Keeping It Simple: Attitude Is An Attitude

Keeping It Simple: Attitude Is An Attitude

Over the past several years, I have been afforded the opportunity to share my thoughts on a wide variety of subjects throughCounterman magazine. Through this, I’ve delved into the topics of leadership and attitude as a subject more often than any other.

If you’re familiar with, you’ve probably seen “Ask the Counterpro,” where readers send questions about the aftermarket and parts distribution. A team of counter professionals, some of them past Counter Professional of the Year award recipients and technicians, answer the questions as they come in.

Most of the questions pertain to auto repair and problems people are having with their vehicles.

Occasionally, though, people raise questions about how to handle situations that arise within the confines of our walls that the public will rarely see. Sometimes they are questions that hit right to the heart of what we experience every day — from the irate customer to why the district manager handled something a certain way. But, on a very rare occasion, we field a question that insults the dignity of the profession that many of us have spent a lifetime trying to succeed in.


97072WHEELUSneg_00000050354The latest of those questions was: “Why does it suck so much working at parts stores?” It came from what I believe to be a fictitious email address that was made up as to hide the person’s real identity. That was probably a smart idea. But if this person is serious in his question, chances are, his attitude shows at work. A negative attitude like this will rear its ugly head when he answers the phone for a repair shop call or talks to a walk-in customer. You’ve seen it before in everyday life: The employee who doesn’t acknowledge you, acts like you’re bothering them or appears as if being at work is one big annoyance.

This contagious attitude can wreck an entire store no matter how big or small the store. And, even if a store has good people with good attitudes, one bad attitude can tend to spoil the bunch. Those on the fringe of questioning their desire for remaining in the industry may feel this bad attitude and allow it to affect their own. Being a newbie at an auto parts store can be a daunting task. There’s much to learn about parts and serving customers and it takes years to be really good at it. Many souls have walked through our doors thinking we have a gravy job and then find that we have more difficult jobs than it would appear.

It’s hard enough to do the job even if everyone has a cheery attitude. When they don’t, look out. The job just got that much harder.

So does this guy have a point? He may, for himself. He may be one of those who thought this job was cake and got a dose of reality. I’m not sure where he’s headed next. He probably won’t be in the parts business long. But wherever he’s headed, I hope he’s happy doing it.

Gerald Wheelus is general manager of Edgewood Auto Parts, Edgewood, Texas.

You May Also Like

What’s Really Driving The Automotive Aftermarket’s Growth?

NPD’s Nathan Shipley looks at the many moving pieces contributing to the industry’s recent spike in demand.

aftermarket growth

Almost 18 months ago, early in the pandemic, the automotive aftermarket faced the threat of plummeting demand, like many other retail industries tracked by NPD. Looking back, we know that demand did the opposite: accelerating as the first round of federal stimulus was issued and remaining well above pre-pandemic levels ever since.

Strength In Numbers

The automotive aftermarket is filled with great people. In fact, many say it’s our strong suit.

Teamwork automotive aftermarket
Never Stop Learning

With so much internet-based training content available, it’s never been easier to expand your knowledge base.

Continuing Education
Welcome To 2035 – What Things Might Look Like

The future is what we make it. We need to start addressing technology now so 2035 becomes a bright future.

Future of Transportation
Seems Like Everybody’s Talkin’ About Electric Vehicles

Not only are people talking about EVs, but according to the latest U.S. sales figures, they’re also buying them.

Tesla Electric Vehicle

Other Posts

Still Time To Nominate Someone For Counter Pro Of The Year

We’ll be accepting nominations through Aug. 1.

Bring On 2021!

We’re hopeful that 2021 will begin to usher in a return to normalcy for the aftermarket – and our nation.

No Asterisk With The Counter Pro Of The Year Award

Don’t let the crazy events of this year deter you from nominating yourself (or a colleague).

Curbside Pick-Up Or Curbside Letdown?

A recent visit to a home-improvement retailer did not go well.