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I Don't Got a Gun

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I may have already posted this story... if i did... oops... sorry... it's still a pretty funny story none the less.. Gonzo

I don't got a gun

On a warm spring afternoon, the shop busy with jobs. It was just another day, working the hours away till it was quitting time, just like any other day. Why even the phone seemed to have a pleasant "ring" that day. My wife, Le Ann, was in the office working on the daily office paper work. Myself, I was in the shop turning wrenches and humming to the always constant radio in the background.

The shop was busy and things were going along without a hint of trouble, it was a story book day a blissful repairs. I even stopped for a moment to reflect on the wonderful day that it was… "Ah, it's a fine day, a fine day indeed." Why nothing could bother me today.

It's about then I looked outside at the street in front of the shop. Hmm, police cars… 2 of them, driving slowly. Then in the far distance I could hear more cars coming this way, sirens blazing away. I looked back just in the nick of time to see the 2 squad cars that were in front of the shop tear down the street at high speed. Then 2 more came from the opposite direction, slowing down just in front of the shop. I walked towards the garage door just as a figure flew by me. This guy was on a flat out run for the furthest point away from those cop cars. You should have seen it; those cops were on this guy like a swarm of bees. The guy ducked around the corner with the cop cars in full pursuit. He didn't stand a chance.

Where's the wife, I need to go tell her about all of this… why this is exciting… wow, I can't wait to tell her. As I reached for the door knob to the front lobby my wife was already opening the door. She was so frantic she could hardly speak.

"How could you leave me up here all by myself? Didn't you hear me banging on the wall! I could have been killed," gasping for breath as if it were her last.

"Calm down honey," I said, "It was nothing. Nothing at all, did you see that guy, and the cop cars?"

"Nothing! What do you mean NOTHING!" shouting at me, "This guy comes in all sweaty, sits down in the lobby chair, and tells me he just needs a rest. Then tells me he wants to give himself up, and wanted me to call the cops. There he is sitting there holding his shirt up and tells me "I don't got a gun" what was I suppose to do…? I called the cops and kept banging on the wall trying to get you to come up front."

"Holy cow, dear," I stood there in shock answering her, "Why didn't you come and get me?"

"Ya Big Baboon! I was on the phone! Who do you think was calling for all these cop cars," she screamed at me.

Her voice kept getting louder, and she was a total emotional wreck, but continued to tell me, "I couldn't move, I had to talk to the cops, give them a description and the address, they kept telling me to stay on the line. I wanted to run out of there. The guy was out of breath and he didn't look like he had an ounce of strength left. I tried banging on the wall thinking you would show up any minute. But, when this guy heard the sirens he took off again."

It's about then I understood the seriousness of the "gangster in the lobby", my poor wife was terrified. There was no way she was going to spend another minute up front without some way of getting our attention in the back of the shop.

That afternoon I rigged up an 8.00 dollar 12 volt door bell from the hardware store with a 2 prong turn signal flasher from a car. Now if someone comes in the flasher causes the door bell to "ding", "ding", "ding" till the door closes. If the door buzzer doesn't shut off in its usual pattern… drop the tools and run to the front... wife needs me.

This crude door bell set up has been a part of our shop since that day; I've changed the flasher two or three times since then… but not the bell, I'm guessing it's about 15 years old by now, but it still works perfectly. I also installed a louder bell with an emergency button in several locations just in case the first "ding" didn't get my attention.

I'm sure, if I hadn't installed the door dinger that afternoon, I may have been spending a lot of sleepless nights on the couch. As they say… when one door closes another one opens…this time I can hear it open......... thanks to a dingy bad guy with no gun.

Wub ya honey … and yes it's still true… it don't get no better.


Edited by Gonzo
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Had the police arrest one of my guys once while he was working but I ain't never had an experience like that! What hasn't happened to you Gonzo? Another entertaining story!



Like the Energizer Bunny... it keeps going, and going.... .... ... ... the stories never end...

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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.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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