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What If Yogi Was A Mechanic - - Saying the wrong thing to a customer may not be as funny


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What if Yogi was a Mechanic?

 

For those who never took an interest in baseball, let me tell you about one of the greats. Lawrence Berra, better known as Yogi. He played almost his entire professional career (1946-1965) with the New York Yankees. After his playing years ended with the 1963 World Series, he was hired as the manager for the same team. Yogi was known for his uncanny way of covering the strike zone (as well as outside of it) with extreme reaches or golf club style swings for low balls. As a catcher he made running down those foul balls look easy. He even managed to have more home runs in one season than strike outs, which made him the go-to clutch hitter in a tight game. (Only 414 strike outs over his entire career of 7555 at bats.)

 

Berra, may have been one of the most outstanding players of all times but what he’s most noted for is his mangled quotes, such as "It ain't over 'til it's over", while speaking to reporters. His reputation for obscure quotes didn’t go unnoticed by the great Yogi Berra himself, he once stated, "I really didn't say everything I said." For me, and I know I’m not alone on this one. There have been times I’ve blurted out the wrong answer or said something that just didn’t come out right to a customer. You know, you’d like to take it all back, but what you end up trying to do is correct your latest flub without making it any worse.

 

Now with Yogi, well, it was his nature to say things that just didn’t seem to make sense. You sort of knew what he meant, even if it didn’t sound right at first. I sometimes wonder if he knew he flubbed a statement to a reporter and wishes he could have taken it all back. Most of the time, he would just throw out another off the cuff quote that would go down in baseball history with the rest of his jagged quotes of quotes.

What if instead of career in professional baseball Yogi was an auto mechanic or repair shop owner? Can you imagine the quirky quotes that would have been possible? Here are a few actual quotes from Yogi that all you have to do is imagine him standing at the service counter telling a customer just how it is. Just add the word mechanic, automotive, wrench, or any other phrase that comes to mind that would fit in one of his famous quotes instead of being baseball related. I’m sure it’ll put a smile on your face.

 

“You can observe a lot by watching”

“The future ain't what it used to be”

“If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be”

“We made too many wrong mistakes.”

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up some place else.”

“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”

“90% of the game is half mental.”

"I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early."

"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."

"I take a two hour nap, from one o'clock to four."

"I made a wrong mistake."

"Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel."

"Think! How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?"

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."

"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."

"It ain't the heat; it's the humility."

"You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours."

"90% of the putts that are short don't go in."

"Do you mean now?" – (When asked what time it was.)

 

Yogi Berra's second claim to fame is by far for being one of the most quoted figures in the sports history, and there’s no doubt why. I suppose somewhere in the world of automotive there’s a Yogi Berra type individual with the same gift of gab. In the meantime since I don’t where that guy is Yogi will do as a great substitute.

 

I even find myself slipping into a Yogi’ism when I least expect it. You know, the old foot in mouth syndrome when you’re trying to explain something to a customer and you get all tongue tied and what you wanted to say isn’t really what you said. Yea, I’ve been there… done that. I’m sure Yogi had a quote for a situation like that. Thankfully, there are no cameras and reporters around to record all my flubs and guffaws like old Yogi had to deal with. Me, I’ll just dust myself off and eat a little crow while I apologize and rethink how I’m going to properly say what I wanted to say. It’s not first time that I’ve had to back track something I’ve said, and I’m sure it won’t be last time either.

 

Like Yogi said to a reporter after a game, "This is like deja vu all over again." Hopefully we can all laugh at our own flubs and take things in stride just like Yogi did. Cause ya know, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

 


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I was going to "rewrite" some of his quotes but after I started putting them down I didn't see the need in it. Still, there are times I say something so stupid that once I've said it I have to figure out how to fix it.

It's times like that, that got me to thinking about writing this story.

 

And, yes... I thought it was too funny myself. Ya can't fix stupid, and ya can't fix Yogi's quotes.... they are what they are.

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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