Quantcast
Jump to content


Gonzo

Article: Be Professional - - - Yes, there's unscrupulous business professionals everywhere

Recommended Posts

Be Professional

 

 

 

The definition as Wikipedia describes it: "A professional is a person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks,and to complete them for a fee." That's true, and "professions" are associated with some sort of recognition that quantifies them as a professional, such as a diploma, certificate, or degree.

 

 

In the automotive field an ASE certification, manufacturer certifications, or years of service are just some of the ways to distinguish one as a pro vs. a parts swapping wanna-be mechanic. But the mere fact of calling oneself a professional doesn't always add up to the degree or certificate that says you are one. In my opinion, handling yourself as a professional matters just as much.

 

 

I try to approach each and every job as a professional. These include detailing your results and striving to make each repair look as neat and orderly as possible. (Sloppy work usually means sloppy results.) It doesn't matter whether the job is for a customer off the street or for another repair shop… you do the best professional job possible.

 

 

I recently got a car from a small motor swap shop that I used to see once in a great while. They never sent a lot of work, but their techs would call me constantly asking for information on how to repair something. Very rude, and definitely a second rate repair shop. Grudgingly, I told them I would look at this car, even though it didn't sound like one I wanted to deal with. The car had a zillion miles on it with a turbo/intercooler engine under the hood. The car definitely had seen better days, however this was the typical type of car they were likely to get in their shop.

 

 

Under the hood I found a lot of new parts slapped on and several things out of place,most of which were not fastened down correctly with their retainers or clips. What wasn't broken or out of place was coated with oil sludge and dirt. You could tell they had no idea what was wrong or what they were doing, and were only throwing parts at it hoping it would start.

 

 

The first thing I found were several wires that were poorly spliced together, and most of the relays were dangling off their brackets. I had to fix the wires even before I could check the rest of the systems. The main complaint was the fuel pump wasn't coming on. They had already changed out the fuel pump relay, and even though (at the relay) it had all the correct signals, it refused to cooperate. What I found was something I rarely see, but it does happen… the relay was built backwards. For now, the easiest solution was to reverse the leads at the relay. Once I switched it over, the car started. It ran terrible, service light was flashing,and a misfire code was stored.

 

 

Upon further diagnosing, I found a broken wire at the no#1 coil. The front cylinders were a little easier to get to, but the no#1 cyl. was in the back,covered by all the intercooler and intake tubes. I had the O Scope hooked up to a pressure transducer, and it was showing some weird exhaust pressure readings. Sure enough, a compression test on one of the front cylinders confirmed my suspicion: the converter was clogged as well. I wasn't surprised that the sparkplugs were, at best... finger tight, and every single intake bolt, intercooler bolt, and fasteners had never been properly tightened. Instead of pulling the intake section and intercooler lines off to get to the no#1 cylinder and fix the wire, I thought it's time to call these guys and give them the news.

 

 

"We can handle it from here," they told me.

 

 

They paid for my time, and as expected it wasn't long before they needed more help. They had already fixed the wire on the coil and replaced the converter.It started, but died shortly after that. They were at a loss, so naturally I got a call. I could tell there was already some tension from their end of the phone, and I was going to be the scapegoat for this car's demise.

 

 

"I'd check the fuel pressure... sounds like that might be part of the original problem, before all this other stuff went wrong," I told him before he rudely hung the phone up.

 

 

I went over my test results again. My guess is they probably broke the wires while changing the plugs, and only made things worse by changing the relays. More than likely the fuel pump was the original problem all along, with a slightly clogged converter.

 

 

I always thought these guys were a little shifty, and it wasn't long before I found out for sure. Their tech needed to save face with the boss,so he proceeded to tell him I didn't know what I was doing, and never did anything to help the repair along. The owner turned out to be just as unprofessional as his hired hands. What was my clue? He stopped payment on the check.

 

 

You bet I was furious... but, let's cool down a bit and not stoop to their level… let's be professional about this. I kept my cool and called them, "I'm not here to lie, cheat or steal...and I've never-ever done that to you or anyone else. I'm here to do a job… a job I do with the utmost of care. Your lack of handling things in a professional manner only shows me what caliber of a person you really are. If you had a problem, call me or bring the car back. But trying to save a few bucks on your part after the efforts I put in this is uncalled for. I don't want your money. I also don't want your techs calling me to pick my brain for answers. It's not about the money now, it's about the principle."

 

 

I said my peace, and hung up the phone…case closed. Shops like these give the rest of us a bad name. They'll deny everything, charge for anything, and never do any service on a customer's car in a professional manner. I could tell they expected an argument once they realized who was on the other end of the line, but they weren't expecting the response I gave them. It's as if they hada lot of practice arguing with customers over repairs… I'm not arguing…

 

 

Actually, I felt a hundred percent better after handling it this way. I didn't see any reason to stand there toe to toe, and try to get compensated for my professional time. My professionalism means more to me than a few bucks. Let's face it, for a repair shop to insult another shop, especially when they couldn't figure it out shows their true nature.

 

 

The Wikipedia definition of a professional needs some clarification. It should have included not only doing a task or job for compensation… but acting like one after you've written the check.

 

 

Who loses out with these poor repairs done by mechanics who only know how to swap parts? …unfortunately, the customer.

 

 

Click here to view the article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



  • Similar Forum Topics

    • Complete Auto Reports - Is anyone using it?

      There is a software package called Complete Auto Reports (CAR), based in NJ. Wondering if anyone is using this software or demoed it? I reached out to them a few months ago to see the software, had a very poor interaction with the representative I dealt with. I still haven't found the software that works best for me so I'm still evaluating packages. I'm thinking about reaching out again and hope my experience was just a bad apple and not representative to the company as a whole. Wondering if anyone else here has any experience with them   website : https://www.completeautoreports.com/  

      By Junior, in Management Software, Web Sites & Internet

        
      • 1 reply
      • 440 views
    • The person answering your phone may be killing your repair shop

      A few weeks back I had a problem with my refrigerator.  I got a referral and called an appliance repair company. I called three times and each time I called this is what happened: "C and E appliance, please hold."  I was put on hold three times for about 5 minutes. After being put on hold each time, a women would say, "What's the problem?"  No engagement, no sign of interest for me the customer, no signs of caring.  I gave the women a brief description of the problem and each time she told me someone would call me back.  Well, no one did. So, I called for the 4th time, and as the person answered the phone I said, "DO NOT PUT ME ON HOLD."  There was silence, so I continued.  I explained to her that she has spoken to me three times,  I left messages three times and three times you told me that someone would call me back.  She replied,  "You are talking to the wrong person, if you have any complaints, write a letter to my boss, after all he won't listen to me anyway."  I hung up the phone and called another company. The lesson and takeaway here is simple: Who's answering your phone?  The wrong people on the phone in your shop can kill your business.  Have meetings with your people. Make sure you review your phone skills policy. If you don't have one, create one.  Empower your people to people to handle issues. And make sure you log every phone call. If you feel you have a problem, start recording phone calls.  Your phone is your lifeline to future business.  So, please ask yourself....Who's answering your phone?   

      By Joe Marconi, in Joe’s Business Tips For Shop Owners

        
      • 5 replies
      • 518 views
    • Article: Where's My 10mm Socket!?? --- The professional escapee of the tool box

      Where’s my 10mm Socket          Deep or shallow, impact or chrome, 12 point or six point, ¼” or ½” drive, it really doesn’t matter, those 10 mm sockets have the ability to grow legs. Out of all the hundreds of sockets in the drawer, only the 10mm seems to be the one that disappears without a trace. Sure, it’s used a lot, and yes, it does seem to be on every car and in every form and fashion you can think of, but why is this most useful socket also the one with the escape artistry of Steve McQueen in the movie “The Great Escape”?          They can vanish without a trace, leave without warning, or fall into an engine bay never to see the light of day again. One time I actually caught a glimpse of one on a mad dash for freedom.  I was working under a car installing a few brackets with my trusty (trustee) 10mm socket attached to my ¼” air ratchet when the socket spun off the ratchet.  It traveled along the top edge of the crossmember spinning like mad when it came upon a small hole in the center.  It hopped straight up, still spinning, did a perfect pirouette and slipped right down the hole.  It was like watching a cartoon character sticking their head out of the hole just long enough to say, “See ya!” and disappear out of sight.  I never managed to fish the socket out of there, either.  The hole was too small for anything but the socket and the ends of the crossmember were welded shut.  That one got away, but I saw the whole thing myself.  They really do try to escape.          It’s like spotting Big Foot.  I mean, who would believe ya when you tell them you just saw your 10mm socket make a break for it and escape down some rabbit hole in a crossmember? Ya might as well call one of those tabloid magazines and tell them.  At least they might believe your story.  I think the tabloids would put it all down as some sort of conspiracy anyway. It’s the only way to explain it. When I lose a socket the tool truck always has a replacement.  For all I know, those fiendish little sockets are sneaking back on the truck, while I’m purchasing one of their buddies.  Maybe they’re all out to prove something, or they’re all working with the tool trucks for a cut in the profits.  We should start a 10 mm support group for all those socket sets and mechanics who are missing one. I can just hear it now. “I’m here to tell my story about my 10 mm socket.  We were good friends, we did a lot together, but now he’s gone and I’m all alone.” The group could all get a T shirt that says, “I lost my 10mm socket.  Can you help me?”, but knowing my luck, I’d probably lose the shir, too. Maybe I’ll just paint them all bright yellow, or buy them in bulk and keep so many around that I can’t possibly ever not have one handy. But, knowing those 10mm sockets the way I do, I’d bet they’d find a way to have a mass escape when I’m not looking. The next thing ya know, I’ll start a chain gang of 10mm escapees and have them all work on the worst slimy, greasy, dirty, nastiest part of the car I can find.          Here’s the thing I don’t understand.  Why doesn’t the 7 and 8mm socket make a break for it? They’re out and about just as much as the 10?  As a matter of fact, why not use the 9mm socket or the 11mm a bit more often and give that 10mm guy a bit of break.  Maybe then the 10mm won’t feel so over worked and have the tendency to walk off the job.          Way back when everything was SAE instead of metric,  I don’t recall having to put posters on the neighborhood telephone poles, “Have you seen this ¼” socket?” Most of the time it was right where I left it, and eventually I would wear it out to the point it couldn’t grip a bolt or nut anymore. But would I replace it? No, of course not.  I’d put it back in the rack with all of the other sockets, only to remember how worn out it was the next time I needed it. But, that 10 mm, haven’t worn one out yet, because that guy will use any excuse to leave before it gets that old.      I’m not saying all the other metric wrenches and sockets are exempt from trying to flee the tool box.  Heck no.  I’m pretty sure I stumbled onto one of their mass escape plans before.  I came into work one day and somebody had moved my tool box.  When I opened the drawer all the sockets were haphazardly scattered everywhere you looked. I’ll bet that 10mm socket dude got the other sockets all riled up and would have made good on their escape if it wasn’t for the tool box being locked.  Then, there are those two sockets that rest on either side of the 10mm. They don’t seem to do much, they hardly get out of the drawer, and apparently don't take after that 10mm guy at all. You know these two, they're the 9 and 11mm sockets. Every now and then you'll find that one or two odd ball nuts or bolts that are specifically made for a 9 or 11mm socket. They seem to be content living in the tool box with this empty gap between them and they never seem to get lost or go AWOL. In fact, I somehow have a large collection of 9 and 11mm sockets that I don’t even remember buying. But that 10mm socket, that guy hardly ever ends up back in the box and is a bad influence on the rest of them. It’s out all night, can’t find its way home, rolls up under a cabinet and hides, or its favorite trick, finds the one spot in the very center underneath the car that you can’t possibly reach. It's also been known to take the suicide approach of avoiding going back in the tool box. It will take a dive off the edge of a fender and fall into a narrow crevice from which you’ll never retrieve it again.  I’m starting to believe those 10mm sockets got it in for us mechanics. They’ll hide in plain sight or sit there shining up at us from some unreachable spot in the corner of the engine bay. I’m pretty sure I saw one scoot across the floor and under a bench once.  Never did find him again, either.  Maybe we should get Sherlock Holmes on the case.  Maybe he could find the whereabouts of these elusive 10 mm runaway sockets. In the mean time I’ve got another problem to take care of.  My new pocket screwdriver I just got off the tool truck has disappeared.  Seems it’s been hanging around those 10mm sockets way too long, and has gotten ambitious about going over the wall on its own.  Or maybe he’s stuck on the edge of the driver’s door again, but that’s another story entirely.
      View full article

      By Gonzo, in AutoShopOwner Articles

      • 5 replies
      • 325 views
    • Hiring your first person ( One man shop)

      When do you know it's time to hire someone? Who do you hire ? Just a tech to do light work like or a mechanic to do the more profitable jobs? Is it best to 1099 them or what? I looked at my numbers for the month of December 2014 and it was on the 10th of the month this year. My numbers so far this month has doubled for the whole month from last year. I have to Joe for having this site to help use network and help each other. The things I've learned so far is what is making a difference at my shop right now and it's just the beginning for me!! Thanks guys!!

      By lakesidetire, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 15 replies
      • 1,526 views
    • Complete Auto Repair Business Upstate NY Price Reduced For Sale

      OWN MY AUTO REPAIR BUSINESS W/ EVERYTHING INCLUDEDI'm only working 24 hrs./week and business is still profitable!My family-owned and operated auto repair business is for sale after a fulfillin   View the full listing

      By AutoShopOwner, in Automotive Business Opportunities

      • 0 replies
      • 80 views
  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×