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"Can Ya Get To It?"


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"Can ya get to it?"

Sometimes, I just don't understand


Ring, ring, the shop phone starts its usual routine first thing in the morning.


"Good morning, can I help you?" I ask.


"I've got a problem with my car; can ya "Get to it" today?" the caller asks.


Have you ever wondered what that really means? I'm not talking about little old Mary that calls and wants to know whether or not you can squeeze in an oil change. I'm talking about these more in depth repairs that you know will take more time than just a quick scan could accomplish. It really gets to be pretty hilarious if you stop and think about it.


Sometimes I have to ask myself: Really, "Get to it?" What if I say yes? What if I say no? What if I tell them I can "Get to it" but only if there is a full moon on Tuesday? What? What? What does it all mean?


I've heard this line so many times over the years… and I still don't know how to answer it. The way I see it is: as long as I'm not closing the shop, going on vacation, or decided today is the day I'm not doing anything… I'm pretty sure I can "Get to it."


Now if I answer, "Not a problem, I can "Get to it" today."


Nine chances out of ten they'll show up 15 minutes before I close the shop. Although if they do show up in time for me to get started on the job, they'll call back to the shop before the engine even gets cold.


"I'm checking on my car; what did you find wrong with it?"


I guess I'll never understand. Maybe I should have asked what they meant by "Get to it" while I had them on the phone. Oh, but I know, (after years of trial and error), that if I asked them to explain it to me they wouldn't have a clue what I was talking about. Although there is no doubt they'll deny that they want it finished the same day.


"Oh no, I just wanted to know, if you could "Get to it."


Sure, sure you do….


Of course, if I didn't mention a thing about it… all bets are off… because now they'll call me within the hour, and give me the same old line, "Now, you'll have it done today, right?"


Of course, some time during the follow up phone call they suddenly remembered they have some pressing issue they forgot about, and transportation is a problem so they'll have to pick the car up by 5. (No matter what the car is in the shop for.)


What's the problem? I really believe a lot of people have been jerked around by so many incompetent socket jockeys that they won't put their trust in any repair shop. So hounding the tech all day is their way of keeping tabs on their car and making sure they are not getting over charged. Not all customers are like this, but you can be sure I'll definitely be thinking about it when anyone uses that phrase, "Can ya get to it?"


I'm not even sure why you would even ask "Can ya get to it?" Do you think that I'm so busy that I couldn't "Get to it?" I've heard of shops that might have a back log of a few days to a few weeks, maybe that's it. Could it be…? I guess…? Although not all of these people are going to the shops that are so busy that they couldn't "Get to it." So what gives?


These days I'm more interested in finding out why someone would ask me the question at all. Call it my way of stirring the pot, call it my way of trying to understand the impossible question in the auto repair business, or it could be I'm just crazy enough to think I could make a joke out of it. No sense in me getting all riled-up when I finally get the car diagnosed and have already told the customer that it will be tomorrow before the parts show up. I figure I might as well let the customer in on a little secret… "Hey buddy, I can "Get to it" but I certainly can't fix everything as soon as I "Get to it."


I'm always curious to hear their answer. I should just stop worrying about it or how late I might have to stay at the shop to finish the job so the customer can go to their job the next morning.


I really don't think I'm ever going to understand the reasoning behind the meaning of the phrase "Get to it."

More than likely, I'm not suppose to understand it at all. It's just part of the business.


I guess, after all these years; maybe all I should just be concerned with is:

making the time to ----"Get to it."


I'd like to thank ASO for their efforts and support. Now they have made it easier to follow my crazy stories. As always, these stories are here before final editing and publication. You are the first to read them. This makes ASO my "pre-editing" readers, and I'm always interested in your opinions. So keep those comments coming. Your responces make it easier for me to decide which ones actual get published. Thanx ASO! !


Don't forget to visit my website: www.gonzostoolbox.com AND don't forget to read and support the magazines I write for. Thanx again.


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Hey I know a book... "HEY LOOK, I FOUND THE LOOSE NUT" available at amazon.com, gonzostoolbox.com, and many fine book stores near you.


It's a must read book for all consumers.


Ok, self plug there... LOL But, he he .. I couldn't resist. :)




Hey Gonzo, do you ever wonder if there's a book out there that the consumer reads on how to treat a mechanic? You know, a book that for some reason is never shown to us? There has to be, think about it. How else do you explain these things? How can there be so much similarity among what people say to us.


There's a book out there...I know it!

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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