Jump to content

Flash Sale + Social Proof

Flash Sale + Social Proof

Flash Sale + Social Proof

Learned Attitude - - - Everybody has one, some good, some bad...


Recommended Posts

Learned Attitude


Attitude, it’s something everyone has. Some good, some not so good. Some people can keep it in check, while others have no regard for anyone else and just let their emotions fly. You know the type of person I’m talking about, sure ya do, ever been to a hockey game and the guy sitting behind you is yelling at the referee? Yep, that’s him. That’s the guy I’m talking about. And, it’s those same kinds of attitudes that make their way to the service counter as well.


There are other reasons for some people’s unfortunate circumstances that bring on a different type of attitude too. I think every service writer or mechanic tries to be understanding and be forgiving for their life’s problems. They range from, “I’m a single mother, I’m a senior citizen, I’m not from around here, I just lost my job, etc… etc… etc….” In the short and long of it all, what they are really trying to say is, “Give me a break!” To be perfectly honest, I do have a soft heart for those who are having a rough time financially, but the bottom line is I can’t make that my concern when I’m behind the counter. I’m here to do a job, to do it well, and to get paid for it just like anyone else who works for a living.


Speaking of working for a living, there are a so many jobs out there that you never deal with the actual person who is paying for your service or product. You get your paycheck on a Friday, show up on Monday, and start the whole process all over again. Me, my paycheck is the cars that come into the shop, and who’s cars are they? Why it’s the single mom, the senior citizen, the out of towner, and the guy who just lost his job, etc… etc… etc….


Last week it was a 25 year old car with a sixteen year old driver with a serious need of an attitude adjustment. He told me he didn’t know a thing about a car, (keep that thought handy) and that he was only sixteen. More than once during his explanation of what was wrong with the car he had to mention how old he was, and how he didn’t have a lot of cash. Hey, we were all sixteen once, and I can understand about the lack of funds as well as the lack of knowledge about a car. Honestly though, being sixteen doesn’t make any difference as to the cost of a repair? It is what it is. But, he seemed to think it should.


This poor old gas guzzler he was driving was well past its prime and had more than a few problems. There was already a new alternator and belt installed from another shop and it was obvious some recent work had been done. But this brash youngster was bent on pinning the problem on someone besides this aging hunk of iron. He even went as far to tell me that he knew the reason it wouldn’t start is because he spent all his money on the alternator. (He knew huh? Really… figured that all out with your pocket book aye? That’s an excellent way of determining what’s wrong with your car… NOT!) I told him we needed to check things out first.


The battery was up to a full charge and the engine cranked over just fine, but there was no spark. The crank sensor has failed. This lead to a lengthy description of what a crank sensor does. (Hey, he’s learnin’ something. At least it’s a step in the right direction.) This eventually led to installing one. VROOOM! It started. A few quick checks on that new alternator output showed that it was doing fine too.


At this point it’s time to send him on his merry way. But, I did manage to slip into the conversation and on his invoice about the condition of the rest of the car. Everything from the whining fuel pump noise to the groan of the power steering pump. He initialed the ticket, and then I looked him right in the eye and said, “You understand you’re going to have problems in the future. This car has seen a lot of road time so be expecting to put a few more bucks in it if you’re going to keep it running.” He nodded his head and was out the door in a flash.


About 2 weeks later the phone rang, yep you guessed it…it’s the young driver with a car that won’t start. He was practically screaming in the phone. Of course, it’s all my fault and he’s positive that the part I put in has failed. (Hmmm, sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it?) And, just like last time I have to hear the part about being sixteen and no money. Then he dropped a bomb shell on me. “You guaranteed it would start, well it’s not! So you’re paying for it!”


By now, I was getting a little hot and I thought it was time for me to fire back at this youngin’. “First off, you don’t need to raise your voice, it’s just a car. Second of all, your warranty covers the part not the entire car. That is why I made sure to let you know that I could see more things going wrong than what was wrong with it the day it was in here. However, I’ll check it out and let you know what needs repaired. If it is the same part that has failed it’s covered under the warranty.”


With what little info I could get out of him, (between his screaming fits) led me to believe the fuel pump had just died. I wasn’t sure where this was all going end, but this kid had me so steamed that I had to ask him the one question that I’ve been meaning to ask all these “screamers” that I’ve ever had to deal with on the phone.


“What makes you think you can get anywhere by yelling at me?”


His answer, “My mother told me to yell at you guys (mechanics) because that’s the only way you guys will fix it for free!”


Seriously, your mother is teaching you the fine art of pissin’ off a mechanic? That’s just great… absolutely terrific… Way to go mom!


It all makes sense now; I’ll bet that’s just how the next generation of loud, obnoxious spectators is created at the ball park too. Dad takes boy to a ball game, dad yells at the umpire or opposing team, then son grows up to be just as obnoxious as his old man. I often wondered how these types of individuals kept popping up. Never put a thought to it being something they were taught by their elders, now I know. I really should have asked that question years ago.


Ya learn something new every day; just wish some people would learn a better attitude.


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gonzo, I have to tell you that your article really hit home. I often speak to my wife about this very issue. I have never had an issue or problem with a car, it's always the owner that gives me grief. Now, let me say that there are a lot of fine people out there. But, there are too many that walk the earth with attitudes that are close to criminal.


I remember this one customer who would complain each time he got his bill. 50 cents for a bulb would be too much. He would throw the money at me when he paid his bill and say, "Here, take my money, take it!"


It's hard to focus on the good people when there are so many nuts running around.


Well written on a touchy subject.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gonzo: This might tseem a little odd, but have you or someone you know ever run into a situation where the customer turns out to be right, about his car and yes there was a mistake made by the shop mechanic, but usually in these cases the customer is not "off the wall", but was there ever one that would try to pissin’ off a mechanic, knowing he was right! Have a story like that to tell?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it happens. But, I will say if a shop is using good parts it really is rare. The real deal is the attitude. Whether it's a mechanic or a customer.... There's no reason to go into an over the top screaming rant.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff, I feel the same way. But I'll add to that... I've had a few seniors that have used the scream and yell approach. Time for them to leave. They don't move as fast (neither do I) but they'll find the door eventually.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

    • By Joe Marconi in Joe's Blog
      There are many things to consider when creating a marketing plan. Among them are establishing a budget, what forms of media should be used, and whether traditional advertising, such as TV, radio, and print, is still relevant.  And of course, how much should be allocated to social media and digital advertising?
      All the above are essentials to any marketing plan. However, the first step is ensuring that you have a healthy workplace and that your employees understand your company’s culture and the overall mission and vision. 
      We all know that happy employees create happy customers. No form of advertising can overcome a toxic workplace with unhappy employees. If your employees are not creating an amazing customer experience, your marketing plan will not work.
      Advertising and marketing may bring in customers, but the people in your company creating an amazing customer experience will be the most important component of your marketing plan.  It’s the customer experience that sells work and gives the customer a reason to return. 
      Creating an amazing employee experience, which creates an amazing customer experience, is also the most cost-effective part of your marketing plan. In fact, it cost next to nothing.
  • Upcoming Events

    No upcoming events found
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      Digital Vehicle Inspections (DVI) are becoming more and more common these days. I think this is a good thing. 
      What I am concerned about is how the the DVI report is being used.  I am not a fan of sending the digital report to the customer to be used in place of the service advisor speaking and explaining the results of the report first.  Would a doctor send the MRI, lab tests, and x-rays directly to the patient without the doctor first discussing the results?  In fact, there are times when the doctor never shows the report results. 
      In my opinion, the DVI is a tool, and it's not meant to take the place of good old fashion person to person discussion, which is called customer service.
      Agree? Disagree?  
    • By ASOG Podcast
      What People Don't Understand About Modern Auto Repair
    • By Joe Marconi
      Back in the 1990s, some shop owner's feared that fuel injection, 100 mile spark plugs, the elimination of the Distributor cap, rotor and extended fluid services would be our demise. But, that didn't happen. 
      Now I hear many in our industry state that "There is no needed work on an electric vehicle, they are problem free." 
      My opinion, let's not fall into thinking that the EV car will run forever of even for years without needed service.  The EV still has tires, suspension, brakes, and a whole new area of opportunities. It will be different, but there will be a need for the Automotive Technicians and for repair shops.
      Your thoughts? 
    • By Joe Marconi
      As a business coach with Elite Worldwide, I speak to many shop owners around the country about their struggles and concerns. At the top of that list is driving more profit to the bottom line.  Some of the questions I hear are: Should I increase my marketing budget?  Should I raise prices and my labor rate? Is it a car count issue or an ARO issue?  Or should I improve my procedures and policies? All of these are great questions and the right questions. 
      However, the first step in improving your business is to ask yourself: Do I have the right people employed at my auto repair shop?  
      Whether you are struggling in business or having a banner year, your future depends on the quality of people you assemble around you. Do all you can to take care of your employees. Listen to them, and include them in on ways and ideas to build your company.  Make them feel important. 
      When you assemble a great team of employees and take care of that team, trust me, profit will follow. 
    • Advertise your services or products to passers-by attracting them towards your business
    • By carmcapriotto
      We are back at Tom Sciortino's Total Automotive for a special Field Trip! Tracy learns how to change the oil on her car for the first time, from the guidance of automotive intern, Jay Mack. Join Tracy Capriotto as she accelerates her learning curve within the automotive industry.
      Tom Sciortino, Total Automotive, Buffalo, NY. Tom’s previous episodes HERE
      Key Talking Points 
      Maintenance service vs oil change Why oil changes are important How to change the oil Checking tires  
      Connect with the Podcast:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:
      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...