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ADealerTech

Hello from Rhode Island

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Hi Everyone,

 

I am not a shop owner, though, until recently it was a long term goal of mine. I graduated last year from a technical trade school (local school not one of those diploma factories that you always see advertising for techs and making big promises). I am 28, almost 29 years old, this is a career change for me, since I was laid off from banking in 2010. I have a wife and a kid.

 

I am here for one last desperate attempt to convince myself to stay in this industry. I have 6 months in, almost 7 at my current dealership, I have completed all but 3 of the factory training courses, and while I do not have enough experience and time under my belt to be a master diagnostician, I am not afraid to try any diagnostic line on any RO handed to me. I use to love working on cars. I have my state inspection certification in both safety and emissions, my EPA 609, a certificate in an RMA approved tire repair course. A very nice collection of professional level tools for someone with my experience, and a box to put them in.

 

As of today, I don't want to do this anymore. I am making 11.00 flat rate hourly, I was hired in at 10.00 flat rate hourly, with only the first 2 weeks guaranteed at 40. It took me nearly 6 months to get that 1.00 raise, and everyone in the industry tells me that I am being screwed, with the exception of the service manager of course. I can and have turned 40+ hours, I do everything shy of major overhauls, timing belts and head gaskets already. I do not need to be babysat and I am not.

 

There is not enough work coming in to flag 40 for most guys in my dealership (and the other dealerships in the area). I average 32-38, with my best week being 46.5 and my worst was 14.2. I can't support my family. Flat rate is a bull crap scheme designed to skate labor laws. I am required to be there for 50 hours a week, but don't get paid close to that as there is no work to really make that off of. My service manager doesn't care that I am drowning, trying to hold 3 jobs and getting 4 hours of sleep on average a day. I sat down with him and told him that I felt 13.00 to 14.00 flat rate would be fair for my level of experience and he came back and gave me just a dollar.

 

Other dealerships want guys with 2-3 years experience and the independent shops don't want to touch new guys. No one wants to properly train up techs. And since I am being forced to try to make 40 by doing all the waiter oil changes, state inspections or rotates, I cannot even help out senior techs and learn from them. I feel like my learning opportunities are downright stalled.

 

I have contemplated, seriously, just pushing my tool box over to the tool man and telling him to just have it all to wipe out my tool box debt (I own all the tools) and just going into retail or to a call center or hell even manage a fast food joint, because it all pays better.

 

So, I ask you, auto shop owners, what do I do to find one of you who cares enough to know I need to support my family and doesn't make me sit on a stool making 0.00 3 days in a row because no work came in. One who wants to turn me into a driveability tech, someone who can diagnose with the best of them. Heck, I am not even afraid to get into automatic transmission work and diagnostics.

 

I know I an rambling and probably a little whiny, but I seriously need perspective from the people who pay the checks and not the masses of grumpy and grumbling techs on forums like FlatRateTech.com.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

- A Fed Up Soon to be Ex-Technician

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