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Are you asking customers to wear a face mask?

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Hello all,


We have a rather small waiting room and have removed a few chairs to aid in social distancing (we now have only 4 chairs total). I wanted to know if your shop is requiring customers to wear a mask while they are inside the waiting area?  How is your experience? Do you have a sign up on the front door stating they must wear a mask?


Stay safe and healthy!




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This might not be popular....   No masks required at our shop, nor are we wearing masks.   We see about 40% of our customers coming in with masks and very few (1 per week maybe) ask for us to wear gloves.  And many of those with masks will take them off or have them on incorrectly or take them off to talk, but wear them when not talking.   Most wait in the waiting room, but we have a handful that are waiting outside.   Give it a few more weeks and this will go away as the Texas sun pops out.  We do have hand sanitizer on the counter and keep our waiting room clean, even before this virus.   We wipe down frequently used surfaces, but, IMO, this is largely a feel-good farce.    We can't hide from a virus unless we behave like an operating room and are completely fastidious, wiping everything and changing gloves and masks after everything we touch.   (My repair business is mostly drop-off.   The waiting room is generally filled with waiters for Quick Lube Services).

I've changed my marketing to call out our clean facility.  We generally get compliments on cleanliness.   Many are changing their marketing and some are opting for a higher-level of cleanliness such as seat covers, surface wipe downs, etc.  I'm not seeing much of a call for this.  Dealers were advertising this heavy on TV, yet they laid off almost all service staff.   It didn't seem to bring the nervous folks forward.   I know some shops that are selling a $50 sanitization service.   

We do our best to respect the wishes and needs of those that grace our doors.    When people call in that sound worried, I generally recommend that they put the service off until later.   In reality, I would not want to disappoint someone that truly needs or expects a higher level of safety than we can provide.   I have noticed that those whom are more concerned will sanitize their cars themselves.  They have wipes in the car and will wipe it down to be sure that it was done correctly.   In truth, this is likely the best model for true personal safety.   We assume that everyone wants social distancing and try to respect their space.

I shake hands with those that are comfortable and this is more than you would think.  To me, it seems that there  3 types of people:  1) Live Free or Die, 2) Cautious and 3) Scared.

Personally, I won't go in a place the makes me wear a mask.   (Ask me why I still need a haircut).  Ever since the restaurants have reopened for dining in, we've started patronizing them.   No longer patronizing take-out only.   I fall squarely in the Live Free or Die camp.  Luckily, I'm under no local rules that mandate social distancing or other behavior.  

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I think the responses to your post will mainly be predicated on the location of the shop. Areas not hit as hard as others will naturally have more relaxed standards. I am in NJ and the entire state is still shut down except for essential businesses. Every business that is allowed to be open has signs posted indicating face mask required. I have to agree with bantar’s post that most customers wear the masks incorrectly and they will partially or fully remove the masks when talking. Odd how people nationwide feel the need to remove the mask during the time when it is really required. I need to constantly remind people to “mask up” so in most cases I just ask them to step outside. I removed all waiting room chairs back in March and I have no place for customers to wait. Nobody wants to wait, everyone is still scared and on heightened alert. Occasionally during quick jobs some customers take a walk over to a strip mall behind us but every store is closed and they get depressed looking at shuttered stores.

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YES. We have two shops in southeastern Pennsylvania. We were hit hard during the peak of the Covid pandemic. Although we were considered essential and allowed to remain open, our phones stopped ringing entirely. We didn't have work so we couldn't remain open. We closed for just over a month. We reopened a few weeks ago and we're seeing things bounce back slowly but surely. We struggled quite a bit during this pandemic, we worried quite a bit during this pandemic; we do not want to go back there again. We have signs on our office doors stating that masks must be worn upon entry.  We aren't fooling ourselves that masks and gloves will complete prevent us from catching or spreading the virus entirely, but we'd rather play it safe and do our part. We've implemented policy changes, removed waiting room chairs, placed complimentary masks on our counter for customers that forget to bring them, stopped allowing in-office waiting, etc. This isn't just for them, its for us as well. In addition, most of our customers are wearing masks themselves and want to see this from us - they feel safer seeing us practice safe distancing, wearing gloves and masks, etc., It instills a sense of security in our customers, & we're happy to do it!

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  • 1 month later...

That's exactly what we're doing. Sign on door for customers to know masks are required. Office staff and mechanics wear them in the office whenever a customer is present. The techs do not wear them in the shop, nor would I expect them to. Its hard enough wearing them in an office environment, the shop would be brutal. Talking on the phone is tough, its sound muffled all the time.

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I agree 100%! Masks are a pain; they're uncomfortable; they make my sunglasses fog up; and they're a real pain in the heat!
Then I stop and think - how uncomfortable would it be to be on a respirator?  

Hope this helps!
"The Car Count Fixer"

P.S.: Join me live on chat as I premiere this video - This TOTALLY NEW and NOT AVAILABLE ANYWHERE ELSE! (No, I'm not selling anything!)



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  • I wear a mask in public but so many people are doing it wrong .  If you skip any steps you may infect yourself or others. It drives me crazy to see talking heads, experts, political candidates and others  speaking to us about containing the spread while touching their mask, removing  their mask with their hands, touching their nose, mouth, face etc.  The mask may help the spread but it is a biohazard and many people are becoming infected by handling their own masks! 


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  • 3 weeks later...

Waiting room has been locked since the end of March we are on a drop off only policy. Waiters on lof , A/C check ect. must go on walkabout. Even told office staff to skip getting mileage on check in. 0% push back from customers, glad we take their health seriously. We are in SW Florida

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Joe Marconi

From the state website: :

Are there any exemptions to who should wear a face covering? Yes, Exemptions include persons:

o Who are 2 years of age and under, to avoid potential risk of suffocation.

o Who have a medical condition, whether it be mental health, disability, or other health reason that prevents them from wearing a face covering. This includes people with any medical condition for whom wearing a face covering can obstruct their breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.

o Who are experiencing homelessness. These individuals are strongly encouraged to continue to practice social distancing, to wear face coverings if possible, and to seek out community services where available.

o Who are hearing impaired, or when in communication with an individual who is hearing impaired where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

o For whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person as related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

o Who are obtaining services involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.

o Who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage services, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence.

o Who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

o Who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails are working diligently to mitigate the spread and have developed their own specific guidance for face coverings that applies to both inmates and staff.

o Who have a medical condition or disability, or who are otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance. Individuals exempted under this provision should wear a nonrestrictive alternative, such as a face shield, if possible.

Edited by benzfxr
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The Virginia Department of Labor and industry has issued a regulation requiring use of masks among staff based on a vaguely defined level of risk, basically described as the ability of employees to stay 6 feet apart during the conduct of business.  It's up to each employer to determine what level of risk applies.  That sounds great, but they have created a cadre of inspectors to perform  inspections with no advanced notice, so it's yet another opportunity for the state to levy fines arbitrarily.  The Virginia Automotive Association formally requested an exemption for tire and auto shops citing separation of employees in bays with only intermittent closer contact for consultation/assistance.  It was turned down.  We closed our waiting rooms at the beginning of the pandemic and went to a process that is contactless as possible.  The majority of our jobs are by appointment and either drop-off or we pick up and deliver.  We have a tent in front of our reception where customers can wait if they insist.  We have a standard vehicle disinfection process and we use seat and steering wheel covers in each car.  This new paradigm is working so well I think it will be our mode of operation going forward regardless of pandemic.

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  • 1 year later...

I think we know more now about this virus, and ways to deal with it. One thing is for sure, the lessons with regard to the economy and incentives not to work, will be looked out for years to come.

I too believe that it is a choice, not to be mandated.  Especially now. I am all for safety, but not to a point where common sense no longer exists.



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4 hours ago, xrac said:

The experts now say Masks don’t work unless they are properly fitted N95s. People wear cloth masked forgetting at the start that Fauci said we didn’t wear masks to protect ourselves but to protect others. The masks do not protect us.

For a while Indiana had a mandate from the governor for people to wear masks and practice social distancing. As far as I am concerned we are not the mask police and we don’t make issue whether people did or didn’t. Maybe I am wrong but that is the way I feel and I just throw that in.

Anyways we had a long time customer sitting in our customer area waiting for his car when a young lady with a very cocky you owe me attitude walked in the door without a mask on. The older customer proceeds to ask her where her mask was. She proceeded to tell him she didn’t have one and wasn’t going to wear one and that it was none of his business.

He told her the governor required it and it was the law. Then all hell broke loose. She proceeded to cuss the older guy out and to call him every name in the book. It almost got to the point of fisticuffs.

At that point my service manager intervened and told the young girl with her language and attitude he wasn’t going to work on her car that day. If we were to work on it in the future someone else in the family would need to bring it back. He also called the girl’s mother and told her that we would not work on the vehicle if the daughter brought the car back in.

The girl had the attitude that everyone should kowtow to her, she was the boss and we owed her. That she would just bulldoze her way over everyone. Now this individual wasn’t being as rude to staff as to a fellow customer but I think it is close enough to count.

Oh Boy!  There are some things that transcend business, and that human decency.   Why can't people just respect each other?  I tip my hat to your service manager. It's not about the mask at this point, it's about respect for others.  Let's get back to values, morals and ethics. Please. 

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We have signs up asking those who feel sick to not enter and respect the 6 feet apart rule. Also have masks and sanitizer available.  No specific demand for masks to be worn. Our bay doors are always open. Plenty of circulation. Rarely have more than 1 person waiting in the lobby. Everyone in our shop voluntarily got immunized so I feel good about that. 

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Now that COVID is diminishing, the states are beginning to end mask mandates.  I think that we all need to get back to normal.  If someone wants to still wear a mask, then wear it. 

But, for society to get back to feeling safe, we need to believe that we are safe.  FOR ME, fear is not good for anyone; not good for society, our mental health, and not good for business. 

Let's get back to normal.  It's good for all. 



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