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Welcome To My World - - - - Some days just don't start all that well.


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Welcome To My World


In my world I run across a lot of people and their cars. For the most part, I really love the people and my job. But, occasionally I have one of those days that just doesn't seem like it's going to be a good one at all. Some days just don't start out that great. You know those mornings when you get up,and the first thing you do is wander through a dark house and jam your big toe into the ottoman, while trying to dodge the cat sleeping on the floor. Maybe it started out terrible with that aggressive driver who just had to pass you with only inches between the door handles, only to swerve directly in front of you… just to gain one extra car length, and by now you've spilled most of your coffee. Grrr… Definitely, not a good start for the day.




But be that as it may, I pull up in front of the shop, park the truck and start my day. I'm always hopeful the trend of my early encounters doesn't carry all the way to closing time. Ya just never know. But, the signs... those telltale signs... it doesn't look promising. Anyway, you square your shoulders, take a deep breath, ….and away we go.




Every day at the shop is another lesson in life you just have to experience, regardless how your day starts. You can learn a lot about people from standing behind the service counter. It might leave you shaking your head one day, and the next you're looking for something stronger than those aspirins you have in the middle drawer of your desk. Some mornings have started out badly, and only got worse as the day progressed. These sort of starts to my day make the rest of my working hours a challenge to keep my sanity. I thought I would tell you about a few of them.




Unlock the front door, sit my stuff down, and the day has begun


Ring, ring, ring, ring….


Caller: "Is my car ready yet?"


Me: "Which car is it?"


Caller: "The one I dropped off."


Me: "Well, I just got here myself. I haven't even looked at a single car yet."


Caller: "I know you had plenty of time already. I dropped it off after you closed last night."


Me: "Sir, just like you, I went home to my family after work. I don't stay here all night, nor do I come back after regular business hours to work on cars."


Caller: "So you're saying that dropping it off last night didn't give you enough time to get it done?"


Me: "That's correct. I haven't even brought it into the service bay yet."


Caller: "Well, alright then. I'll bring the keys to you about lunch time."


No keys, in a hurry, and I haven't even turned the lights on yet. It just keeps getting better... or worse, nice start for the day.




Take this guy who showed up early one day.


Customer: "I need my brakes checked. Can you do that today?"


Me: "Sure. I'll fill out a repair order, where did ya parked at?"


Customer: "Oh, I walked here."


Me: "Ah, that's going to be a little difficult to check your brakes if you don't have the car with you."


Customer: "How's that? All I need you to do is tell me if I need brakes or not."


Me: "When you bring me the car I can check them for you."


Customer: "You're not much of a mechanic if you don't know whether I need brakes, or not."


Me: "I physically need see the car, so I can tell the condition of the brakes."


Customer: "Just never mind then. Do you know another shop that could tell me if I need brakes or not?"


I think I'll stop right here. I'm no expert on things like this, but I believe there's a lot more wrong with this character than his brakes.


But,life goes on. Can it get any crazier? Yes, yes it can. This next situation has happened more than a few times. Seems like a routine occurrence anymore. Routine for me, but the customer doesn't see it that way.




Another early phone call:


Customer: "I'm having my car towed in. It doesn't start."


Me: "I'll get a look at it as soon as it arrives."


A few hours later the car shows up. The tow driver disconnects it and hands me the keys. It starts right up. Looking under the hood, and doing a few basic tests showed no reasons why it wouldn't start.


I called the customer.


Me: "The car started right off of the tow truck, sir."


Customer: "I'll be up later to pick it up."


Me: "No problem, I'll let it run for a while, and take it around the block a few times to make sure. In the meantime the only charges you have so far is the tow."


Customer: "It started, so I don't need to pay for the tow."


Me: "You still have to pay for the tow, sir."


Customer: "I'm not paying for it."


Me: "I guess I'll just keep the car then."


The customer makes their way to the shop, angrily pays for the tow, and drives off never to be seen or heard from again. I guess the best part was the car actually started, so I didn't have another confrontation in the parking lot. Yep, it just keeps getting better.


Then there's this one... right at opening time … Monday morning...

Caller: "I want to complain about my car I had at your shop late Friday night!"


Me: "And how's that?"


Caller: "You couldn't get the part for my car!"


Me: "Yes, that's right, the part was only available through the dealer, and they were already closed."


Caller: "I had to take my car to the dealership and they promptly had it fixed!" (It's only Monday morning, how did they get to it so fast?)


Me: "Ma'am, that's where we had to go to get the part. It was late Friday night and the dealership was already closed. I'm sorry we weren't able to help you. Sounds like your problem is solved, so what is it you would like for me to do, ma'am?"


Caller: "I don't want your stupid apology! I can't believe you are refusing to help me!"


Me: "I'm not refusing, Ma'am.I just don't know what it is you want."


Caller: "Don't give me that! You're no help at all!" *hangs up*


Well, here I go again. It's only Monday morning...I'm going to need a lot more coffee. OK who's next? Bring it on! I'm ready for ya!


Working at a repair shop has its good days, and bad. If you don't think your day is hectic enough, or down right crazy at times, just head down to the shop and sit behind the counter for a spell. You'll see, after a few of these wacky mornings you'll know exactly what I mean.


Then, I can officially say to you ... Welcome to my world. wink.gif

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Hey, Gonzo, did you record my conversations with MY CUSTOMERS??? Because I have had those exact same people calling my shop!


This is amazing, is there species of people out there that are somehow programed to invade repair shops? Maybe is a plot, or some sort of test? Anyway, happy to see we are all in the same boat. You just gotta laugh, right?


laugh.... always... but it's not that easy to remember it's funny at the time. I think these type of customers are like traveling gypsy's. Ya never know where they'll turn up next.

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We had a truck towed in late Friday. Left rear wheel had fallen off. Has custom wells with wrong lug nuts all the way around. Missing about 6 lug nuts on other wheels. Lug nust finger tight. Left rear rotor ground to 1/4" thickness with caliper locked up. Don't want to fix it. Crazy as a loon.


They're everywhere... I tell ya, there gypsy's ! ! ! tongue.gif

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      A recent study, done by Harvard Business School, concluded that the real problem with attracting and retaining employees has more to do with the workplace environment, not pay or benefits. While the study did find that an adequate pay plan and offering an attractive benefits package did help with recruiting and retention, it’s not enough to satisfy the needs of employees, especially those of front-line workers.
      The study also stated that in 2021, many companies were convinced that giving raises, sign-on bonuses, and other perks would solve the worker shortage problem and prevent people from quitting. However, this strategy did not work. So, what does work regarding attracting quality people and keeping them employed?
      Essentially, it all comes down to the culture of your company.  Management: do all it can to consider the individual needs of your employees. Your employees want to feel that they have a voice, that their opinion counts, and that their role in your company is both respected and recognized. Yes, pay and a great benefits package will go a long way toward making your employees feel secure, but that’s only financial security. People want more than money.
      To attract and keep top talent requires creating a company that people feel proud to work for. You need to reach the hearts and minds of your employees. Become a leader that people are enthusiastic about working for. You want your employees bragging to their friends and family that your shop is a great place to work!
      Step one to attracting and retaining quality employees: Create an amazing workplace environment for your employees!  Trust me, happy employees make happy shop owners too!
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