Quantcast
Jump to content


Detective On Duty - I think I'll stick to mechanic work...


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Detective On Duty

It’s pouring down, the tow driver is dropping off a car alongside the shop. Carrying the keys into the office completely drenched from head to toe.

“Here ya go, have fun with this one,” he said, as he headed back out into the rain.

No one ever called to tell me about this car, and the tow driver only had a last name and nothing more.
What to do now? I guess the only thing to do is to see if the tow company had a phone number
to go along with the name. I tried the phone number several times, but never got an answer. For now, I'll just let it sit outside in the rain maybe the owner will call.

Several days went by, the rain had stopped and still no phone call. I tried the number again but this time the number was no longer in service. Now I’m at a total loss as to what to do. The shop was caught up that afternoon, so I thought I’d check out this little truck and see what was going on. Maybe there's a name in the glove box.

The truck was spotless, there wasn’t anything in the glovebox except for the owner’s manual. No name, no insurance card, not even a scrap of paper anywhere in it. Well, I tried at least, I might as well open the hood and check things out.


Was I in for a surprise, no wonder the tow driver told me “Have fun with this one.” Under the hood was not a 1989 2.3 liter… more like a 95 2.3 Liter engine. Somebody dropped a new motor in and didn't realize the wiring is completely different.

No more foolin' around. Time to put my detective hat on and see how much information I can dig up about this little truck. I called the tow company that dropped it off to ask them where they picked it up and see if I could track the owner down that way. They knew exactly where it came from. It was from a salvage yard.

Ok, time for another phone call. “Oh that truck, yeah I remember that one," the fella at the salvage yard told me, "the guy who owns it dropped it off for us to put an engine in it that he bought from us. We told him we didn’t think it was going to work, even though the original engine was the same size." The guy at the salvage yard didn’t have much more information on the owner than what I already had. But, they said they would keep an eye out for the guy if he showed up.

A few more phone calls thru the DMV and I had the name of the last insurance agent who had a policy on this truck. He told me, the truck was sold at an auction. The original motor was blown after a long high speed chase by the police. The driver/owner was arrested on drug charges and the car was confiscated (as is their usual policy).

Another phone call led me to the auction house (with a lot of searching) they came up with the name of a used car lot who bought the truck. Which led to another phone call, and after talking to them I finally had a first name to put with the last name the tow driver originally provided, and of course, another phone number.

I gave the number a try. It rang and rang, I was getting worried that all this phone work I’ve done is going to end up as another dead end. Then a voice came on the phone.

“Hey, yea, ah, ... Hello?”

“Hi ya doin’ is your name Jake? Do you own a Ford Ranger that had a motor put into it over at a salvage yard?”

“Ah… yeah, Ah, wow, like dude… that’s my truck, who’s this?”

I gave him all my information and explained to him how I tracked him down. He didn’t seem too impressed, (I thought I did an OUTSTANDING job of tracking this guy down).

When “Jake” finally showed up at the shop, I told him what would have to be done to get the truck running. He was under the impression that you just hook up a couple of wires and it would take off and run like new. Not quite the case there Jake, it’s going to take a lot more work than what it took for me to find this guy.

I gave him the options on what could be done with what he had to work with. The big issue was now the cost… (Of course $$) and young Jake didn’t have a dime to spend on it. He was out of a job, and didn’t have any way of paying for repairs. Luckily, the tow bill was paid by the salvage yard (I think they just wanted it out of there)

Jake had to go home and think about it. Well, I know what “think about it” really means… it means “I can’t afford it, so I’ll have to think of some other way of taking care of it.”

Monday morning the car was still sitting in the lot. By that afternoon a guy came by snooping around the little Ranger. He said he was going to buy the truck, and asked me what was wrong with it.

Later that day Jake called and told me he was selling the truck. What could I say, “OK?” or “hey dude… I just played “Private Eye” to track you down. At least have the courtesy to ask the age old question, “Do I owe you anything?” So I can at least say; “Nay, no problem, that’s OK thanks for asking… hope you get on your feet soon.” But no, all he said was; “I think he’ll pick it up sometime this week.” Click…

Another week went by and no one showed up to look at the truck. Then, the next Monday morning when I made my way into to the shop the truck was gone. Not that I was surprised, I called Jake to see if he knew his truck was on the move again, this time I got his answering machine,

“Ah, like, ah… I ain’t here… leave a message.” BEEP

“Hey, Jake your truck is gone. I guess your buddy picked it up. Come down
sometime, and I’ll give you the keys.”

Funny. how All the effort I put into finding this guy, ALL the time I spent writing down phone
numbers, contacting people, gathering information and compiling the history on this
truck that ALL I have to show for it is this story and a set of keys.

I guess I should stick to mechanic work. Seems detective work doesn't pay as well.

That was nearly a year ago and I still have the keys. I guess Jake’s buddy doesn’t need the keys either, and I'm not about to go through all that detective work to find the new owner. I'm over all that detective on duty stuff. Maybe I'll just put an ad in the paper under the lost and found section:
“Did you find a Ford Ranger that used to belong to Jake? If you so ... I’ve got the keys.”


View full article

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah! The joys of running an auto repair shop!

 

Yep, many memories of the wacky stuff we go through running shops.

 

I could write a book on the stuff that happens at the Newark, New Jersey shops. A large portion of the customers there are independent pharmaceutical representatives, the other part undercover cops.

 

Thank you for a fun read!

Edited by HarrytheCarGeek
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what would have happened to the truck if the owner never showed up? You junk it for him?

. Probably file on it, then sell it...or have it removed as an abandoned car.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
  • Similar Topics

    • 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 episode, Hunt tackles the pressing issues facing the housing market in 2024, discussing the impact of interest rates and the real affordability of homes.
      • Interest Rates Surge: Exploring how doubled interest rates are drastically affecting monthly payments.
      • Affordability Crisis: Delving into how rising home prices are outpacing income growth, making home ownership a distant dream for many.
      • Economic Insights: Analyzing the mismatch between the growth in home prices and stagnant wage increases.
      • Future Risks: Assessing potential market corrections and their consequences on homeowners and the economy.
      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 carmcapriotto
      Thanks to our Partners, NAPA TRACS, AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching, and Today's Class In this groundbreaking episode, shop owner Brin Kline undergoes a first-of-its-kind 360-degree review by his team. The session unveils insights into leadership, stress management, communication, team dynamics, and the importance of training. Through candid discussions, Brin and his team explore opportunities for growth and improvement, highlighting the value of feedback in enhancing leadership skills and business operations. Brin Kline, Shop Owner, Assured Auto Works, Melbourne, FL Carlos Mercado, Lead Technician Matt Cusick, Technician JD Winkler, Service Advisor Jeremy Good, CSR
      Brin's Review Plan (00:02:12) Brin discusses his long-standing plan for a 360-degree review, expressing excitement and nervousness about the process. Initial Employee Feedback (00:05:17) Employees introduce themselves, discuss their roles, and provide initial feedback on Bryn's leadership and communication style. Brin's Leadership and Recognition (00:06:42) Employees share their experiences with Brin's recognition and feedback style, highlighting his quiet but supportive approach. Brin's Problem-Solving and Approachability (00:08:53) Employees discuss Brin's willingness to solve problems and his approachability in addressing their needs. Innovation and Motivation (00:11:01) Employees acknowledge Brin's encouragement of innovation and positive influence on their professional growth and motivation. Direction and Advice (00:12:27) Employees affirm Brin's clear communication about the company's direction and his availability for advice and guidance. Conflict Management (00:14:50) Employees discuss Brin's role in managing conflicts and providing support for resolving issues within the team. Celebration of Wins (00:17:16) Employees share their experiences of celebrating wins as a team, highlighting Bryn's support for acknowledging successes. The small wins (00:18:04) Brin and the team discuss the importance of celebrating small victories in the shop and recognizing the challenges in the automotive industry. Celebrating achievements (00:21:20) The team emphasizes the significance of acknowledging and celebrating achievements, even small ones, in the shop to boost morale. Trust and company culture (00:22:06) The discussion revolves around the high degree of trust within the company and the value of the company's culture. Access to training (00:23:58) Brin's commitment to providing access to training for the team, including support for attending conferences and joining training programs like Toastmasters. Stress management (00:28:26) The team discusses how Brin proactively manages stress within the company and encourages employees to take time for themselves. Opportunities for collaboration (00:34:25) The team shares experiences of collaborating with Bryn to improve customer experience, policies, and procedures, highlighting Brin's encouragement for collaboration in problem-solving and diagnostics. Brin's Reflection on Feedback (00:36:20) Brin reflects on feedback and the importance of long-term thinking and motivation for his team. Brin's Training Approach (00:37:17) Brin discusses his approach to training and empowering his team to make decisions, emphasizing the importance of open communication. Brin's Leadership Improvement (00:38:17) Employees provide feedback on areas where Bryn can improve as a leader, including stress management, setting deadlines, and communication. Brin's Reflection on Employee Feedback (00:44:55) Brin reflects on the feedback received from employees, acknowledging the areas for improvement and expressing gratitude for their input. Brin's Acknowledgment and Praise for Employees (00:49:12) Brin acknowledges and praises his employees for their work, expressing gratitude and trust in their abilities. Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at http://napatracs.com/ Thanks to our Partner, Auto-Fix Auto Shop Coaching Proven Auto Shop Coaching with Results. Over 61 Million in ROI with an Average ROI of 9x. Find Coach Chris Cotton at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching on the Web at https://autoshopcoaching.com/ Thanks to our Partner, Today's Class Optimize training with Today's Class: In just 5 minutes daily, boost knowledge retention and improve team performance. Find Today's Class on the web at https://www.todaysclass.com/ Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections            
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      The Basics of Owning An Auto Repair Shop - Advocacy Over Sales in Auto Repair
    • By carmcapriotto
      The Weekly Blitz is brought to you by our friends over at Shop Marketing Pros. If you want to take your shop to the next level, you need great marketing. Shop Marketing Pros does top-tier marketing for top-tier shops.
      Click here to learn more about Top Tier Marketing by Shop Marketing Pros and schedule a demo:https://shopmarketingpros.com/chris/
      Check out their podcast here: https://autorepairmarketing.captivate.fm/
      If you would like to join their private Facebook group go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/autorepairmarketingmastermind
      In this episode of "The Weekly Blitz," Coach Chris Cotton explores Ray Lewis's "Pissed Off for Greatness" speech, applying its principles to auto repair business growth. He dissects the speech's themes of urgency, sacrifice, and excellence, urging listeners to pinpoint their motivation and seriously pursue their objectives. Cotton stresses the necessity of focus, consistency, and self-belief for true greatness, inspiring his audience to reject mediocrity and strive for their best.
       
      Introduction (00:00:01) Coach Chris Cotton introduces the podcast, emphasizing industry expertise and business innovation.
      Chasing Greatness (00:01:07) Coach Chris Cotton discusses the importance of chasing greatness and introduces Ray Lewis's speech "Pissed Off for Greatness."
      Key Takeaways from Ray Lewis's Speech (00:02:18) Coach Chris Cotton highlights key takeaways from Ray Lewis's speech, including urgency, sacrifice, and rejecting mediocrity.
      Defining Football and Rejecting Mediocrity (00:03:27) Coach Chris Cotton shares a personal anecdote related to rejecting mediocrity and emphasizes the importance of not settling in life.
      Pissed Off for Greatness Mindset (00:05:28) Coach Chris Cotton encourages listeners to embrace the "pissed off for greatness" mindset and take their goals seriously.
      Intensity and Lasting Greatness (00:07:47) Coach Chris Cotton discusses how lasting greatness requires focus, consistency, and self-belief, beyond just anger and intensity.
      Conclusion and Call to Action (00:08:48) Coach Chris Cotton concludes the episode, urging listeners to maintain a positive mindset and stay "pissed off for greatness."
       
      Connect with Chris:
       
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      www.autoshopcoaching.com
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
      AutoFixAutoShopCoachingYoutube: https://bit.ly/3ClX0ae
       
      #autofixautoshopcoaching #autofixbeautofixing #autoshopprofits #autoshopprofit #autoshopprofitsfirst #autoshopleadership #autoshopmanagement #autorepairshopcoaching #autorepairshopconsulting #autorepairshoptraining #autorepairshop #autorepair #serviceadvisor #serviceadvisorefficiency #autorepairshopmarketing #theweeklyblitz #autofix #shopmarketingpros #autofixautoshopcoachingbook
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


  • Our Sponsors










×
×
  • Create New...