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Sharing The Auto Parts Counter Professional: An Art or Necessary Evil?


2/15/2010

 
By Ron Dahlhaus
General Parts Group LLC,  New Jersey

As I attended my children’s high school “professional life” night at our town’s high school a few years ago, I took notice and was highly interested in the college recruiters from all over, especially those who concentrated on the various professions.

Most of the bases were covered: There were representatives for accounting, dentistry, education, law, fashion, beauty, IT, engineering and the arts. What I did not see was a local tech school that offered a course in automotive aftermarket parts and counter professional training. This begs the question: where do our new counter professionals come from, or more importantly, how does someone become one? There certainly is no line of applicants or any young adult that is looking for the counter professional training school, nor do some young adults even know that the profession exists or care that we exist.

At our group we always say that we will promote or find our counter professionals of tomorrow from within our own ranks. Promote from within. Really? However, as soon as our competitor’s best counterperson becomes available, we seek that person out like we were hunting for buried treasure, find out what they have to offer, and more times than not, we hire that person, hoping that he or she brings us more business today than we had yesterday. There goes the hopes of our young trainee, who was just starting to see things “our” way. In fact, do things “our” way and his or her frustrations usually lead to a shortened career.

Most of the auto part stores out there have at least one or a few of those “outstanding” counter professionals. This is reason why most people shop at your store. You know the type: Mature, neatly dressed, well-spoken, outgoing, pleasant to speak with. The guy or gal who makes the female customer feel welcome. The person who makes the professional technician feel like he or she is talking with an equal. The person who understands both the customer’s point of view and surely recognizes his job and responsibility, to sell auto parts and his store. How do we find more counter professionals like the one mentioned or how do we make the others more like that one?

Most businesses talk the talk about training and teaching, however, very few walk the walk when it comes to spending the money or more importantly, the time. The hard truth is that in today’s business climate when margins are shorter and sales are hard to come by, it is much easier to try to “find” an experienced person than take the time, money, growing pains and effort that it takes to mold one into the way that you want them to be. As we all know, the professional technician has no patience for that inexperienced or limited-experience counter professional.

So with such a shortage, how do we grow our businesses? How do we open another location? How do we staff a new pickup location? How do we open another depot? Does today’s technology of a modern phone system or a phone room really work for the wholesale dominated business? Does this give us a mask to prolong us from solving our bigger problems, or is it a true opportunity to grow and make all aspects of our business better, as now, our best staff is handling most of our business?

The argument will be that your best counter professionals are doing what they do best — handling most of your customers’ needs. Today’s technology can allow the staff in one room (phone room) or a reduced staff in multiple locations to answer most or all of the calls from where they work — or even from home!

Does this hybrid of auto parts selling really work? Does the investment in technology, of which the cost of is coming down year after year, really save payroll dollars? Does it allow you to work with less-qualified staff, and does it really allow your “best” to do what they do best — take care of more of your customer base?

With very few known automotive aftermarket learning centers (schools) out there, and the 99.99 percent of the population choosing colleges, tech schools, trade schools, business schools or just business rather than our industry, where and how do we staff and find tomorrow’s quality and qualified counterperson ... today? How do we grow our auto part stores and not become one of those staggering “out of business” statistics?
  Previous Comments
avatar   Mick   star   6/2/2010   11:53 PM

The funny thing about the comment below is that the people working at Inn N Out burger actually get paid more than our average counter person, at 11-12 an hour.



avatar   Alec G   star   5/30/2010   2:03 PM

so far i have to say the company is good, ya your can get paid better at other places, But that has been the case since you were all born. Look the fact is you got into the job knowing what you were getting into. If you cant handle it get out those are the options and its not aimed to be a rude comment but if you wanna work at in and out burger getting paid what they get go there. You choose the job for the right reasons then you will see the rewards helping people fix issues they never would have ever thought to attempt befor. Ya you will run into jack holes but no matter where you go to work it will all end the same. Yes the company offers perks and stuff for you to make more money which can get confuseing because you want the customer to get the best thing to fix his car for the best price but this month we have to offer valv fuel injector cleaner which is rubbing alchohol pretty much compared to say sea foam and lucas. All in all thought the job is easy and rewarding in the end. Im a parts tech and training for an assistant and you know doing all the work i do as a parts tech you look aroung at some store managers and assistants knowing they get paid more to do less than you do in a day, but if you hold true hopefully in the end they will be gone and you will reap the rewards of your hard work.



avatar   Livin' Green Fo Sho   star   5/19/2010   3:17 PM

Hey guys! I just got my .25 cent raise! Pizza party is on me! And I can finally afford a pack of gum with each paycheck



avatar   Crystal   star   5/7/2010   2:44 PM

Ryans kid i agree w the raise comment plus chilln and playin the new Halo game or Need for Speed Shift sounds good rite bout now wished that would pay the bills. Seriously i would like to get managers pay but don't want the headaches managers have..so where does that leave me? Manager of Whataburger Ugh. Nah i like my on the road job,plus we do get to wear jeans...but then again they do make more than me.



avatar   Outlaw Rex Kane   star   5/3/2010   1:54 PM

And there's a flag on the play......Lets hear the call from the referee......."Tuner Guy...Offensive.....Too much information......Fifteen yards and replay the down"







avatar   Tuner Guy   star   5/1/2010   1:49 PM

what pizza party? Man the only paid out that my manager does is for therapy for all th BS he puts us through



avatar   Ryans Kid   star   5/1/2010   12:26 PM

For those that just got a raise, now your boss is going expect alot more from ya. Way more.



And that Raise you got will now affect how much payroll that Store Manager has to run which will definately affect how many hours that store can run weekly now.



That raise you got can determine whether the store manager can have that extra person on saturday, or not get a Bonus during their Assessment, or do a paidout for that pizza party that the crew worked hard to get.....but unfortunately your raise killed it all.



Your .23 cents amounted to about a 2% raise. What a joke. Are you worth 2% or .23 cents? I would of threw that change back at them and had them try again.



23 Cents........who can live on that.......horrible









avatar   disgruntled   star   4/30/2010   8:03 PM

I gotta raise today. $0.23. No back dated.

Woo! Now I can finally afford that carribean vacation!




avatar   Ryans Kid   star   4/30/2010   4:47 PM

Hey Blumble, your asking for a raise?; thats asking for toooooo much already!!!!



And only 3 years? You need to work for 5 years before you can even mention something like that.



See if O'Reilly DM, Ryan, Kim, or O'Reilly ASM will give you a raise out of their check? These guys are Noobs!




avatar   BLUMBLE   star   4/28/2010   7:40 PM

wHAT I CAN'T FIGURE OUT IS WHY THE DM WHO HASN'T REALLY DEALT WITH A CUSTOMER SINCE HE HAD A STORE A COUPLE YEARS AGO GETS PAID 5 TIMES AS MUCH AS THE COUNTER GUY THAT BUST HIS @$$ EVERYDAY WORKING EVERY NIGHT AND WEEKEND. I HAVE BEEN HERE 3 YEARS I HAVE ASKED FOR A RAISE AND THEY SAID IT I HAD TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE.... I MAKE BETTER SALES THAN MY MANAGER.



avatar   Fourty Year Old Virgin   star   4/25/2010   8:25 PM

Joe man hate to burst your bubble but not everyone considers picking up trash on the side of the road in an orange jump suit a real job. Oh man you better get off the computer and get to work before the C O see's you



avatar   joe   star   4/25/2010   11:14 AM

every one just go find a real job, and quit talking about the jobs you work for.



avatar   hopless...   star   4/21/2010   7:04 PM

my comment didnt get deleted, but it did get ignored. funny, coz thats what happens at work too.



avatar   Outlaw Rex Kane   star   4/21/2010   12:45 PM

Borat said





"Outlaw, just find yourself a fake hand with ALL the fingers on it, then you can do it..HI-FIVE!!







Problem solved"



Good idea! I'll go to the souvenier stand and get one of those giant foam hands! Thanks




avatar   Gabe   star   4/20/2010   8:26 PM

Kim personally I don't think any of us looked at it as grass is greener on the otherside. We actually knew changes were coming. We heard about the changes before our own store changed.



It had more to do with the economy went to hell. There was nowhere to go, and there still isn't. While everyone lost jobs ours seemed to be the only secure one.




avatar   Borat   star   4/20/2010   1:55 PM

Outlaw, just find yourself a fake hand with ALL the fingers on it, then you can do it..HI-FIVE!!



Problem solved




avatar   Outlaw Rex Kane   star   4/20/2010   1:46 PM

Borat, I find your "Hi Five" very offensive. I have lost a digit on one of my hands, and I cannot do a hi-five with it. There needs to be a hi-four for those like me, and even a hi-three for those less fortunate.



avatar   Billy Bob   star   4/20/2010   11:13 AM

O'Reilly ASM....want some wine with that cheese??



Holy cow talk about s*ckin up and being brainwashed!!




avatar   Kim   star   4/19/2010   12:16 PM

I keep hearing about all the money you guys made while under the CSK banner. Did you every stop to think THAT is why you are no longer under the CSK banner...that that is why O'Reilly was able to buy them out. Some where along the line O'Reilly had to bring things back into a profitable position so you had the choice to quit or keep this job you keep complaining about.

The grass is never greener on the other side...despite the old saying! The only ones making big money in this business are the VP'S. PRES'S AND CEO'S. The rest of us work for a living like most of the people in this world.

You can work with pride and love your job, knowing that you are good at it..or you can spend the rest of your life moaning..the choice the is yours.




avatar   O'Reilly ASM   star   4/18/2010   8:38 PM

I have been with O'Reilly auto parts for just now going on one year i went from a Delivery Spec. to RSS to Asst. Store Manager in that short time I belive this is a wonderful company to work for if you just stay motivated any goal can be accomplished just belive in yourself and the company and you can do anything. If you have a problem take it up with your manager complaining doesnt fix the problem. Just keep the O'attitude and remember if it is severe enough call the TIPS line



avatar   Borat   star   4/18/2010   4:22 PM

see's customer walk into store and says "HI FIVE!!"



Guess where he works at?




avatar   Borat   star   4/18/2010   4:21 PM

Great Story!



avatar   Borat   star   4/18/2010   4:15 PM

Great Story!



avatar   Ryans kid   star   4/18/2010   3:35 PM

Ryan.....since I quit my job like you told me, I need to move back in....I cant pay you rent....but I will eat all your food and play X-box 360 all day while I tell you i was out lookin for another job!!!



avatar   Ryans Kid   star   4/17/2010   6:31 PM

Oh Ryan......i need some money for gas too.....can you lend me some???



avatar   Ryans Kid   star   4/17/2010   6:19 PM

Sure.....Ill quit Ryan. By the Way, will you pay my bills ??



avatar   Ryan   star   4/17/2010   11:42 AM

quit*



avatar   Ryan   star   4/17/2010   11:40 AM

You guys remind me so much of the people I work with. And I'll tell you the same thing I tell them. If you don't like your job, go find a different one!!!!! Quite griping.



avatar   O'Reilly DM   star   4/12/2010   10:34 AM

Oh, and I forgot the ALL black shoes.



avatar   O'Reilly DM   star   4/12/2010   10:32 AM

This is not corporate BS. I of course worked my way up through the ranks and even spent time at AAP. They promote on who you know not on performance. That is what made me leave and come to O'Reilly. Out of the big 3 O'Reilly is no doubt the best to work for. That is a statement you cannot disagree with. Don't believe me. Go work for them. You will be coming back in 90 days tops. Just make sure to go by your black slacks, black socks, and black belt 1st. Look at our dress code. We are the most laid back autoparts retailer in the industry. I am all for promoting from within. Look at the chain. The CEO started off in the stores, the COO started off in the stores, Jeff Shaw started off in the stores. The list goes on and on to your DM, who if was from core O'Reilly and not from CSK, started off in a store. No other company in our industry can say that. NONE!!! If you want to see a company ran off corporate BS go work for one of the other 2 of the big 3.



avatar   O'Reilly DM   star   4/9/2010   2:12 PM

Joe Cool: Guess you went with the 1st suggestion. Sit back and complain on here. That's a shame. You know what the definition of insanity is?......Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Remember it is the choices we make, not the chances we take that determine our destiny. I hate to see great talent going to waste.



avatar   Chris   star   4/7/2010   8:24 PM

I just got out of the business today, going into A/C. I'll not say anything here about the reasons, but suffice it to say, watch who you work with. They may not have your best interests in mind.



avatar   Jay   star   4/7/2010   8:05 PM

Don't worry guys Obama is going to take care of all this and demonise all of the people and corp. that make to much money and not all are equal. I've worked on all sides of this industry. We put up with a lot of crap between customers that think if you don't do this for us I will call corp and tell them I'm taking my 10 dollar a year business elsewhere and they call and tell us we have to warranty that abuse but then ***** at us for warranty abuse. this dfd bull is fun to. Famous words thats your job. or the challanges talk about rediculous offer a challenge one month lucas fuel additv then the very next month stp fuel additve then ***** at us for not selling very much stp but sale in lucas still real high. or eagle one and meguires spiff which one you going to promote eagle one that gets you the higher % or the chance at some cash. I still can't complain about the district im in. ive got a great Dm Rsfm Sm and Rm.



avatar   Buzz Killington   star   4/7/2010   4:37 PM

What Joe Cool said.



avatar   O'Reilly DM   star   4/6/2010   10:52 AM

It is sad to see you all feel this way. Auto parts is an excellent career choice and O'Reilly is the best company in the business. If you feel you are not being treated properly or corporate doesn't care then call them and let them know. It is the middle management that makes you feel you have a great career that WILL go somewhere. If you truley feel this way it is your DMs fault for not recognizing your talent. You may need to go above his head and let the RM know how you feel because they DO care. I care about my TMs and do everything I can to have them reach their career goals. They way you feel isn't our culture and isn't how corporate feels. You can either sit back and continue to complain on here or you can let someone above your DM know and get the culture fixed in your area!!!!



avatar   Ed   star   4/3/2010   11:58 AM

As I read the comments, I am reminded of my time as a store manager with Advance. Yearly reviews came around, all the managers in the division had to meet in one room with the DM and do the reviews on our store employees. We were given the option of rating them on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the worst. After we were finished, the reviews were thrown back at us and told by the DM "No one is a 5, if you marked someone as a 5 you need to fix it. I'm not even a 5." Even 4s were discouraged.



Sell more parts, have more fun, make more money. I never understood it when Advance added on that last bit, as they were never pay for performance.




avatar   Buzz Killington   star   3/23/2010   10:13 AM

Employee, you just need to sell more parts if you want to make more money. Isn't that what they say?

They don't care about you man. It's all about the bottom line now.




avatar   Zach   star   3/12/2010   4:17 PM

I think this all stems back to the simplest of facts, in an industry competing for the lowest possible price to still be profitable, the wages will never entice younger talent to take up the field, nor will it keep people in the field for long. Not to complain about wages because we all choose where we work, but its the honest truth.



avatar   TeresaS   star   3/11/2010   9:15 PM

I do agree with Jo Cool about having only Distric Managers decide who is ready is risky. We have several DM's here at still Checkers that would eather pass a persion over because of race,age,and gender. One is so old school Checkers that if you dare to get sick and no longer fall into his mold you should be fired. So Everyone at the store level will really have to talk to each other to find out were job postings may be and push for there own step up the ladder. Never leave your fate in the hands of someone else. Again if we stick together at the store level it will work out ok.



avatar   Chris   star   3/11/2010   5:11 PM

Fortunately, we have a DM who spent years on the counter and is a decent guy. He's smart enough to let the store managers pick their own people.



avatar   crystal   star   3/8/2010   3:36 PM

Why have better training programs when they arent willing to pay? From what Ive heard ppl who do have the knowledge and experience dont get paid much more than the know absolutely nothing ones.



avatar   Tad   star   3/4/2010   3:42 PM

I started at an independent Napa after two and a half years on the other side of the phone at Sears Auto. I only recently got hired into an ISS position at O'Reilly as a strategic hire. Actually, it was still Kragen until a couple weeks ago.



Napa is where I learned how to work a parts counter. Over there, customer service is the name of the game. If you can't help the customers, you're not going to make it. I learned really quick how to juggle walk-in customers and phone sales, as probably 70% of the store's sales were commercial. I always answer the commercial line within 3 rings, and try my best to catch the retail line within 3 as well. You have to be able to ask a walk-in customer to hold for a couple seconds while you answer the phone. If the phone call is going to take more than 30 seconds or so, ask the phone customer to hold while you finish the customer in front of you, or take their info and call them back when you have a minute. I've found that most walk-ins are fairly tolerant if you have to answer the phone as long as you're reasonable about it. If it's an important commercial call that you can't hold, you can always ask another associate to take over the walk-in sale for you.



The customers that can't wait 30 seconds for you to finish a phone call, or the ones that can't understand how price matching works, aren't worth your time. They're not going to be happy, period, and there's nothing you can do about that, so focus on the customers you CAN help. Your DM will never tell you that, but I have no qualms about telling that to my DM if I get written up because some customer had a bad day.



Not answering the phone does a LOT of damage to the store's image. Corporate may gripe about not picking up in 3 rings, but they're going to be PO'd if nobody picks up, and so is a real customer. Pray it's not a commercial customer on a retail line, or your DM.



As far as "real" counter people, I haven't seen many in the company so far. CSK did a good job of paying the least they could for people who could do the bare minimum. The people at this store keep complaining about how they can't get raises or promotions when they can't do anything except ask 'make/model/year' and can't be responsible in the positions they currently have. The most promising employee here is my driver, who doubles as ISS when I'm not here and does a better job than anybody else in the store.



The problem I see is that big corporations give raises/promotions to people based on the wrong criteria. The CSK 'parts tech' test was a joke (so is the ASE P2, as far as I'm concerned). Almost everyone in my store took it and passed, but none of them would make it a week at the Napa I worked at. What do you need to become an assistant manager? Time in company and pass the key carrier test? Any schmuck can do that. How about promoting the people that show better customer service, do work when there are no customers in the store, and take time to learn about cars/parts whenever they get a chance? Those are the employees that care




avatar   Tom   star   3/3/2010   5:11 PM

For Brad. Answer the phone HA.Think about this. I happen to be at the counter one day waiting on a customer I believe, phone starts to ring I thought the ??? would pick it up! Instead he asks are you going to get that. Well heck no not after the 3rd ring. That's not a good way to look at it,but when your job depends on it to hell with it after the 3rd ring.Or how about your slammed and you do pick it up an do your best to juggle the phone,the customer in front of you and get back to the phone you had on hold.Then you didn't offer LPG. There's a write up for you. I want to know if we can send a write up to the warehouse when they loose a $500 radiator that you promised the customer would be here in the morning!!!



avatar   Ryan   star   3/3/2010   10:16 AM

I agree with Bob but my goal is to either make it to DM status or get a position at a dealership counter. From my experience, those guys get there and stay there for many years so the pay must be decent. Anyone have any insight on that?? And sorry Gabe must have gotten you mixed up lol.



avatar   Bob   star   3/3/2010   9:00 AM

The door swings both ways. Just be glad you have jobs. Alot of people don't!



avatar   Gabe   star   3/2/2010   4:47 PM

Ryan I didn't work for NAPA, but you must have got me mixed up with someone else. It's OK! But it is funny! Our ISS works part time 2 days a week at Holiday gas station! He makes $11 an hour. $.99 less than me!? WTF! As for moving up I'd love to! Checker's rank structure was a little different than O'Reilly's. At Checker I started as a Parts Tech in 3 months! 3 months! I was an assistant manager under the 1st Assistant and Store Manager. Come to O'Reilly's my position is taken away, and I am now an RSS. Eventually I may move up, I just hope it is soon. I don't know how long I can hold on making what I make.



avatar   Ryan   star   3/2/2010   10:24 AM

Like most of you guys, I have been in the parts business for a while. Like Gabe i started at an independent NAPA in high school. I have been a 2nd assistant, 1st assistant, and a GM for Advance and am currently an ISS for the guys in Green. No really big money can be expected but i clear enough to get a house and 2 new cars, You just have to show that you can handle being higher up on the totem pole and you should move up quickly. Or you could just move to fast food and make the same amount.



avatar   Gabe   star   2/28/2010   3:41 PM

I'm getting married this June. I'd like to buy a house, but, "Oh wait I can't! I work auto parts!" I even looked at a repo house for $60,000 even with a 750 creidt score, I still couldn't get a VA loan. Why!? Because my debt to income ratio is 51% because of 2 things! Child support and daycare! So I will get a second job. Oh wait! I can't! There is not many jobs out there right now, and I usually close, but I am the on who fills in any time we are short handed whether it is opening or mid day. As far as corporate and more sales and so on. I remember when we were Checker we ran anywhere from 150%-180% productivity I remember a few months where we were at 240% productivity. I think that is when most of our crew got burnt out!



avatar   Bill   star   2/26/2010   9:40 PM

Personaly i have been told that despite being a former mechanic, and having a large client base, of my own, at my store, that I can be replaced by a high school kid, so I'd better not "rock the boat" I hope my corporate executives enjoy the bonuses they get, cuz yeah, they pay me squat for doing all i do for them.



avatar   Yarrrr   star   2/25/2010   4:11 PM

I honestly have to agree that for 95% of the people in the aftermarket parts industry, this is more of a job than a career. The further down the ******* order you go, the less people are "compensated" for their hard work. In this bussines it doesn't matter how much you sell, or how many customers you make happy; regardless if they are women. You will always be told to cut hours, cut payroll, and increase sales; even though no one at the store level ever sees real rewards for these accomplishments.



I remember when i honestly thought this would be a good career. When i first started 6 years ago i was convinced I was on the up and up, but like most people in this field i was on a career treadmill. Dont get me wrong, i love this as a JOB, but taht is ultimately all it has to offer. Cant wait to finish my other degree! ABANDON SHIP MATEYS!




avatar   Buzz Killington   star   2/23/2010   3:36 PM

Hey YAP-YAP, you ever shut up? dang.



avatar   howardg   star   2/23/2010   3:35 PM

Chris you never worked for aap if you know any good dms.I dont think of this as a career. I had a career a couple of them actually and the stress was more than it was worth. Its more of having a homelife than a career. Now being at the green mafia is better than most for sure at least here you deal with higher ups that have actually worked in the parts industry and know whats going on.



avatar   WILL   star   2/23/2010   9:22 AM

Great points on all of the comments. I started in a "Mom & Pop" Napa. $5.25/hr was nice.... in 1999. I moved to a Corp Napa and jumped t $10.00/hr a year later. Not much more than that now, but it pays the bills. I'm always searching for the next chance to make itself known. Like Gabe said though, it's slim pickings. I've done the two job bit before and I hated it. Gabe, perhaps you should look into a tattoo apprenticeship----could be more money if you're artistically inclined.



avatar   Gabe   star   2/22/2010   10:36 PM

I just keep working auto parts, because there really is no jobs out there right now. On the side though I do custom airbrush painting, real fire, skulls, bio mechanics all that good stuff. That is what I am really working on to get my name out there. Hopefully, then I can move on. But for now just grin and bear it, because there isn't anywhere to go right now.



avatar   Tom   star   2/18/2010   2:46 PM

WOW Getting a little personal. But the truth never hurt anyone. Or has it?? CAR GUYS RULE!!!



avatar   PERRY M.   star   2/18/2010   2:01 PM

Hay!Ted W.and greg H. You feelen the LOVE?



avatar   Chris   star   2/17/2010   5:24 PM

If you're in one of the big, impersonal corporate companies, then no, you will not likely make a real career out of it unless you're at least a district manager. And those jobs are few and far between and often seem to require the least scruples(although I have known some good guys who were DMs).

Your best bet is one of the real parts stores, where you walk in and there's a couple of crusty guys on the counter. The counter is made of lumber, catalogs are prominently displayed in back, and if you're lucky you will find a soda machine.




avatar   TIRED   star   2/17/2010   9:05 AM

Let's face it boys and girls, there is no career left in this, our chosen profession. I've been doing this 20+ years and at one time was on top of the world, but now back at the bottom of the food chain. corporate will ride you like a stolen horse, then you drop and they steal another. It doesn't matter who you work for. Start on your resume' and find something else, because if our customers are any indication, we are pretty smart cookies that are capable of anything!



avatar   Tom   star   2/16/2010   5:40 PM

First off sorry for the double post. Gabe you sound alot like myself. I'm just past 40 and love my old flat black truck. Your correct about things costing more. And moneys tight. Seems it's always tighter the further down the line you go. Rich is rich and poor is poor. Don't get me wrong i'm not going hungry, but that Kenne bell blower is just further and further away. The mustang has even been sold ,so even if I got one I'd have to put another notch together just to have a car to put it on.Always looking for a new way of life. They'll miss us when where gone. I'm sure you have seen the new guy come in and start out a buck or two less then where you are now. Even though it took you years to get to that pay. Problem with me is I have a morgage and such. Hang in there like Red Green says were all in this together!! Surely you no Red Green. DUCT TAPE IS A GIFT FROM ABOVE.



avatar   Gabe   star   2/16/2010   3:21 PM

Tom if your a dinosaur, then I must be a dinosaur too and I am only 33. In my heart of hearts I am an old schooler. Sometimes I drive a '64 Chevelle to work. But at home I am rebuilding a '91 Civic 4dr. I go to the back to the 50's show here in Minnesota. Hang out in lawn chairs with retirees, chow down on food and watch the people walk by, and B.S. with the retirees. Since I came to this store people I work with have learned alot about cars. Because my store manager came from Burger King, my assistant came from excavating, I have a young 21 yr old who came from Honda, and a 52 yr old who is hyper active and our entertainment, and knows about old cars. I love the people I work with, we all work together well, and have the highest productivity in our district. Yet at the same time I always look for something new, because auto parts just cannot pay the bills. I am not moving forward or backward just stuck broke every week. It gets tiring, and annoying when your trying to support your family. That is where the auto parts business is lacking. The economy has changed things are more expensive, yet nothing has changed in pay. Yet companies always say you are part of the ______ auto parts family. Yeah whatever!



avatar   Tom   star   2/16/2010   2:52 PM

It's all about numbers.How do you grow business. Easy you cut payroll. Looks good on paper.Hire cheap help.Looks good on paper. The REAL CAR GUYS are fading away.Look out in the parking lot to see what your fellow employees drive to work. here it's a car or truck,suv,whatever. When I started back in the day the boss had a 67 camaro conv. a 56 chevy sled and a 65 chevy PU. all nice. The counter guy had a restored 67 Chevy PU. I done my best with an old ford truck. We were all car guys. All we talked about was who was doing what with there vehicle. Didn't matter if it was one of ours or a customer. Now we are a dinosaur of sorts. I keep plugging away but the new guys could care less. I would love to teach a class on automotive ethics. You may think I made that up. I did,but everything has to start somewhere. I'll never make it to the top of the parts food chain, but I would say it's lonely up there. How long before you forget where you came from, and start looking at the numbers instead of the people. 6 figures would be great, but at what cost. If I had that much to spend i would certainly have that 60x120 shop with a little apartment in one end. The rest would be full of Hot Rods. THAT'S WHAT THE INDUSTRY NEEDS IMO.



avatar   Tom   star   2/16/2010   2:51 PM

It's all about numbers.How do you grow business. Easy you cut payroll. Looks good on paper.Hire cheap help.Looks good on paper. The REAL CAR GUYS are fading away.Look out in the parking lot to see what your fellow employees drive to work. here it's a car or truck,suv,whatever. When I started back in the day the boss had a 67 camaro conv. a 56 chevy sled and a 65 chevy PU. all nice. The counter guy had a restored 67 Chevy PU. I done my best with an old ford truck. We were all car guys. All we talked about was who was doing what with there vehicle. Didn't matter if it was one of ours or a customer. Now we are a dinosaur of sorts. I keep plugging away but the new guys could care less. I would love to teach a class on automotive ethics. You may think I made that up. I did,but everything has to start somewhere. I'll never make it to the top of the parts food chain, but I would say it's lonely up there. How long before you forget where you came from, and start looking at the numbers instead of the people. 6 figures would be great, but at what cost. If I had that much to spend i would certainly have that 60x120 shop with a little apartment in one end. The rest would be full of Hot Rods. THAT'S WHAT THE INDUSTRY NEEDS IMO.















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