ebonyandivory PowerDork
8/23/19 9:43 p.m.

My wife’s family has run a small breakfast diner for decades. My wife has been there since she was a kid. A relatively new customer who’s since become a regular owns a small, reputable shop in town.

We decided to drop of my kids 2500 Sierra for some work while we were on vacation. So they not only pulled the bed to replace the pump and sending unit but gave us a list of stuff that could use replacing soon. Front suspension parts, battery tray among others.

The thing is, he barely knows us but told my son “you come in, we’ll order the parts and YOU can do all the work and we’ll show you how to do it... but YOU'LL DO THE WORK. I can do it and give you the bill or you can learn to do this yourself.”

They’ve already showed him how to replace all four speakers and the tie-rods are next.

Not sure if he’d do this for anyone else’s kid but it’s good to know there’s still good guys out there.

Vigo MegaDork
8/23/19 9:48 p.m.

It's hard to find good entry level people in the industry. If you can't buy one, build one, right?

paranoid_android UberDork
8/23/19 10:07 p.m.

That is awesome.  I’m 45, and I would jump at that opportunity if it presented itself.

TurnerX19 HalfDork
8/23/19 10:11 p.m.

I had a great employee who lost his job while we had the gearbox apart on his TR3. He came in to tell us, and my father put him to work. He turned into a pretty good tech, and was still with us 20 years later when I closed up shop (1986).

ebonyandivory PowerDork
8/23/19 10:53 p.m.

I’d been trying hard over the years - my son is 16 - to pass on all this knowledge and experience as I did 80% of the work on my cars, trucks, motorcycles and lawn equipment myself but no longer have the time to do much of it.

Needless to say I’m very excited. 

As an aside, the other day I took a break from mowing the lawn in 90+ degree heat to help diagnose his KX125 idling issues. I had to take over getting to his idle screw and was dripping sweat all over the bike trying to kick it over. I must’ve kicked it 100 times easy.

I told him to take over and kick it a few times. A minute later the bike is put away and the doors shut so I asked him what he was doing. He said “I’m about to pass out”. I yelled across the yard from the lawnmower “Jesus, I’m 50 years old and I’m not about to pass out, come on...”

Hopefully I can impart some toughness and resiliency as he simultaneously gains some mechanical abilities.

Kids these days...

Vigo MegaDork
8/24/19 2:31 p.m.

Getting tired of being in sweaty clothes all day was a big reason why i wanted to get away from being a full time mechanic and become a teacher (and the fact that i still wanted to enjoy doing it for myself when i got home). Low and behold now that im a teacher all sorts of shops (here in Texas) are converting to air conditioning because it turns out that happy workers are more productive and i guess this wasn't known for the last 15, 30, 50 years? Whatever... Anyway, I'm all for being resilient but if it was gonna turn someone away from the industry entirely I'd say just only apply to shops that are comfortable to work in. That didn't seem like an actual option in the early 2000s when i got out of high school, but it is now. At least here. 

nutherjrfan UberDork
8/31/19 9:37 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

That actually became a small storyline in F&L ( yes I know Dickie boy doesn't get much love here ) when some high rollers bitched about the shop being so hot when laying down some serious coin for a car.  The Gas Monkeys seemed to appreciate it.  smiley

ddavidv PowerDork
9/1/19 8:56 a.m.

The local VW dealership had the only a/c service department for decades. It was a crappy place to work but nobody left because they knew it would be like working in a sweatshop anywhere else.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/1/19 8:11 p.m.
Vigo said:

It's hard to find good entry level people in the industry. If you can't buy one, build one, right?

Quoted for truth.

You'd think more people would figure this out, instead of going "well, if I train them my competitors will steal them, so I'd rather steal my competitor's techs".

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