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Men do Manly things


Gonzo

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Let's talk macho stuff, tough men, do tough things. The tough and rough guy approach, you know that's why, we're men. Men, don't listen to their wives when they're driving the car. Anybody can stop for directions… not real men … why we just drive until the gas gauge reads empty and then stop… while the wife goes inside for directions, we stay outside to guard the kids, and when she gets back she very gently, (Not to burst that huge male testosterone filled ego) explains how to get everyone back on the correct highway. We, (the men) drive off again, proud, knowing the fact that we… (The men)… have conquered another of life's issues.

 

Now why is that? I guess I can't answer that one… wrong body chemistry I guess. But the same thing holds true at the repair shop. Some male patron tend to be in this same mode, they want to "talk to the mechanic" verses talking to the front desk person. Especially if that front person is female. In my case, the front desk person is my daughter. She has seen it all, and is very knowledgeable I might add. Ask her a car question, any question and she'll give you an answer.

The male customer that really bugs me is the phone callers who use the phone to boast about their knowledge or lack thereof. You can tell that's what they are doing by the way they ask the questions to whom they're talking to.

 

The phone rang one day, my daughter answered it.

 

"Good Morning, can I help you?" she told the caller.

 

"What I really want is to talk to tech," said the caller,

 

Being a chip off the old block, my daughter likes to feel she is doing her job and that there is no need to "talk to the tech" because the tech is going to only repeat exactly the same information.

 

"Sir, I'm sure I can answer any question you have."

 

"Look, little lady, get me the tech. I'm not talking to some girl over a car problem."

 

"What, you don't think I can talk cars because I'm a girl?"

 

"Just get the tech."

 

"Ok, just a minute I'll see if he's free." She answered.

 

It wasn't hard to find me; I was sitting right behind her goofing off on my laptop. She puts the guy on hold, and turns to me with those eyes… you know the ones… the "another male chauvinist on the line dad, I'm not worthy enough to answer his questions".

 

"I'll take the call kiddo," I said.

 

She hands me the phone and clicks the hold button off with a quick snap of her finger… then sits back in her chair… glaring at me.

 

"Can I help you," I said.

 

"Sure can, why I was referred to you by another shop, said you are the best," boasting and cheerful, "Got this noise from my engine, the other shop said you would know what it was."

 

"Well, I probably could figure it out," I stayed calm and answered.

 

"So when can you get a look at it,'' he answered.

 

Now it's time for the real fun. "Now, that I can't answer for you sir," let me put you back in touch with the front office. They can give you that information. Hold a sec., while I transfer you back to the front," I said with a grin.

 

"Sure no problem," the caller answered. You could tell he was quite proud of himself I might add. He had that sound of confidence like the football team has after the coach gives all of them the "big" speech before the game.

 

I put him on hold, and looked at my daughter. She was rolling those eyes again. Now, I don't know how to "write" frustration on paper… but if you can imagine the look I was getting … you would certainly understand.

 

She got back on the phone as cheerful as ever and proceeded to set up a time and date that he could get his car in the shop. A few days later, as I was pulling into the shop parking lot, here was this guy sitting in his car waiting at the front door. I waved at the guy and unlocked the front door. He followed me in to the lobby as I was putting my lunch and laptop down in my office.

 

"How ya doing this morning," I asked him.

 

"I've got my car out here," he said, "It's the one I called about that is making that noise."

 

"Great, let's fill out the invoice and get started on it," I answered back to him. My daughter hadn't made it in yet, so it was my job this morning.

 

The repair wasn't a big deal (belt tensioner bearing). The customer waited in the lobby for the job to be completed while my daughter took over in the front office for the day.

 

[/font] All said and done with, nothing was mentioned about the phone call. Perhaps, it didn't need to be mentioned, because, us men took care of business. You know, we men, we do "manly" things… cars… argh, argh, argh, why it's not important if the opposite sex doesn't understand us…because we're men, and men don't need to explain things to each other. Now that statement isn't funny at all. That's the chauvinist response answer. It doesn't set well with me, I may be a guy but I try to show respect to anyone and everyone who shows respect back. It's not a gender thing at all. I have quite a few parts counter female friends that can rattle off a part number for a given vehicle before you can fully describe the part to them. They are just that good. That "sweet" voice on the phone is no indication of knowledge. That's just a voice… put a wrench in their hand and watch out… you may have met your match. But I know a lot more jerks that think "men" are the only answer to car repair. This guy, well, it's safe to say … he made the list.

 

These stories are here before editing for publication...

Comments are welcomed.

visit my website for past stories and videos, games, photos and lots more. www.gonzostoolbox.com

 


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The other shop is a lube/oil change place down the street... they send a lot of stuff my way...

the part i cant believe, is the other shop had to send a car to you for a tensioner bearing noise...uh....??? i dont know what to say honestly...

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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