full moon, a rainy day, a black cat that just walked across your service bay, or perhaps the color of the car there’s bound to be one guy or gal who has some premonition that something isn’t going to go right for them. Why, I’ve even heard of some mechanics (and shops) that won’t answer the shop phone if it rings the very second they unlock the doors. They’ll let somebody else get it or wait for them to call back. I guess they don’t want to start their day off with a complaint, or they just think it’s bad luck to do so. Nevertheless, it’s still sounds like a superstition to me. From the gardener to the baker everybody and every trade has their own superstitions.

We’ve probably all heard of the baseball players who won’t change their socks, or wear the same jersey during a play off, or football players who always have to tap the sign over the door as they go onto the field. It’s just one more of those wacky superstitions that keep showing up. Even the golfing great Jack Nicklaus had his own superstitions. He wouldn’t play unless he had three pennies in his left pocket during a round of golf. Sailors used to watch the sky, and if it was red in the morning, sailor take warning. Then there is the old “knock on wood” that to this day I still see people do. Superstitious? Sure, or perhaps a quirky habit? Who’s to say? Then again, it might just be to what degree we carry our personal superstitions in public that separates us from the completely insane or just being a little wacky. Except for breaking a mirror. That might really be 7 years of bad luck. I broke one about 5 years ago and the wife still hasn’t left me off the hook for it.

So how superstitious are you? I’ve consulted my horoscope and it says today is a good day for you to tell all. So alrighty then, all you mechanics and technicians out there or anyone else for that matter, let’s hear your superstitions. If you don’t have one then let’s hear about the guy in the next service bay. (That way we won’t know … it’s actually you.)

 


View full article

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



I was golfing last weekend, (like that ain't nothin' new) and one of the guys asked, "So, what's this weekends story about?" So, I told him. He said he wasn't superstitious at all. Then, at the next hole which was a par 3 over a huge lake he ceremoniously tosses a cheap ball into the water before he takes his shot. Said, "That way I know my shot won't land in the water." I think he's a bit superstitious, but he ain't going to admit it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      Get to know Darrin Barney, the family man, Jeep Enthusiast, multi-business owner, and friend to many. Take away some helpful tips, but a ton of inspiration from the owner of Barney Brothers Off Road and Repair and Elite Worldwide.
      Thank you to RepairPal for sponsoring The Auto Repair Marketing Podcast. Learn more about RepairPal at https://repairpal.com/shops
      How To Get In Touch
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Get the Book - shopmarketingpros.com/book
      Instagram - @shopmarketingpros 
      Questions/Ideas - [email protected] 
      Lagniappe (Books, Links, Other Podcasts, etc)
      Barney Brothers Off Road and Repair
      Elite Worldwide
      [email protected]
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      In this year's first episode, join CPA and racing enthusiast Hunt Demarest as he explores the intersection of race car enthusiasm and savvy business tactics. We're tackling the complex world of race car expenses and their tax implications:
      New Year's Goals: Discover Hunt's unique blend of personal and professional resolutions. Racing vs. Accounting: A deep dive into the cost-effectiveness and passion behind racing and its comparison to accounting. Debunking Tax Myths: Learn the truth about race car expenses and tax deductions. IRS Perspectives: Understand the fine line between hobby expenses and legitimate business costs. Audit Insights: Real-world stories from IRS audits related to race car expenditures. Expert Strategies: Practical advice for race car owners on aligning their hobby with business and tax regulations. Audit Preparedness: Tips on documentation and audit defense strategies."  
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
       
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
       
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.



  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...