Quantcast
Jump to content


Gonzo

Article: No Pain, No Gain - - - - Pain, The Body's "check Engine Light"

Recommended Posts

No Pain, No Gain

Pain is a great motivator to seek medical attention. I should know… a few weeks ago I had a kidney stone crying to get out. OK, it wasn't the kidney stone that was crying. One tiny pebble of discomfort turned me into a complete basket case. That macho-tough guy exterior I thought I have (had) completely vanished when I was in the emergency room, curled up into the fetal position moaning and groaning. Man… that is without a doubt the worst pain I've ever felt. I've had a few broken bones, cuts, minor burns, a surgery or two, but nothing compared to the agony of a kidney stone.

 

They gave me two shots of morphine, just so I could lie down long enough to run me through a CAT scan. That way they could get an idea of the size of the stone, to determine if surgery was necessary or not. It didn't even begin to knock the pain down. But, the third wiz-bang shot did the trick. Oh yea…I’m in Happyville now…there’s little blue birds singing cheerfully and fluttering about, pink flowers floating in the air, and little fairies dancing around my head with wisps of shiny stars following them. Kind of like those Disney movies I sat through with my daughters, and later my granddaughters. (Bambi and/or a kidney stone will bring a tear every time). It was several hours before I could go home, but the pain and the kidney stone did pass. (Thank goodness)

I wanted to relate this experience to cars, but I didn't know what angle to approach it at. Then it came to me…it’s the pain… or the lack of… that dictates car repair. Obviously, cars don’t have pain like you and me, but in a different way. It’s actually vocal, and not a “physical” pain. There is something to be said about a screeching belt or the teeth chattering, scraping noise from a worn out brake pad. It’ll get your attention for sure. When most people hear these strange noises coming from their car, they immediately take it into the repair shop. While others, just turn the stereo up louder. With the onset of the computer age, a car’s condition has not only become more vocal, but also visual. A check engine light and the other various warning lights could be considered as a car’s pain indicators, too. (These visual and vocal cues are just some of the ways a modern mechanic determines the condition of a vehicle.)

 

An old customer called me the other day to tell me her car was in pain, and was making some very strange noises. I had to laugh, because it was the first time I ever heard anyone describe their car as being in “pain”. She was serious though. She’s the kind of person who dearly loves her car, and treats it as if it was part of the family. Sure enough, it was making some awful noises. It turned out the torque converter bolts had worked loose and needed immediate attention.

 

“See, I told you she was sick. My little baby needs some comforting,” she said while caressing the front fender.

 

It was an easy fix, and it wasn't long before I had her back on the road. Her little car was out of danger. No more pain, as she liked to refer to it. Even though a car is just plastic, glass, and metal, to her it had the ability to feel pain. I’m not going to argue with that logic, it’s her car and if it feels pain, that’s OK with me. I’ll still cash the check.

 

But, where would the medical field be without pain as a diagnostic tool? So many symptoms and so many diagnoses are based on where or how pain is felt. What if we didn't feel pain at all? Would we ignore any obvious signs of pending problems? That is until the problem escalated into an even larger problem, or one that couldn't be ignored? Pain is our body’s way of informing us there’s something wrong. It’s our own personal “Check Engine” light. As much as I hate pain of any type… it has its reasons for being there.

As I sat in the waiting room filling out the paper work my pain threshold was reaching its limits, in the meantime, my wife handed me a pen and points, “Sign here, here, and here… oh, and twice on this page.” Quite frankly I had no idea what I was signing and couldn't care less. I didn't care what it cost, I just wanted the pain to end, and like - - Right Now! But, procedures are procedures. Even then, while trying to find a comfortable position in that waiting room chair I was still thinking about cars. A question came to mind, what if a car really could show pain? What then?

Maybe the lack of “pain” is why some people let their cars fall into such disrepair. Countless times I get a car in the shop that’s just a few years old that looks like it’s been used in a demolition derby. A quick examination under the hood shows a lot. An oil leak here, an oil soaked sensor over there, which ends up turning on the service light or perhaps creating an engine miss. Broken brackets, missing parts, poor connections, exhaust leaks… the list goes on and on. All these signs were there to let the driver know the car was having problems. The service light, the engine miss, the smell of burning oil, the rubbing inner fender, etc… but, some people would rather ignore all that and keep driving. Since the “pain” isn't directed at them personally, the warning lights and strange noises are more of a nuisance than anything else. Eventually all the warning signs aren't enough to get the message across, and the car ends up on a hook or on the back of a wrecker being towed to the repair shop.

Once the car is at the shop a different type of pain becomes apparent. It’s not the car… it’s the pain in the wallet. Unlike the ER, you’ll only get one bill from the repair shop, so you don’t have to worry about new invoices popping up in the mail from the radiologist, lab department, and so on. (Remember those papers ya signed when you were in the waiting room?)

 

Well, I can’t prescribe any high powered pain killers to ease the owner’s misery. I’m not a doctor, but I just might have something for their ailing car. That’s what I do… I fix (heal) cars… not people. I’ll leave people pain to the doctors and nurses. One more thing, after my little “adventure” in the ER I figured out something else, too. My pain is their financial gain. They take care of the pain, and I pay for their services. (Ugh…and how!) I guess the same can be said about the automotive repair business too. Even though there’s no physical pain involved with a car, it still hurts to pay for those repairs.

No Pain, No Gain….

 

Click here to view the article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



  • Similar Forum Topics

    • The Road to Great Technicians Webinar With CARQUEST’s Chris Chesney

      On June 20, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a webinar called “The Road to Great Technicians” with Chris Chesney, senior director of customer training for the CARQUEST Technical Institute.  Written by Chasidy Rae Sisk * Attendees qualified for one credit from the Automotive Management Institute.  After ASA Vice President Tony Molla introduced the webinar’s presenter, Chesney recounted his collaboration with the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) to identify the Road to Great Technicians. They began in March 2016 when NASTF’s Spring General Meeting focused on the topic of building a road to great technicians. Chesney was asked to explain the current state of the aftermarket training industry. He defined the current state of aftermarket training as a lack of industry standards and a structured career path, unorganized training offerings, and disjointed efforts by industry organizations. However, he also identified many good building elements. Current problems in the industry include the inability to find new talent, graduates not performing to industry standards, an inability to afford techs and the amount of time is takes to replace a technician or advisor who leaves a company because companies do not build bench strength. Chesney stressed, “You have to invest in those new technicians, but many shops cannot find someone who can perform out of the gate, so we need to focus on growing our own and building our bench strength to overcome this problem. We have a need now for the next several years. Reports indicate that we need 80,000 technicians each year, but only 25,000 are being produced.” Chesney identified the aging workforce, oncoming tidal wave of technology and lack of a structured career path as reasons for the significant needs for technicians. Focusing on the influx of technology, he explored the unseemly amount of data that is transferred within modern vehicles. “It’s not the problem of education,” he said. “It’s our problem, and we’re going to look into that.” Chesney presented a picture of the Technician Life Cycle, which included the following seven steps: secondary shadowing, post-secondary intern, entry-level apprentice, technician, senior technician, master technician and specialist; however, he noted that this does not include possible “off ramps” on the Road to Great Technicians. Occurring after an industry professional becomes an entry-level technician, these “off ramps” include in-service continuing education and higher education, which can offer technicians a variety of paths to pursue in their careers, ranging from master technician to shop foreman to shop owner or even becoming an engineer for an OEM.  In a January 2018 meeting, the education team at NASTF identified a subcommittee of industry experts tasked with creating a framework of education around the life cycle of a technician and other job roles within the industry. This framework is intended for curriculum providers to use in order to offer a career pathway that means something to the industry and is transferrable throughout the industry. The group began with the vision that they would prescribe degrees of competencies at every skill level, focused on the safety and reliability of the ground vehicle fleet. This Road to Great Technicians team consists of NASTF Chair Mark Saxonberg, Toyota’s Jill Saunders, WTI’s Rob Morrell, CTI’s Chris Chesney, NACAT’s Bill Haas, of Diag.net’s Scott Brown, WTI’s Mark Warren, NASTF’s Donny Seyfer, ASE’s Trish Serratore, S/P2’s Kyle Holt, DrewTech’s Bob Augustineand Cengage’s Erin Brennan. Exploring possible solutions to the industry’s problem, this group defined 13 solution elements, starting with new and enhanced communication with parents and influencers of peripheral students, early engagement with tactile students in middle and high school, support of STEM and development of a well-articulated career path with clear opportunities for advancement and growth that students and parents can see. The industry also needs to get involved with vocational education content to ensure these programs provide the right skills to students.  Chesney explained, “They’re producing the wrong technicians because we aren’t involved. We have to be involved. We need to design a curriculum for schools and employers to ensure that, regardless of where technicians work, they are uniformly trained for the skill level. We have to provide people with the opportunity to grow throughout their careers.”  The team also believes that the industry needs to provide internship experience, develop programs to help in-service technicians become mentors, and ensure that testing and certification programs are uniform and tiered to provide milestones for achievement. Employers also must find ways to provide wages and benefits that are competitive with other industries attracting the same individuals.  “As technicians progress through their career, it is imperative to communicate career options to ensure they don’t leave the industry,” Chesney elaborated. “Vehicle technology has accelerated to unprecedented levels, necessitating faster and more thorough technician skill development to ensure public safety. To add further credibility and value to the process, NASTF is encouraging practical examinations similar to other safety-related skills as a means to verify requisite skill level attainment. Currently, this is not regulated and we cannot keep up with the advancing rates of technology, but we need a way to prove our skills and be prepared for what’s coming, not merely what is on the road right now.” The current state of industry education is outcome-based and not sufficient to serve today’s technology. The future of education must be competency-based with a focus on mastery of skill and validation of a technician’s mastery and development of skills that are recognized and transferable. A competency-based education offers a variable class structure and the ability to test out of the subject matter at different levels, enabling students to finish as they are able. The Road to Great Technicians team defined a new NASTF Technician Life Cycle that includes seven steps: apprentice technician, maintenance technician, service technician, repair technician, diagnostic technician, master technician, and specialist technician.  According to Chesney, “Each step would require a variety of requirements as far as training and experience. They would also require mastery of competencies using curriculum provided by the industry, to include mentoring, demonstrated skills and self-paced curriculum. Finally, technicians seeking to advance would prove their skills through oral and hands-on exams.” Continuing the work they have started, the team plans to provide the industry with a white paper by the end of the year, but they encourage the industry to comment and opine. While the team will be limited in size in order to maximize effectiveness, they encourage industry professionals to join NASTF and the NASTF Education Team.  The group’s vision for the future of automotive education culminates in the idea of the Automotive Institute of Science and Technology, which would include a pathway education in a project-based environment. In ninth and 10th grades, students would sample each pathway through projects designed to highlight the different aspects and career fields before choosing a specific pathway in 11th grade to focus on in their final two years of high school. Their choices would be automotive technology as a trade, business, or engineering. While obtaining their associates degree, students would enter the discipline of their choice, working in shops to gain practical experience while simultaneously acting as mentors to younger students. Chesney concluded the webinar with a question and answer session. Article Source: https://www.autobodynews.com/index.php/component/k2/item/15820-asa-hosts-road-to-great-technicians-webinar-with-carquest-s-chris-chesney.html

      By Alex, in Human Resources, Payroll and Training

        
      • 1 reply
      • 280 views
    • [Webinar] How to Find, Hire, And Keep Great Techs!

      Free webinar for all members hosted by @Ron Ipach from Captain Car Count!  As you already know, finding good, qualified technicians isn’t as easy as it was in years past. Gone are the days of simply placing a few ads online or in the newspaper help-wanted section.  When you combine the fact that more shops than ever are in the hunt for qualified applicants, with the ever-shrinking pool of technicians to draw from, it’s no wonder so many shop owners are frustrated with their search.  Attracting good technicians today requires a radically different approach, and on this highly informative online training event, Ron Ipach, president of Repair Shop Coach, will walk you through the same strategies that his clients are using to attract lots of highly qualified to their shops on a consistent basis. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER Time slots vary and are held weekly: Please reach out to @Ron Ipach for additional information.

      By Alex, in Shop Management Coaching, Business Training, Consulting

        
      • 2 replies
      • 592 views
    • Just Being Nice is not Great Customer Service

      I recently made a call to my Internet provider to discuss and issue I was having. After multiple attempts at trying to explain my problem, the customer service rep on the other end of the phone had no clue how to solve my problem.  She was nice, extremely polite, and had the voice of an angel.  She was well-trained, but not in the art of problem solving. Great customer service is not about being nice to people, it’s all about understanding the customer’s needs and coming up with solutions to their problems.  Train your service personnel in the art of proper etiquette, but also in the art of problem solving.  Empower your people to also make decisions.  Set limits, but give them the authority to solve issues without every problem reaching your desk.  

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

        
      • 1 reply
      • 692 views
    • 2017 SUCCESS THREAD - Little disciplines makes great success.

      Happy New 2017!   I hope you have set your goals for 2017, if not, get working on them!   Every day take a step into achieving your goal, it is the simple positive habits that will make success show up at your door.   For example, if you wish more sales, choose to make 10 calls everyday, or send 10 letters or post cards. by the end of the week you will have achieved 50 calls or leads, your sells will soon show up.   Simple disciplines to success!   I begin by sharing with you a video of a presentation that has given me great happiness and success:  

      By HarrytheCarGeek, in General Automotive Discussion

      • 57 replies
      • 3,577 views
    • Am I crazy or ambitious? Or both? Looking at opening 3rd location, just opened 2nd 3 weeks ago...

      Long story short, been in business about 2 years and started mobile. Current location for about a year, just opened up a second location about 3 weeks ago- HUGE step for me. In my area, auto shop locations are REALLY REALLY RARE. There'll be months before a single shop will pop up for lease. Well.. I was looking for auto equipment on craigslist and stumbled upon a listing of a shop moving and selling all his lifts. Found the location on loopnet- 5 bays, previous business extremely successful, great location, great price too.... 1st location hit record sales this past week, 2nd new location held its own (divided by week, came out on top after expenses). I got both stores running self sufficiently. I am pretty much maxed out and I hate taking out loans but I have a line of credit available.  Am I crazy to want to do this? 

      By Jay Huh, in Auto Repair Shop Management Help? Post Here!

      • 37 replies
      • 2,991 views
  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×