Quantcast
Jump to content
    • You can post now and register later. Already registered? sign in now to post with your account.
    • ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

        Only 75 emoji are allowed.

      ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

      ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

      ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


      Once you submit your question, a new topic will be created for you in our forums. Our moderators may move your topic to a more suitable forum category if one exists. Members will see your topic and be able to respond to your question.

    • This will not be shown to other users.
Gonzo

Article: Body Snatchers --- A story about a state trooper, a customer, and two dead bodies

Recommended Posts

Body Snatchers

Talk about creepy jobs that come into the shop, this ranks up there as one of the oddest. I have a regular customer with a company that picks up and delivers the deceased for funeral homes, private pickup from homes, and hospitals. His fleet of vehicles travels across the country picking up and delivering bodies wherever they need to go. Yes, that's what I said… bodies, and they are always busy. (Well, somebody has got to do it.) Here at the shop we gave them the nickname "Body Snatchers". Most of the vehicles from the outside look like your typical soccer mom minivans or a 4 wheel drive vehicle with the windows heavily tinted. (Gotta have 4 wheel drive vehicles for all the different weather conditions.)

 

If one of these vans pulled up alongside of you… you wouldn't know it from any other car. From the outside they look like normal, just like any other car. The difference is… there are no back seats… only a flat board with room for two gurneys, a stack of body bags, plastic gloves, absorbent towels, and lots and lots of air freshener. There are no outside markings, no name on the side, not even a commercial license plate. Completely incognito … no one would know.

 

I've been doing the work on these vans for quite a few years now, and I've seen a lot of weird stuff in regards to this morbid work they do. Actually the most fun is when they are dropping a van off and it's loaded with their "customers". They'll back another van up to the first one and transfer the "cargo" from one to the other. Watching the looks you get from people in our waiting room when all this is taking place is priceless.

 

One of my least favorite things to do is work on the A/C systems. The smell… oh the smell… it creeps into every crevasse of the duct work. Take a real warm summer afternoon with the car sitting outside waiting to get into the shop, and you get to be lucky guy who turns the blower motor on for the first time. Oh, I'm telling you… it will knock you to your knees with the stench.

 

Most of the vehicles have hundreds of thousands of miles on them. At last count the average miles I recorded on one of their vans was around 350,000 miles. There are a couple of the vans with over 500,000 showing on the odometer.

 

A few years ago they brought in one on the back of a tow truck. It was a white van that didn't have a straight piece left on it. The top was smashed in, most of the windows were broken, and several tires were flat. Definitely a roll over, so I knew I wasn't going to fix this one back up, but was more than likely going to grab some spare parts off of it for the rest of the fleet. (It was one I just put a motor in, too.)

 

After the tow truck got it back on the pavement out in the parking lot of the shop, I got a closer look at it. You could tell everything in the van had taken a tumble by the way it was strewn all over the place.

 

I talked to the driver the next day when he came by to finish cleaning out the van. He was totally unhurt, but had an interesting story to tell me about the wreck. I've got to admit, it takes a special type of person to drive around with a couple of dead bodies in the back. Especially when they have to go from one state to another to retrieve a body, it's got to be a different type of ride home for sure. So one thing you better have is a good sense of humor and not to take things so seriously that it affects your job performance. This guy knew how to handle a situation.

 

His story went like this;

 

"I was on my way back with two bodies; it was late at night when a deer darted out in front of the van. I swerved to miss it, and ended up sliding down an embankment on the side of the van; it did roll over once but came to rest on its other side. I wasn't going fast, but it was still quite a ride. I climbed out and waited for the police."

 

When the police got there he was sitting by the van making a phone call to the office.

 

The state trooper asked him, "Is there anyone else in the van with you?"

 

With a calm soothing voice of a funeral home director, the driver answered the trooper. "Yes, but they have already passed away."

 

The driver then told me, "The poor state trooper turned as white as a ghost when I told him that." (Funny guy, even in such a situation… I kind a like this fella.)

 

It took some explaining before the trooper's color returned to normal. By then another van from the company was there to help with the recovery of the "passengers" while the trooper did his best to explain the accident over his radio.

 

I can just imagine the call, "A roll over wreck, affirmative, three occupants, two passengers are dead, driver unhurt. NO, I don't need an ambulance, send a wrecker… NO, the driver is taking care of the two dead bodies. YES, that's right … three occupants in the vehicle, two were already dead… No, I don't know how they died. Yes, the driver knows they are dead; he's already got them strapped to gurneys." This poor trooper had some major explaining to do.

 

I eventually pulled the useable parts off the old van and sent the rest to the crusher for its final demise. The whole time I was tearing down the van I kept thinking about how this driver explained things to the trooper. He has the kind of a sense of humor that can take any bad looking situation and make light of the whole thing. I wish I could have been there when he explained it to the trooper the way he did. I probably couldn't have kept a straight face thru the whole thing, and I'll bet the trooper has got a new story to tell his buddies after all said and done.

 

Just what everyone ought to have, a mortician with a comedic edge. I guess you could say; even on a dead day this driver finds a way of livening things up.

 

 

Note: Like the story let me know. I never know what kind of story the editors are looking for so I try to keep a variety of different stories for them to select from. Your input can affect which stories get published in my column. (I tell them which ones has been commented on and which ones you liked) Leave a comment, let me know what you think of them. Thanx Gonzo

 

Click here to view the article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



  • Similar Topics

    • By tylerl
      Hey guys looking for a little advise for people that have been in my situation. We are a smaller shop but really starting to transition to doing more volume in the past 2 years. Been in business for 10 years now and currently have 2 full time tech's and myself. I manage most of the office and service writing stuff and even occasionally help wrench in the back when required. Looking to hire a service advisor soon to help with the work load on the counter.
       
      Currently we just use a a mix of excel spreadsheets for invoicing and customer history, as well as Google calendar. My questions is will I see a big benefit from moving to a all in one management program? Is it worth the monthly fee's for a smaller outfit like mine? 
       
      Should mention we are in the powersports arena (mostly boat repair with some other rec equipment) so some of the platforms out there are not 100% tailored to our industry with the ones that are not offering up everything you would get out of a automotive program. Thanks in advance for the help!
    • By Joe Marconi
      With so many uncertainties these days, there is one strategy that we can all do that will help to smooth out our overall sales and customer visits throughout the year.   Make sure the experience is always amazing during the entire customer visit. And perform the car delivery that gives the customer a reason to return.
      Here's the key part before any customer leaves your shop: Make sure you discuss their next service appointment and any other future recommendation.  Let them know that they will get a reminder by either post card, email or text.  BUT, there is one more thing you can do to boost your customer retention, get permission from your customer to call them a week prior to their next appointment.  Yes, give them a phone call.  Try it, and give it time to work.
      Oh....won't work, you're thinking??? Well, here's list of businesses that do it: Dentists, doctors, nail salons, hair dressers, chimney cleaners, boiler service companies and Successful Auto Repair shops. 
    • By Elite Worldwide Inc.
      Keep Your Shop's Summer Momentum Going! 
      Elite's Supercharge Your Shop, a series of 4 live online courses for shop owners, starts Sept 14th! 
      Learn to master your shop's numbers, recruit the top techs & advisors, maximize employee productivity, fill up your bays with your ideal customers and more!
      These live online courses will be taught by industry superstars Joe Marconi and Kevin Vaught, who have both experienced extraordinary success as shop owners, so everything you'll learn has been proven to generate extraordinary real world results!
       You have the option to either enroll in the whole Supercharge Your Shop course series, or pick and choose the individual courses that will help your shop the most. Here's the course schedule:
      Sept 14-15 - Mastering Your Shop's Numbers and Cost Control
      Sept 16-17 - Hiring America's Top Techs & Advisors
      Sept 21-22 - Maximizing Employee Morale, Productivity and Profits
      Sept 23-24 - Filling Up Your Service Bays with the Ideal Customers
      To enroll in the complete series of these 4 live online courses, just visit our Supercharge Your Shop Page to reserve one of our last openings!
       
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      We, automotive shop owners of America,  must take the opportunity of a lifetime and turn it into a bunch of success stories. What opportunity?  Look around you. The world is in turmoil. COVID-19, social unrest, uncertainty about the presidential election, the economy, how are we going to get out kids back to school, on and on and on.
      While the world is spiraling out of control, we have the power to make big changes to our auto repair shops.  And it can all be positive! 
      The Opportunity...
      First, the average age of a car in the U.S. is about 12 years old, attaining well over 200k on the clock. 
      Second, Uber, taxis and limo companies are suffering.  Guess why?  
      Third, the motoring public in the foreseeable future will be traveling by car, taking road trips like they have never did before.
      Fourth, the roads are packed with motor vehicles, as more and more people prefer their own car as their primary means of transportation. 
      Fifth, as the cars get older and older, more of them will be out of factory warranty.
      Sixth, independent auto repair shops have a vast amount of training, resources and replacement parts.
      Seventh,  the overwhelming majority of cars being build and sold today are still internal combustion engine powered cars. If you factor in the expected average age of car these days, we can safely bet that those gas engine cars being sold today will still be on the road in 2033 and beyond! 
      Eight, You need more?  That's not enough! 
      Get your plan in place.  Get your prices in line with making a profit. Don't give anything away anymore (I am mostly referring to checking, testing, diags of any sort!) Offer world class customer service. Be a leader of your employees.  Show the world what you are made of! 
    • By Joe Marconi
      Most of you probably already know what I am about to say:  The Service Advisor position is the most crucial position in the shop.  I know, I know, what about the mechanical work done by the techs?  Well, that's important too, of course. 
      For the most part, customers spend their hard-earned money and most of time don't really know or see what was done to their car.  Let's face it, the customer can't see the water pump or T-belt. And most of the time, the customer does not feel any difference with the car as they drive out of your parking lot. 
      What the customer does see (or experience) is how she was treated.  And that makes all the difference in the world.
      Plus, great service advisors also motivate the technicians, because great advisors are also great leaders of people. 
      Think about this...Six months from now, your customer will not remember the fuel injection relay or the mass air sensor that was replaced....but she WILL remember how she was treated. 
      And trust me, that OE-quality fuel injection relay install by a certified A-level Master tech using Snap On tools and a Launch Scanner IS NOT the reason WHY your customers return to you....She returns because of the level of service your provide.
       


  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...