Last post on Feb 04, 2013 at 8:06 PM
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#517 of 576 Re: Someone who understands the details [steve_]
May 02, 2012 (2:09 pm)
I'll let everyone else play on that one for now. Some days we walk out the door feeling good about what we have accomplished. There are many others have a way of making that impossible, even when we did everything the absolute best that we could. If only we could do this without actually needing to earn a living...
#518 of 576 Re: Someone who understands the details [steve_]
May 11, 2012 (7:12 pm)
Well that's what I was afraid I would see in that thread. It didn't take long for words like greed and selfishness to show up and of course we have the perception that someone elses's financial situation somehow changes our daily needs. There are a few references to how costly it is to run a shop today, and about what a tech has to invest in his/her tools. I'm not sure how much we really want to talk about that aspect of our jobs anyway for security reasons.
If I threw into the mix the challenges that my wife and I have and are facing, people would be inclined to tell us we are responsible for ourselves, which I agree with. We are responsible for ourselves and our situation and to that end take a proactive approach to dealing with her problem. When someone who is going through a tough time expects us to carry part of their load too, they don't really understand what they are asking of us.
My wife has never worked outside of the business that I built and the position I created for her. She has Epilepsy that is bad enough to prevent her from being employable. Yet with me being self employe'd isn't eligible for disability or any assistance. They treat her like she is a stay at home mom. Currently she takes clusters of seizures about every three weeks that last 24-36 hours. With a recent study just concluded she is scheduled for surgery to try and help her but not until September as they have a waiting list and can only handle two patients a week. The plan is to attach electrodes directly to her brain,and hopefully pinpoint the part of her right temporal lobe that initiates the seizures. If they can find the spot and feel that it's safe to try they will remove that section of her brain.
Now we never went on a honeymoon when we got married. Her epilepsy started when she was expecting our daughter and we only went on one vacation in 32 years and that was for four days. We don't own a big house (two bedroom, one bath, about 900 sq/ft) so we don't live beyond our means. But when someone acts like we owe them something because things aren't going easy for them, we just don't have anything left to even try. All we can do is the best we can to be ready to try and repair their car and that is a huge investment each year. When someone price pressures us, or thinks we are supposed to give away my time or knowledge they just don't know what they are asking. Then to deal with the perceptions that suggest that there is an element of greed or selfishness like you already are, and will see in that thread, well now you know why I don't feel like getting involved there.
#519 of 576 Re: Someone who understands the details [thecardoc3]
by steve_ HOST
May 11, 2012 (7:16 pm)
Sorry about your wife - medical issues are tough.
Did you really read the discussion? The greed comments were mostly about the customers, not the techs.
#520 of 576 Re: Someone who understands the details [steve_]
May 11, 2012 (7:36 pm)
I'll read it again, and see if my perception of what is there changes. However "Mostly" still means some are aimed at the techs, and since I tend to expect to see that......
#521 of 576 Re: Someone who understands the details [thecardoc3]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 12, 2012 (1:18 pm)
the comments were actually in defense of those accusations, and to present that the mechanic's time is not to be squandered.
The conclusion I came to reading the comments was that a little "goodwill" generosity makes good business sense and that most of the reputation for greed comes from the habits of service writers. The line mechanic does not make these decisions.
#522 of 576 Re: Someone who understands the details [steve_]
May 20, 2012 (7:36 am)
OK, I read through it again. While some of the comments were made to be in defense of technicians, (thank-you shift-right), the thought process started as I interpreted it. Trying to defend against the comments is like trying to address a comment like "Do you still beat your wife?"
The simple facts are there are any number of people who have had careers that make them believe they are prepared to comment on what it's like being a technician, and what it costs today to try and run a viable business but they don't actually have the first hand experience of doing so.
For every success we have, it only takes one person to try and tear the whole operation down. I don't know if I ever told you about the guy with the windstar turn signal problem who's bill was $170 to repair. Which by the way was a charge for half of the time that was actually invested, and easily could have been mis-diagnosed and cost him well over $700 for a GEM module replacement that he didn't need. We got it right, did the repair right, cut our own throats to make the price right, and to him and everyone he has ever talked to we are crooks. If I could have seen that coming, I would have handed him a twenty told him sorry about his luck and sent him down the road without fixing his car and been better off.
I could talk about the guy back when I was a dealership technician. I got called to the service desk, and as soon as I got there the business owner jumped all over me for smoking in that customers car and burning a hole in the carpet. There is no doubt in my mind I was about to lose my job when the service manager spoke up about one little detail that car owner didn't account for with his lie. I don't smoke, never have, and can't stand to be near someone that does smoke. heck even getting into some people's cars where they smoke makes me ill.
I had to cut Friday short, and struggled through yesterday after having a reaction to the odor from the mothballs one lady has inside her car. She was here because I can handle the keyless security system on her Lincoln. I lost a day's productivity (and my lunch) for fixing it for her.
#523 of 576 Re: Someone who understands the details [thecardoc3]
by steve_ HOST
May 20, 2012 (8:40 am)
Well, it could be worse.
You could be a car salesman.
#524 of 576 Re: Someone who understands the details [thecardoc3]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
May 20, 2012 (9:12 am)
You could name any profession and point to similar public perceptions. Doctors? Lawyers? Postal employees?
I mean, really, what job title is universally loved and admired? Very few indeed.
RE: Dealing with customers: -- If you work on cars, you're gonna have good days, and you're gonna have very bad days.
My Dad was a field technician for Packard--he used to say "The automobile business eats people".
When Packard folded, he left the biz and worked for the Better Business Bureau----having a clear understanding of how difficult it was to fix cars, he had a very high success rate of resolving complaints from car owners, and was also not hesitant to tell a consumer that their claim had no basis.
Keep in mind that the BBB is funded solely by business--it was created to weed out the bad apples and protect the good ones.
#525 of 576 Enjoy this article by someone who wants to help the consumers
May 23, 2012 (11:43 am)
Click on the e-how authors link and you'll find that he wrote a book about auto repair scams and shams in 1990. What's really sad is much of the information in the ehow article couldn't be more incorrect.
Its troublesome to see him featured as an "expert" when his words prove that he isn't qualified to hold a position as a technician.