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The Night Before Christmas - mechanic style


Gonzo

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Twas the Night before Christmas
(Mechanic style)

Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the service bay,
Not an engine was stirring,
just old Santa’s sleigh.

All the air hoses were hung,
by the compressor with care,
The mechanics had the day off,
I’m the only one there.

I was just an apprentice, but wanted to show St. Nick just what I knew,
My boss was all for it, said it was OK if I turned a few screws.

With visions of being a full time mechanic, dancing in my head
I was going to give it my best shot; I’ll fix this old sled.

I gave the key a twist,and listened in dismay,
That little red hot rod needed service, in such a bad way

Then from under the hood there arose such a clatter,
That even St. Nick had to ask, “So, what’s the matter?”

I flew from the driver’s seat and raised the hood in a flash,
Nearly stumbling off my feet, from my quick little dash.

The under hood light, glimmered onto the engine below,
The fan belt had broken, and a spark plug blew out a hole.

It’s something I can handle; I learned this stuff in school,
I’ll have this fixed up in no time; it only takes a few tools,

I started it up and all eight cylinders were firing away
Just a few minor adjustments and he could be on his way

That’s when I noticed, his sled was packed full of all sorts of toys…
He hadn’t finished his deliveries, to all the girls… and boys.

He was dressed all in red, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot

Anxious he was, to finish his trip as soon as he could,
With my wrenches a flyin’, he knew that he would.

It was up to me, to get it fixed this very night,
He still had a long way to go, before it was daylight.

His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples, how merry
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
I knew it was Christmas Eve, so I couldn’t say no,

He had a broad face and a round little belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

His sled was like new, after the job was all done,
Now that it’s fixed, he could get back to his run.

He reached into his huge bag, and pulled a box out with a jerk,
Said he knew just how to thank me, for all of my hard work,

I ripped open the present, and Oh, what a sight!
Snap On wrenches and sockets! Boy was he right!

As he pulled from the parking lot, he held the throttle to the floor,
Just to show off, he passed by the shop, once more,

This guy Santa, he’s a little strange, at any rate,
He had a name for every cylinder, in his little V8.

I could hear him shout, so loud and clear,
Naming off each cylinder, as if they could hear.

"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!

I heard the tires screech, as he caught second gear,
Off to deliver those presents, some far, some near.

Then, I heard him exclaim, just before he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

    • By Joe Marconi in Joe's Blog
         4
      Typically, when productivity suffers, the shop owner or manager directs their attention to the technicians. Are they doing all they can do to maintain high billable hours? Are they as efficient as they can be?  Is there time being wasted throughout the technician’s day? 
      All these reasons factor into production problems, but before we point fingers at the technicians, let’s consider a few other factors.
      Are estimates being written properly? Are labor testing and inspections being billed out correctly? Are you charging enough for testing and inspecting, especially for highly specialized electrical, on-board computer issues, and other complex drivability work?  Is there a clear workflow process everyone follows that details every step from the write-up to vehicle delivery? Do you track comebacks, and is that affecting production?  Is the shop layout not conducive to high production? For example, is it unorganized, where shop tools, technical information, and equipment are not easily accessible to every technician?  Are you charging the correct labor rate and allowing for variables such as rust, vehicle age, and the fact that most labor guides are wrong? Also, is there effective communication between the tech and the service advisor to ensure that extra labor time is accounted for and billed to the customer? These are a few of the top reasons for low productivity problems. There are others, but the main point is to look at the entire operation. Productivity is a team effort.  Blaming the techs or other staff members does not get to the root cause in most cases.
      Maintaining adequate production levels is the responsibility of management to create the processes that will lead to high production while holding everyone accountable. 
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