By Jay Huh
Long story short, been in business about 2 years and started mobile. Current location for about a year, just opened up a second location about 3 weeks ago- HUGE step for me.
In my area, auto shop locations are REALLY REALLY RARE. There'll be months before a single shop will pop up for lease.
Well.. I was looking for auto equipment on craigslist and stumbled upon a listing of a shop moving and selling all his lifts. Found the location on loopnet- 5 bays, previous business extremely successful, great location, great price too....
1st location hit record sales this past week, 2nd new location held its own (divided by week, came out on top after expenses). I got both stores running self sufficiently. I am pretty much maxed out and I hate taking out loans but I have a line of credit available.
Am I crazy to want to do this?
Technically, a full moon is when the earth, moon, and sun are in approximate alignment, unlike the new moon when it is on the opposite side of the earth. The full moon has the entire sunlit part facing us, while the shadowed portion is entirely hidden from view. (A new moon has the entire shadowed side towards us.) When the moon is full the tides can be higher, also some say that animals can act differently, and there's talk that some people will act a little weird too. Is this weirdness caused by this alignment of the planets or is there something else to this moon phase thing? I'm no scientist or astrophysics major, I'm just a mechanic… and from what I've seen even the repair shop isn't immune to its' affects either.
It's not just the type of problems that show up, it's the way they are explained at the front counter. If ever there was a reason to second guess what someone was trying to tell me, it would certainly be during a full moon. I don't want to sound superstitious, but somebody is going to have to explain to me what else it could be if it's not due to a full moon. I know it's sometimes hard to separate the facts from fiction when I'm dealing with a problem in a car, or when I'm trying to decipher the customer's explanation. It just seems worse the closer it gets to that time of the month. The number of strange customers, bad parts, or weird unexplainable problems always goes up right about then.
Now, I don't sit around and calculate the time and date of the next full moon, but I can't help thinking about it after spending a day at the office with a bunch of wacky repairs and even odder customer complaints. Its kind a funny too; most of these odd problems seem to clear up within a few days, just about the same time the moon passes into its next phase.
Take this weird situation that arrived at the door one day. A lady I've never met before, or even talked to comes into the shop. She walks up to the counter, and says in a quiet voice while looking around as if someone was following her and says,
"I can't leave my car right now. I'm waiting for the aliens to arrive. I'll be back as soon as it's safe for me to drop the car off."
She turned and walked out the door never to be seen or heard from again. I guess the aliens got her, or it could be the aliens fixed her car. I'll never know…
Here's some of the myths the full moon has been linked to: increased homicide rate, traffic accidents, crisis calls to police or fire stations, domestic violence, births of babies, suicides, major disasters, casino payout rates, aggression by professional hockey players, violence in prisons, psychiatric admissions, agitated behavior by nursing home residents, assaults, emergency room admissions, behavioral outbursts of psychologically challenged rural adults, delusional beliefs that one has turned into an animal, sleep walking, and several other ailments.
But in all these studies no one ever mentioned the effects of this lunar phenomenon on the lonely mechanic. Maybe it's time we make it known to these psychiatrists and other professional people who study things like this that they need to add automotive repair shops as another full moon dilemma. I should have had a psychiatrist at the shop the day this guy brought his cat with him to the front office. The guy tells me the cat knew where the electrical short was in his truck. The guy was very insistent so I played along with this cat diagnostics just for the laugh. We walked out to the truck with cat in hand, he gives the cat a little nudge towards the truck and says, "Find the short kitty" The little feline sniffed and purred around the truck for several minutes then rubbed up against the tires, jumped on the hood and then into the bed of the truck. This little diagnostic wonder ended its diagnostic journey curled up next to the rear bumper.
Was the problem there? Ah, no… it was under the dash… I think the cat was just tired of walking around the truck. The owner told me I must have confused the cat's ability to locate the cause because I wasn't putting out the right "vibes" while the cat was searching for the problem. As the owner stated, "The cat has never been wrong before." Ok, sure… whatever ya say there fella. There's a chance there is a lunatic somewhere close… I know it ain't me and I don't think it's the cat.
It's not often that big ball of cheese up there gets me to thinking the entire world has just gone nuts, but on those occasions that someone comes into the shop and tells me their car is possessed, or claims some mail order device is going to save them hundreds of bucks in fuel costs. I start to wonder about this moon thing. I, for one, don't believe in any of this stuff. I'd like to believe that I'm not affected by some mystic force when the moon is full, but since it seems to give everyone an excuse to go a little crazy once a month, I guess I'll just play along with the rest of the nutty world.
There's something magical about heading out for a scenic drive late at night with that glowing orb hanging low in the sky. Get out into the open country away from the city lights and you can really appreciate the magical glow of the moon. Will it affect the car, I don't think so. Will it affect the person behind the wheel, well… maybe… just do the neighborhood a favor while you're looking at the glowing space ball… try to keep the howling down to a minimum.
Just another day at the shop, just another situation to deal with. If you've read some of my previous stories you might have noticed I reused the alien lady part again... to funny to only mention one time in one story. LOL
Hope you enjoy the stories, leave a comment if you can. Thanx again Gonzo
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So I had this crazy idea last night of using a crowd funding site such as GoFundMe to raise startup cash for an automotive repair shop.
I am hoping that our business plan will be enticing enough for many in our area to give a buck or two but I was wondering about adding in some small incentive for those who give a certain amount.
Anyone have any ideas on cheap services or give always that I could offer at certain level of pledges?
For instance maybe a hand wash and a barbeque at our grand opening if they give $10. Or a free oil change and T-shirt if they give $20.
All ideas ae welcome!