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Night Before Christmas - an apprentice helps Santa out


Gonzo

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Twas the Night before Christmas

(Mechanic style)

 

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the service bay

Not an engine was stirring, just old Santa’s sleigh.

All the air hoses were hung, by the compressor with care,

The mechanics had the day off, I’m the only one there.

 

I was just an apprentice, but wanted to show St. Nick just what I knew.

My boss was all for it, said it was OK if I turned a few screws.

 

With visions of being a full time mechanic, dancing in my head

I was going to give it my best shot; I’ll fix this old sled.

 

I gave the key a twist, and listened in dismay,

That little red hot rod needed service, in such a bad way

 

Then from under the hood there arose such a clatter,

That even St. Nick had to ask, “So, what’s the matter?”

 

I flew from the driver’s seat and raised the hood in a flash,

Nearly stumbling off my feet, from my quick little dash.

 

The under hood light, glimmered onto the engine below,

The fan belt had broken, and a spark plug blew out a hole.

 

It’s something I can handle; I learned this stuff in school,

I’ll have this fixed up in no time; it only takes a few tools,

 

I started it up and all eight cylinders were firing away

Just a few minor adjustments and he could be on his way

 

That’s when I noticed, his sled was packed full of all sorts of toys…

He hadn’t finished his deliveries, to all the girls… and boys.

 

He was dressed all in red, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot

 

Anxious he was, to finish his trip as soon as he could,

With my wrenches a flyin’, he knew that he would.

 

It was up to me, to get it fixed this very night,

He still had a long way to go, before it was daylight.

 

His eyes, how they twinkled, his dimples, how merry

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.

 

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

I knew it was Christmas Eve, so I couldn’t say no,

 

He had a broad face and a round little belly

That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

 

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

 

His sled was like new, after the job was all done,

Now that it’s fixed, he could get back to his run.

 

He reached into his huge bag,

and pulled a box out with a jerk,

Said he knew just how to thank me,

for all of my hard work,

 

I ripped open the present, and Oh, what a sight!

Snap On wrenches and sockets! Boy was he right!

 

As he pulled from the parking lot, he held the throttle to the floor,

Just to show off, he passed by the shop, once more,

 

This guy Santa, he’s a little strange, at any rate,

He had a name for every cylinder, in his little V8.

 

I could hear him shout, so loud and clear,

Naming off each cylinder, as if they could hear.

 

"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!

 

I heard the tires screech, as he caught second gear,

Off to deliver those presents, some far, some near

 

Then, I heard him exclaim, just before he drove out of sight

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”


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Great Tire Deal

I found all kinds of versions of "Twas the night before Christmas" but not one for "mechanics" So, I made this one up on the spot. Thought it came out pretty good.

I think I'll add this to my Christmas rotation of stories. This one ... I think ... will be my favorite of them all.

 

Thanks for the comments,

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Thanks Frank, I really appreciate it. I know Joe feels the same way. Working on cars is hard enough, working with people who don't understand the complexities of their car is another. If money was no option I'd probably still be fixing cars, because... it's what I like to do. Telling stories is a pass time for me, one that I truly enjoy.

 

Thanks again, and I'm sure I'll come up with a few more good ones along the way.

Gonzo

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  • 2 weeks later...

Awesome job, Gonzo. I read your article "Strange Requests at the Service Counter" yesterday at lunch in Underhood Service. I was hilarious and reminded me of some experiences I've had over the years. We need some levity in this business and your version of Twas the Night before Christmas is awesome. Thanks, and here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      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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