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Picking up a stray dog

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This story was relayed to me from one of my customers just the other day.


We got on the subject of dogs, big ones, little ones, and the ones we had as a child. My customer, Mike, was standing there ... in my lobby... with this half grin, half shock look on his face.... He said, "Gonzo, let me tell you a story" This is how it went.


My brothers wife has this habit of thinking she is going to save the world and every living creature from harm no matter what it takes to accomplish this task. She was driving by an old cemetary when she noticed a large dog with no collar, full of burrs and looked like it hadn't eaten in a week. "Must be a stray honey, I'm stopping the car," she said. Now my brother who was sitting in the passenger seat has learned over the years not to say much about his wife's activities. Because eventually things always end up back as his problem. This didn't seem like such a bad thing ... it's just a dog you know.


His wife got out of the car and opened the rear door. She yelled over to the dog, "Come here boy" and the dog took off for the car, jumped in the back seat .. puts it's paws on the back of the front seat and licks his face. So far things are looking good.


They got home and took the leash off the dog and put him in the backyard. My brother and his wife walked thru the house and out the back sliding door to see where the dog had gone to. In a flash the dog whipped between the two of them and right into the house. My brother ran in after him. Just in time to find the dog in the corner with the family cat sticking out of both sides of its mouth. He ran over straddled the dog who by now was thrashing the poor cat from one wall to wall. He reached with both hands and pryed the cat out of the dogs mouth. By this time he has a sever gash on his right leg from the claws of this unkept dog and an even worse bite that nearly took of the tip of one of his fingers off.


Mad as can be, and partially bandage up he grabbed the dog and threw him back in the car. Of course by now the poor dog was wimpering and for the most part realized he had done something wrong. But my brother has already had enough. So back to the cemetary he went with the dog. When he got there he opened the car door and said "GET"... the dog jumped out and he drove off....


That is until the police officer turn on his sirens and pulled him over... "Ah, sir, is that your dog?" "no" "Well, there is an ordinance for abandaning animals in the city limits.... that will be a five hundred dollar fine." "WHAT! the dog bit me, damned near killed our cat... my wife spotted the dog here just hours ago... Look, I've got to go to the emergency room for stiches." "The dog bit you, and it's not your dog... well, we have to call the vet... you'll need checked for rabies"


At the vets office he was informed that he will either need weeks of shots and the dog will have to be put down... which will cost quite a bit. Or, you can have the dog put down, the dogs head sent off to have the brain stem checked for rabies and it will only take two or three days.


That'll be another $500.00 to add my brothers ever growing bill.... After finally getting to the emergency room, with the stiches, x-rays, medication, vet bill, state exam for rabies, the ticket no less for abandaning an animal... His wife cost him nearly 3000.00 dollars for picking up some stary dog that licked him in the face.


I think that'll be the last time that ever happens at his house again.

Edited by Gonzo
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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      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.
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