Quantcast
Jump to content


Kids are Great! --- job security at its finest


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Kids Are Great

 

As a parent or a grandparent, kids are a part of your life. We try raising them to be good productive citizens and teach them right from wrong. They’re our blessing and can be our discomfort at other times. We watch them take their first steps, and lose their first tooth. Every day is a new adventure as they grow and grow.

 

With the passage of time we all get older and so do our kids. They start out as our little bundles of joy, and then before you know it, they’re a young adult. Now, it’s not formula and diapers or training wheels on their bike, it’s time for the open road, the ultimate statement of freedom, that teenage rite of passage … a car.

A lucky few have a brand new car waiting for them, while others have to work for one on their own. For most average middle class families the solution is a cheap second hand car, or a car handed down from a relative. Sometimes it’s mom or dad’s old car or like what I had to do… I had to buy my own.

It really doesn’t matter how a car shows up in the driveway, just having one is the important part. The ability to drive somewhere is what it’s all about. At this age, instead of asking you to read them a bed time story, all they want to know is if they can drive to the football game or not. Priorities change for the teenager; however for the parent, the paternal instincts kick in a little stronger. Moms tend to worry more about their little babies getting into a wreck while the dads tend to worry whether or not the car will make it home with the transmission still in one piece. Of course those roles reverse all the time, and sometimes that parental instinct can manifest itself in all sorts of manners based on other factors like; how late you are, a speeding ticket, or when you forgot to put the car in park and it rolled down the driveway creating that new entrance into the garage.

For me, as a mechanic… kids are great for business. Those second hand cars are hardly ever checked out beforehand. Even if they were, a lot of times these well used vehicles come with a bit of baggage. Bald tires, bad shocks, check engine light on… etc… All the more reasons why it was so cheap in the first place.

Recently it was a 2000 Contour that was handed down from one relative to the next and ultimately to this lucky teenager. The engine ran but I wouldn’t call it all that great. It had a severe surging idle and a service light glaring at you. The donating relative had the car at a repair shop just before handing it down to the teenager. It’s one of those places a respectable mechanic wouldn’t even recommend having your kids tricycle repaired at.

 

You could tell what their method of repair was; “read code – change whatever part is mentioned in the description – if that didn’t work – try another part”. Needless to say, there were a lot of new parts bolted on everywhere you looked. The problem, a pretty simple one, if they would have taken the time to diagnose it, and not just throw parts at it, but that’s not how some people operate. All it needed was a new vacuum hose and two of the leads to the O2 sensor were cut by a careless mechanic who left the harness dangling near the alternator pulley. Easy fix.

But, that was just the start of the story on this one. Then it was a starter lead that fell apart, and a battery terminal, connections here and connections there. Most the problems I found were the results of somebody fiddling with it and not securing clips and fasteners. Some of the fasteners even looked as if they were trying to take them apart with a crow bar. It took a bit of work, but it was up and running in no time.

The last trip in was for new front brakes and rotors. Not a fault of shoddy mechanic work, but your average wear and tear. Although with a newbie driver things can get a lot worse than they really needed to be. A lack of experiencing the sound and feel of the metal backing plate grinding away on the rotor could be one reason, or it could be they are concentrating so hard on staying between the lines and stopping at intersections that they don’t notice it at all, I’m not sure which it is. There’s a learning curve there that each teenage driver has to go through. They’ve got to learn about the gauges and warning lights, how the car handles, and how important it is not to let the wiper arm drag across windshield without a blade attached.

]

It’s not the first time (or the last) that I’ve had mom or dad at the service counter handing over the credit card to pay for the repair with that parental look (Yea… you know the look.) while saying to their offspring something like, “You know, you’re going to have to work this off!” Yea, yea… sure pops… say what ya want, but the next time the car breaks down you’ll be back here handing that same card over, and giving that same speech again. (Chuckle, chuckle)

Like I said, “Kids are great!” their great for business! Every year there’s a new batch of them, and another batch of second hand cars that need attention. Then they’ll head off to college and I probably won’t see the car again until spring break. Hopefully, as time moves on so will that dilapidated second hand car. These future leaders of the world can take these years and learn a little something along the way about proper car maintenance and remember what that awful sound is when the brakes are metal to metal. Lesson learned.

They’ll get older too, and they’ll start a family of their own. Then the whole cycle starts all over again. More second hand cars or another hand-me-down archaic 4 wheeled dinosaur comes out of grandpas shed for the youngster. Because, you know, those old “tanks” are a whole lot safer. (Pffft … yea right, not like I haven’t heard that one before.) It’ll need some tinkering to get it road ready for the next teen driver in the family, and I’m sure I’ll be called to duty to handle it. Yep, job security at its finest.

Over the years I’ve loved to watch kids come in with their parents when I’m servicing their cars, and then to see that same little one now behind the wheel. I guess I’m part of the family in a way, just not the one paying the bill. Cause ya know, those teenage drivers like their freedom to drive but they haven’t left the nest entirely, at least not financially. They still need a little help in that department. I’m just as guilty, because I do the same for my kids too.

 


View full article

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it's a nice change, and such a true depiction of the real world out there. To watch my daughters and now my son drive off out of sight is not something any parent enjoys.... But life goes on. Great comments guys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Being in a college town I work on these things daily. All they want is to get it patched up enough to bring it to their regular mechanic back home. I don't understand why parents put their kids in junk, wouldn't it be better to give them the more reliable car to take to college?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      As tax season 2024 unfolds, many entrepreneurs find themselves grappling with previous years' unpaid taxes, alongside the looming obligations for the current year. This episode gets into practical solutions for managing tax debt, with real-life advice and expert insights to navigate this challenging aspect of business ownership.
      • Understanding Your Options with the IRS: Setting up a payment plan with the IRS is the most common recourse for those unable to pay taxes in full. Learn about the prerequisites, process, and potential pitfalls. How does the IRS view income versus payroll tax debts? What are the crucial differences that could affect your business?
      • The Truth About Offers in Compromise: Offers in Compromise (OIC) might seem like a silver bullet for tax woes, but they're often misunderstood and not as easily attainable as advertised. I I try to demystify OICs, outlining the qualifications, processes, and the reality behind settling tax debts for "pennies on the dollar." Why are these offers rarely the best solution for most taxpayers?
      • Practical Tips and Real-World Strategies: Beyond understanding IRS mechanisms, this episode provides actionable advice for managing and potentially settling tax debts. From negotiating with state tax authorities to leveraging existing assets and income for a better outcome, learn strategies that could save your business significant amounts of money and stress.
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Changing The Industry
      The Basics of Owning An Auto Repair Shop - Part 3
    • By carmcapriotto
      Live from MACS (Mobile Air Climate Systems) 2024 Training Event & Trade Show, Michael Ingvardsen discusses the evolution of thermal heat management, the importance of training, and the challenges of new refrigerants. Michael emphasizes the need for compatibility between components and refrigerants, and the role of distributors in ensuring product reliability. The episode highlights the complexity of modern air conditioning systems and the value of specialized knowledge in the field. Michael Ingvardsen, Global Technical Training Manager, Nissens Automotive Show Notes
      Importance of training and industry legacy (00:02:05) Michael discusses the significance of training, family legacy in the industry, and the need to understand the past for the future. Changes in automotive air conditioning (00:06:08) Michael explains how air conditioning technology has changed, emphasizing the impact on vehicle components and functionality. Heat pumps in electric and hybrid vehicles (00:10:15) Michael explains the role of heat pumps in electric and hybrid vehicles. Refrigerant and technology standards (00:13:34) Discussion on the impact of refrigerant standards, environmental considerations, and the need for understanding chemical and refrigerant properties. Future refrigerant technology (00:17:33) Insights into future refrigerant technology, including the challenges and considerations for electric vehicles and heat pump systems. The challenge of introducing new refrigerants (00:18:29) Discussion on the challenges of introducing replacement refrigerants. Importance of air conditioning training (00:22:51) Emphasis on the value of staying updated with air conditioning training and the upcoming training classes on heat pumps. Challenges in implementing new practices (00:32:47) Discussion on the challenges in getting technicians to adopt new practices and the need for proper training and information dissemination. The impact of improper maintenance on warranties (00:30:58) The implications of improper maintenance on heat pump systems and the financial consequences for shops. The need for compliance and best practices (00:34:36) Emphasis on the importance of following proper procedures and best practices in air conditioning maintenance to avoid potential breakdowns and higher costs.
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Auto Care Learn more about NAPA Auto Care and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting https://www.napaonline.com/en/auto-care Connect with the Podcast: -Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RemarkableResultsRadioPodcast/ -Join Our Private Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1734687266778976 -Subscribe on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/carmcapriotto -Follow on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmcapriotto/ -Follow on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remarkableresultsradiopodcast/ -Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RResultsBiz -Visit the Website: https://remarkableresults.biz/ -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections    
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      In this week’s episode of Business by the Numbers, Hunt welcomes Mike Edge from Tread Partners, a fellow podcaster from the Gain Traction Podcast. The dialogue explores the symbiotic relationship between tire sales and auto repair services, emphasizing the strategic value of incorporating tire sales into auto repair shops' service offerings.
      Why Sell Tires in Auto Repair Shops? Discover why even repair shops traditionally not focused on tire sales should consider offering tires to their customers. Mike Edge shares insights on how selling tires isn't just about the transaction; it's about fostering long-term, loyal customer relationships. This segment explores the concept that selling tires can be a gateway to securing a customer's business for all their vehicle maintenance needs over the next three to five years. Operational Insights and Strategies: Learn from the practical experiences and strategies of shop owners who have successfully integrated tire sales into their business model. This part of the discussion sheds light on operational considerations, such as space management, inventory selection based on local demand, and the logistics of tire delivery and installation. It also addresses the challenges and benefits of balancing tire sales with high-margin service work, ensuring shops can maintain profitability while enhancing customer satisfaction and retention. Navigating Equipment and Supplier Relationships: For shops considering entering the tire business, this section provides valuable advice on selecting the right equipment and building beneficial relationships with tire wholesalers and distributors. It emphasizes the importance of investing in high-quality, reliable equipment to streamline operations and enhance service quality. Mike also highlights the critical role of choosing a supportive wholesaler, one that not only offers competitive pricing but also provides exceptional service, ensuring shops can meet their customers' needs efficiently and effectively. Realities of the Tire Business With Hunt Demarest of Paar, Melis & Associates  
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
       
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


  • Our Sponsors










×
×
  • Create New...