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You cannot really learn this in school and only seem to be taught by the school of hard knocks called Experience: -There are days that everything seems to go wrong.


My old mentor told me that life goes in cycles, and that no matter how much I prepare I should accept that there are days that are going to be tough and difficult to survive.


Well, yesterday was one of those days.


I had that customer that every shop hates come in, nothing we could offer or do makes this customer happy. He claims mechanics are always out to rip him off. That we damaged something in his car and that after we had serviced his car it never ran well.


I have told this customer that we are not the shop for him and that we are not setup to handle his car troubles, but he always stops by and makes it a point to have his car checked by my guys. He usually waits to come in when I am not running the service desk.


So yesterday, my senior mechanic damaged a car when backing out of the bay and hit this trouble customer's car, pending jobs parts where boxed wrong, also one of the lift's motors died, and my wife drove over a parking spot limiter and took out the oil pan on her minivan.


Thank God I am healthy and have a sense of humor or I would have had a heart attack!

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It's official... I'm not the only one.

Hate to hear about your troubles, but... days like that are my bread and butter stories. The best thing for you and me is to let other shop owners, service techs, and anyone else in the business that things like this happen. Ya can't stop them from happening, they just do.

More importantly, getting the word out there about the ups and downs of the auto trade is even more a wake up call for the consumer we call "the customer". Being aware that we are just as much a part of their lives and the community as they are and that things can AND will happen.

Another way to look at it is... writing this stuff down beats holding it in or groveling over it at home over a beer. The family doesn't need to experience our troubles... they're family... and they want to see their dad or mom in a good light.

Thank YOU ASO for being there. Everyone in the business appreciates it... I know I do.

thanks Joe... U Da Best!

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  • 3 weeks later...



I call it the non-customer from Hell because he is a poser, someone that looks and acts like a customer, but underneath the facade of being a potential customer lurks the most despicable toxic individual you will come across in your business experience.


I had a brush with this type of character a few days ago and I am still shook up from the bizarre experience. I have changed the name to protect the guilty in order to share with you my hellish experience.


Let's call him Sean, he and his wife came into the shop just about an hour before we closed the shop for the day. In this particular day, I had the waiting area full with some customers waiting to pick up their cars when Sean and wife walked up to the sales counter.


Sean tells me his car is making a squeaking noise from the front of the engine, the vehicle is a 7 year old model Merdeces Benz ML350, then proceeds to tell me that his buddy at the MB dealer could not squeeze him in to change the idler pulley, even though it only takes 5 minutes to do he says out loud.


He and his wife are well dressed and over-courteous, yet loud and flamboyant. He goes on to tell me how he is a "big" entertainer and that I should recognize him, I didn't.


I tell him that it is late in the day and I will not be able to help him. He turns and yells at me that I have not even looked at his car and that I am already denying him service. His wife suddenly begins to echo everything Sean is saying. He tell me the pulley only costs $26.00 and that it is a very simple repair to make and I should not have any problem getting the part even at such late time in the day.


He makes a scene and a scandal as how I am denying him service he yells.


I ask him to leave and he tells me to call the cops, I say, ok and call the police. I call the police department and they tell me they will send out a patrol car. Sean keeps yelling as to how he is being singled out and his wife acting as a chorus keep making a scene, then just as fast as they walked in they walked out and drove off.


About 10 minutes later the police come in and the officer laughs it off.


I am still wondering if this was some hidden camera show attempt to get a rise out of us....

Edited by HarrytheCarGeek
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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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