Have a Great Day

  I've seen mechanics, service writers, (and me) get upset
over the stupidest things.  Everything from each other,
customers, the wrong parts showing up, stubborn bolts that
won't turn, to “Who used the A/C recovery machine last and
didn’t bother to fill it back up?!” Things happen, and
sometimes we should just let it go, and not let it raise our
blood pressure to the boiling point.

Sometimes it's best to remember those days when
every repair and every customer situation went off without
a hitch, and to remind ourselves there is a lot more of days
like this than we care to admit.  But, like a lot of hardened
veterans of the wrench world we tend to see nothing but
the gloomy side of the repair business.  It’s the car
problems, or a few goofy explanations about those
problems, and then we have to sort them all out with logical
explanations.  This usually puts us (mechanics) in a mood
where we tend to believe everyone around us must either
be incompetent or lacks trust in our abilities.  I wouldn’t
doubt that police officers, paramedics, or firemen develop a certain attitude when confronting the next traffic situation, drug dealer, or burning building.   It's part of the make-up of the job.  Not that anyone ever started out in their profession that way; it's something we all developed after years of experiences from countless situations. 

Sometimes, it's a good idea to just take a step back, no matter what's going on, and just have a great day.  Put a smile on that old mug and say thank you and good morning to everyone you meet.  Take the time to say, “Hi, how are ya?” to the mail person, the guy in the next bay and so on.  Maybe it's the little extra time you take to say, “And, how are you?” back to the teller at the bank drive up window when they greet you with their customary introduction. 

Maybe spreading some of that old fashion common courtesy would be in order too.  Opening the car door for the Mrs. or rushing to the restaurant door only to hold it open for the couple behind you.  Some of us do all that and more without even thinking about it.  But, there are many of us who need to be reminded about it.  I fall in that category of; “needs to be reminded” more often than I’d care to admit. At times I do, and other times, I wish I would have thought to be more courteous before going on my own thoughtless way.

There are days at the shop when all the money in the world doesn't add up to the joy of doing a good job and the admiration from the customer.  If I had to put it in other terms, it would be like an actor on stage.   They do their craft for the applause at the end of their performance.  That simple act of acknowledging a job well done makes all the difference in the world to them.  Similar acknowledgments do happen at the automotive service counter as well just not in the same way.  At least I haven’t had a customer stand there and applaud over an oil change… yet, but they do show their appreciation in other ways, and quite often.

Over the years I've witnessed some of the generosity people have for their automotive repair person firsthand.  From cookies and cakes brought in by an appreciative customer, to showing up announced just to say Hi.  Once in a while it’s tickets to a ball game, and others it’s something they know I would probably would be interested in.   I’ve even had a customer come in and present me with a handmade ball point pen.  (Really cool pen by the way) and I’ve had an older gentleman bring my wife's flowers on her birthday.  (Thanks for the reminder... I almost forgot that year.) 

Ya just never know, obviously, we do touch our customer’s personal lives with our efforts.  And for that we should all be grateful.  It's not the kind of thing you think of when you make the decision to go into the automotive repair business.   It's something that happens because you are doing a good job in business and touching so many lives.  Great customers are like my extended family, and I'm glad to call them a part of it.  Maybe as the shop owner, the technician, or the service writer, maybe, we should all stop what we’re doing and applaud our customers.  They’re the real stars of our world.

So, no matter the faults or misconceptions of car care, it’s a good thing to be a part of it.  Because, like a lot of us in the business of fixing cars even though we may not outwardly show it, we really do care.  Yes, we need your business and your support; we appreciate it even though we may forget to say so.  Sometimes we all need to be reminded of not what we do, but how much what we do effects everyone around us.  So if you haven't already, now is a good time to start... mechanics, technicians, and everyone else out there....  Have A Great Day. 

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