Stress

Justin Technician California Posted   Latest   Edited  

I have been in this industry for 22 years and I have met a lot of alcoholics , addicts and other humans . And really what came first . No judgment at all by that statement . I really believe I may be part of a new generation of a little spectrum personality with serious attention to detail with a side of ADHD . I have been in only a few shops and often wonder what positive things are others doing for stress relief ? I see younger techs doped on energy drinks and vape and I see heart disease and early death all over our industry and it’s kind of sad because in the end we serve others . There is some weird connections with customers and there cars . I have told some customers time for a new car ( mass produced product ) and you Would think that I asked them to get rid of a kid. I am seeing good people disappear due To the stress . Thank you to this group for the great hearts and minds in here .

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Mike Manager
Pennsylvania
Mike
 

I believe you pointed out a Big problem that is upcoming for the industry, the amount of patience required to do the job factored in with the training required to stay up-to-date on top of the need to produce hours so the shops can stay open can be incredibly overwhelming to anybody, if one of our guys is struggling I will talk to him about it and just a listen, sometimes a day off just to catch…

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Austin Diagnostician
Pennsylvania
Austin
 

Yes. This is important. People need to remember that we need maintenance and repair also. You cant pour from an empty cup.

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Austin Diagnostician
Pennsylvania
Austin
 

this is definitely something thats been weighing on my mind recently. Im 30yo and have been working in the auto industry since i was 18. I have a young daughter and my wife stays home full time. I work 10-12hrs a day and it seems like i can never get ahead between customer expectations and the inability to complete tasks for an infinite number of reason. one car leaves and 3 more take its place…

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
 

Austin - I have a young daughter as well and 10 extra tax seasons . I hate to say union but man do we need some serious restructuring in the industry . I am tempted to buy stock in rental companies because future car repairs including electrics will have a tremendous wait time . Let’s start a new holiday . Let’s all take off on the day after Thanksgiving and call it Service Industry Thanks day…

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin
 

What are “10 extra tax seasons”? I have never before encountered that phrase.

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
 

Years

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin
 

I don't get it, but that happens.

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Michael Owner/Technician
Georgia
Michael
 

Tax season corresponds to a year. 10 years older.

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin
 

Ah, thanks.

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Rex Technical Support Specialist
Ohio
Rex
 

Justin, FWIW my shop has been closed the day after Thanksgiving for at least 30 years. My people all save a vacation day to use for that Friday. All of us, myself included really benefit mentally from 4 consecutive days off.

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Austin Diagnostician
Pennsylvania
Austin
 

Haha I already took that day off but im down

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Wayd Owner/Technician
Montana
Wayd
 

I always take the day after Thanksgiving off.

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Jonathan Owner/Technician
Kentucky
Jonathan
 

The world needs more “Jesus”. All the answers,stress relief,wisdom and understanding can be found in “The Holy Bible” Severe disconnects in family's,substance abuse, moral values definitely destroying lives and taking its toll.

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Darren Technician
Wisconsin
Darren
 

Amen !!!👍🏼

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Stephen Owner
Florida
Stephen
 

I fully concur with Johnathan Stephens. My shop is over loaded just as everyone elses, but we have Tranquility and Peace. Peace is knowing that everything is going to be alright. We have comebacks just as everyone else. We have difficult customers as everyone else, We have parts procurement delays just as everyone else. We try to keep up with the seemingly endless Training Webinars just as…

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Andrew Mechanic
Michigan
Andrew
 

Right on. With everything that is changing I’m glad I know something and someone that is the same yesterday today and forever.

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin
 

We need to address things objectively, regardless of how difficult. We need to treat our bodies with at least the level of maintenance and care that our best customers provide for their automobiles; this immediately eliminates energy drinks, tobacco, vaping, much of what is commonly eaten, etc. We need positive, reality-promoting, growth-supporting mental inputs (music, reading, watching…

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
 

I would start a podcast just to pick your brain . My Thoughts are I have seen to many focused on the technology and forget someone is behind the wheel including me . It’s what I Love but man can it be harmful . How do we get the gratitude from customer back to the tech ? or even what’s expected ? There almost needs to be a meet the tech day !!

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin
 

A podcast, wouldn't that be interesting? That would be tough to keep on the rails! You are correct about the separation between the mechanical part and the human part; switching between the two yet keeping both in mind takes practice, and is very difficult for some. Regarding customer feedback to the techs, that should be provided in all shops. Service advisers should happily pass compliments…

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Tim Mechanic
Arkansas
Tim
 

In all seriousness, get a bike. I have been riding a bike for a little over a year now and it has been the single best thing I have done for my stress. Ok, it doesn't have to be a bike, but some sort of heart-healthy exercise that you enjoy doing will do wonders if done regularly.

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
 

Electric skateboard for me and meditation . Just want to talk about this with the shops so I don’t feel like I’m alone .

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Rick Technician
Illinois
Rick
 

Couldn't agree more, Exercise is a great way to keep stress down. Cycling has been my drug of choice for over 30 years. I agree the body needs some type of maintenance and you do need to watch what you put in it. I'm not saying go vegan or cut out everything, but moderation is key.

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Edwin Mobile Technician
South Carolina
Edwin
 

Rick..I like your plan. I ride when I can but sometimes I'm so burnt out all I want to do is vege . Don't ever get old I guess…lol

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Rick Technician
Illinois
Rick
 

Getting old still beats the alternative. I'm just trying to put it off as long as I can. Still having fun

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John Technician
New Jersey
John
 

Ice Hockey does it for me. Couple hours on the ice, it clears my brain and I get a workout.

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

Riding both a bike and motorcycle in the madhouse of Houston, Texas proved WAY too hazardous to my health! I don't even walk outdoors…. use a treadmill.

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Sherman, Sadly, San Antonio is also getting much worse for motorcycles. All the highways are changing and loop 410 has become over built with flyovers. I'm glad I don't have a daily commute up there anymore. I still cruise my trike when I can, but out in the country mostly. Of course, not at night, the hazard of deer and wild hogs is always present. I have cows, so fence work is a constant…

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

I recently discovered Barbara O'Neill from Australia. She was trained as a surgical nurse back in her youth. Through different life experiences, she is now a natural, holistic guru. She and Robert Lustig, MD have changed my life for the better. I've lost 70 pounds in the past 14 months, gotten my biomarkers back to normal for dyslipidemia and other maladies, sans Western pills. She states that…

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Tim Mechanic
Arkansas
Tim
   

Unfortunately, bike hazards aren't just a metropolitan problem. I agree the more traffic, the higher the chance of problems, but distracted driving is everywhere. I live in rural Arkansas, but this year a member of my bike club was killed in front of another by a distracted driver. I don't know what the answer is, but I have a Garmin Varia radar on my bike and I am waiting for cameras (Cycliq 12…

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
   

It's the service industry….. and the aspect which directly affects the second largest capital outlay in peoples' lives…. their car/vehicle. The largest is a home/shelter. I now celebrate my 46th year in this industry. I'm still an ASE Master Tech… and started way back when it was “NIASE”, all cars had round glass headlights, and catalytic converters were not yet on them. I had to adjust to MANY…

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
   

Well all I can say to that great response is thank you for your service and that gives me some hope so sincerely thanks . I have worked 10 years after UTI in independent which was one of the most reputable shop in Fresno to Fca dealers near the beach . My fear is becoming a cog . Been fortunate lately finding the right shops like I did is helpful . I just want to see change and am willing to…

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Rex Technical Support Specialist
Ohio
Rex
 

Sherman, “I've become an artisanal shop owner. I interview prospective new customers and less than half become my customers.” “Most of my customers trust me (I've EARNED it)”..Very very true. We all talk about the shortage of competent techs. It sounds like you are using that to your advantage. Way to many in this industry equate being flat out busy all the time with success. And many will not…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

How do you quote for intermittent driveability conditions? And do you charge per hour or per diagnostic test?

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Rod, I charge per hour and make adjustment according to customer attitude.

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

A lot of the development of where I am today is the “bitch” attitude of both prior bosses AND customers. This means that I, somehow, was their “bitch”…. to be used and abused. Let me give you an insightful example: Years ago, I dated a girl who was high society here in Houston. Her Job/Career path put her in the company of Houston's elite movers and shakers (read rich people/ snobs). One…

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Jeff Technician
South Carolina
Jeff
 

Well I used to use drugs and alcohol. For almost 30 years I drank and got high and I used to blame a lot of it on the stress from the job Which I’ve been doing for over thirty years. However I’ve been clean for ten and a half years so if you can do math then you already know I was drinking and using for ten years before I ever picked up a wrench, so I can’t blame being an addict or alcoholic on…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

41 years in the industry. The biggest source of stress are narcissistic owners/managers. A very high percentage of owners/managers fall under this category , the better you are at your job the more they resent you and hate you. Their mission every day was to prove me wrong . This type of individual does not understand the difference between competition and cooperation.

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Isidro Technician
California
Isidro
 

I'm the youngest tech in our shop and definitely agree there are a ton of us that are constantly pounding Monsters or coffee just to keep moving. I will admit in my case this is partly due to 4AM start time and poor time management 3-4 hrs of sleep staying up after my <2yo goes to bed for research or just leisure time. I'm constantly under pressure essentially managing the HD side of the…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Justin, Once upon a time, there was a stigma in the automotive industry (it still exists, but not as bad). Basically, anyone (mostly males at the time) who could not go to college, a H.S. drop out or work in a white collar office job, were destine to work in the blue collar trades as a laborer. Anything that was considered manual labor (like automotive) was looked at by many as simple “no…

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

The stigma still exists…. likely always will. Mike Rowe does a great job shedding insight into this and all “dirty jobs” on Youtube videos.

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Austin Diagnostician
Pennsylvania
Austin
 

this is all really good advice Glenn. then industry needs more slef-aware emotionally intelligent people like you.

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Austin, I have had a rough past that I will not go into detail about, but I learned at an early age to be observant. I worked in some old school shops before joining the Air Force. Then, in the military as a Crew Chief and then a Basic Training Instructor which taught me a lot about people. Transitioning back to civilian life taught me even more. The world and the people in it are always…

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Bennett Technician
Texas
Bennett
 

25 year tech. I’ve had issues with drugs and alcohol before. I’ve even had a mental breakdown due to the expectations and stress. This is not a “one size fits all” answer to the question. For myself, I am learning to control it. For me, I don’t drink after a bad day. I find things that let me turn my brain off and check out. Currently, I work in the yard or a project not automotive related. One…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Bennett, Sounds good, you are leaving work at work. That is hard to do for many.

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Bennett Technician
Texas
Bennett
 

It’s very hard and I’m not perfect at it either. The work/life balance in this industry to me is an uneven scale that’s tilted toward work. Between working 50hr weekly, desire to put it out a good product, and trying to stay current with new products, yourself and family are usually the ones that lose. I‘m trying daily to tip the scale back toward my favor. It truly feels like 75% of my weekly…

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Marlin Technician
Oregon
Marlin
   

The best way, generally, to correct the work/life balance is to change ones perspective of it. If work is part of the desired life, and life requires work, then what needs balance is attitude and priorities. Believing that you need to find balance in tension between negative work and positive life causes an unresolvable, life-long conflict until the body is so debilitated that work is no longer…

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Bennett Technician
Texas
Bennett
 

Couldn’t agree with you more. One rule we have in our family is do what’s best for my family first. If I keep that in mind, it makes changing from bad situations easier bc I need to be the best father I can be. Cars will break. People will fix them. It’s been happening longer than I’ve been alive but I only have limited time with my family. And they will be the ones to take care of me after this…

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

I was mentored in this profession by a Rolls Royce Master. This man was a member of “The Great Generation” (Great Depression/ WW2)…. He told me that Rolls Royce never warrantied their cars, but warranted the customer based upon the premise that their cars never broke down. He might have been pulling my leg, but it evokes humor from me in light of stodgy English snobbery of yesteryear!

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Rex Technical Support Specialist
Ohio
Rex
 

I read that before the US required it on the line for HP in specifications RR's answer was “adequate”.

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Rex Technical Support Specialist
Ohio
Rex
 

Bennett, this is very very hard to do. Took me years to get the nerve to do it. Raise your labor rate!! Aim to generate the same amount of revenue in 35 to 40 hours that you are doing in 50. You WILL lose some customers. That will be OK because the the few you lose also probably generate the majority of your stress. If you think your stressed now think about what losing your wife/family will…

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Bennett Technician
Texas
Bennett
 

I know what you mean. I’ve lost a marriage, friends, and time bc of this industry. However, I enjoy my career but I’ve learned I work to live not live to work. It actually took marrying a soldier and 2 kids that changed my perspective and helped me put in perspective with what’s important. My family comes first and everything else will work itself out. It’s still a challenge to find balance bc I…

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Justin Mechanic
Tennessee
Justin
   

Prayer and reading the Word before I start the day. Not looking for happiness and peace to come from a career. I did that for years and all I ended up with was a nervous breakdown. The things the world tells you are important will never truly satisfy you.

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Darren Technician
Wisconsin
Darren
 

💯

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

Meditation does work! I usually rise between 3 to 4 AM every morning and that time til the day starts is my resurrection time mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! Peace!

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John Owner
California
John
 

this is a great discussion and a great venting. I've been in this auto service and collision repair profession for more than 50 years and built a remarkable business that feeds 65 families and there is stress but it's all manageable with clarity breaks & help from the mentors in our midst. I suggest to anyone stressing to seek out a great industry coach and start a dialogue. There are…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi John, The old military saying of “lead follow or get the “H***" out of the way” comes to mind. Any decision is a good one as long as you make one towards a solution. Some people these days just want to simply quit and walk away. Walk away to what though? Is being accountable for ones work and actions that much trouble? A repeated cycle of self inflicted failure? Faith in ones self is seldom…

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David Owner/Technician
Alberta
David
 

Many years ago I happened to learn the magic of exercise, hard aerobic exercise. I found distance running (jogging) to be my cup of tea. At 65 years old I still run 40-60 miles a week. Not as at the same pace as once upon a time but still getting out. I have fun with my long term run buds and we will talk almost any topic together. It is amazing at how all the stresses just melt away after 45…

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
 

I worked with coworkers that would Mountain bike on their lunch break. One or two of them actually were injured to the point of taking time off. SHOULD WE TRAIN at work on the clock or at home ? I can spend a day comparing flight recordings ! I can say car companies are recognizing the need for oscilloscopes so should we devote an afternoon to education day every month ?

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Justin, Some people take exercise to excess and that is not always good.

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
 

What exactly did you do in the military?

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Justin, I had military time in several jobs. One was an F-15 crew chief at Langley, another in Special TAC Forces and the other as a Training Instructor in several positions while at Lackland AFB. I ran PT with my troops, but never abused myself or the troops. We even ran on the evenings and the weekends when it was not required. After 2 weeks they were complaining the other flights were too…

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
 

Did every bolt and nut get torqued instead of zapped down? Did any superior ever rush you to get the plane in the air ? Just curious about aviation side and was wanting to maybe try it . How do you flight test ? Any anti gravity technology you worked on !?!

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Justin, We did pre flight and post flight inspections. Oil samples were taken on a regular basis and no aircraft was allowed to fly if questionable. Any work that was performed was by strict technical order and operations. There was no room for error. Everything was very strict. Bolt were torqued down a safety wired as required Believe me, I grounded aircraft by the book when needed. A…

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
   

This reminds me of Gary L. Herod. He was a T33 Pilot out of Ellington Field here in Houston. Killed March 15th, 1961 when he encountered trouble controlling the aircraft due to engine failure. (F-16?) He could have ejected, but, he was over populated subdivisions, in my part of Houston… so he rode the plane into the ground of an open field, sacrificing himself for the good of his fellow man…

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Rex Technical Support Specialist
Ohio
Rex
   

Air America had F-15s? Who knew! Or am I thinking of the wrong Langley? 🤣

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Air American? The movie? I am talking about Langley AFB Va. That use to be an F-15 base, but now they fly F-22's.

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Rex Technical Support Specialist
Ohio
Rex
 

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemmons) supposedly said that when he felt the need for exercise he would lay down until the feeling went away!

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Michael Owner/Technician
Alaska
Michael
 

Many years ago I worked in a fleet shop. The pay and benefits were very good, but management was insane. My wife really like the steady income, so I decided I needed to stay there, but make some changes, or I was going to hurt someone. I made a mental adjustment, that it was my job, and I would do it my way. I started working for me, not the management. When the boss got on me about something, I…

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Austin Diagnostician
Pennsylvania
Austin
 

i identify with this sentiment a lot. this where im at now. if you care about this industry you need to help the younger generation and if youre going to work for someone you need to set boundaries and establish youre work/life balance because no matter what they say theyre arent going to do it for you. its hard when you turn your hobby into a career so i think its important to find new hobbies…

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
 

Austin - Basically I am antisocial but I want To help others . I use this forum sometimes to crack my shell . truly believe everyone deserves respect and I’ve gotten plenty of it here . Can this be my hobby ! If I owned a shop I would almost want to look at there family life first and not hire the 15 hour a day flag guy .

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

I always envision a family out on a dark, rainy highway in the midst of nowhere in their family Truckster, which I either repaired or performed pre trip maintenance upon. The small kids are securely sleeping on the back seats and all is well in life…. and I did my VERY best diligence using THE BEST parts to insure that they would not be broken down out on the highway, in mortal danger. Sounds…

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Robert Owner/Technician
Massachusetts
Robert
 

I started going to the shop daily in 1970, I have 2 college degrees, but wanted to work for myself. In the early years most in this industry had only a high school education , earned very poor pay, were reasonably good at what they did, and were completely unrespected by the community and usually their boss as well. It was always about is it done yet, fast and clock time, no overtime pay, poor…

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Warren Technician
North Carolina
Warren
 

I wish shops around My area were like that I had to read it twice to make sure I didn’t read it wrong

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Robert, Yep, the automotive industry is broken when it comes to compensating and training technicians. I also have 2 degrees using my VA benefits along with my own money. When I graduated I wanted to go back to a dealer and work. (I know, sounds insane) This industry will be turned on its ear if it ever gets organized to start forming a national union. Quite frankly, it would not be an…

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Michael Owner/Technician
New Jersey
Michael
   

I was primarily a technician for about 30 years. The stress level is ZERO compared to being the owner which I am now. At the end of the day as a tech, I walked away. As an owner I am constantly thinking about the shop. If a part failed as a tech or if I made a mistake, the shop paid for the repair. Now if one of my tech's makes a mistake and/or there's a part failure, I take it squarely on the…

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Warren Technician
North Carolina
Warren
 

My names Warren Ive been a tech for 11 years this is my first time posting on here this year has made me wanna walk away from it, it has become impossible to complete my Job, I primary work on auction cars for a local car lot, it use to be so enjoyable, fixing the deemed unfixable now it’s stress that will eat your soul, the pandemic drove the cost of cars high and now the person I work for is…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Warren, Get out of the used car repair racket. The salesman/ owner buys these things from auctions usually, so they have a list of problems that cost more to fix than the vehicle is worth. Look around for a small independent shop and see what's out there.

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

You are ultimately the one in control. Letting some avaricious shithead sap your life away is reflective on nobody but the person looking back at you in the mirror. You absolutely NEED to grab yourself by the bootstraps and pull yourself out of that quicksand trap. You have too good of a thing to market to allow that putz to break YOUR back so he can fatten his bank balance.

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Robert Owner/Technician
Massachusetts
Robert
 

Warren, we have all been to that spot where we want to walk away…you need to take charge of your future, don't let your employer do it, that is a big mistake. right now and for a long time into the future you have an opportunity that most guys with 35-50 years never really had. If you love this work, invest in your future, start watching webinars, go to training if you can get it…think hard…

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Warren Technician
North Carolina
Warren
   

Ive done my part in training,i own many oem tools, aftermarket tools, immobilizer scanner so much stuff my Issue is every place is the same story so I got to where I don’t wanna try to leave and screw my self and have less In a more miserable place that’s my investment that’s why I keep going I even got away from my hobby of building cars and switched to computers and electronic stuff I’m…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Warren, Have you trapped yourself due to high or multiple tool payments in addition to other bills? Has the company paid for any of these toys, probably not. If you have to pack leftovers and eat fast food all the time to get by, you're doing something wrong my friend. Are you spending hours at the bar in the evening to “wind down”? Is happy hour the highlight of you day? Polluting your body…

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

So, why do you work for ½ to ⅔ of the going rate, eh? THAT in itself plays right into the hands of the devil we address here. If you value yourself as “less than” by selling out at a lesser rate, heck man, You can ill advise someone else to rise up un self esteem. I charge more, overall, than the going rate by a small margin. Read Terry Greenhut's book. He says it just like I know it, but he is…

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Sherman, I meant the door rate of average shops in the area, not the predominate pay of a technician. Being self employed and mobile has it's advantages with less overhead. If I charged more, I would have no work at all. I don't sell myself short.

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Warren Technician
North Carolina
Warren
 

I make 23$ an hour flat rate but everything I do is unicorn cars now, I use wire diagrams, even boil the occasional module or drive plate and save it but now my boss expects pure fucking magic every day my tool bills are not an issue I was Responsible when buying

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Glenn Owner/Technician
Texas
Glenn
 

Hi Warren, Flat rate and used cars do not work in this day and time. They need to fess up and pay $23.00 real worked time hourly. (that does not mean including your goof of time) Years ago, Flat rate times were meant for standard replacement operations (prior to the early 90's, no headaches or computer diagnostics), but that is not written in stone. If they think it is, they are fools…

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Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

And I get a kick out of the people who live in an otherworldly reality of 4th dimensional, myopic idiocy. This means how people feel “entitled” to our knowledge and experience for “bitch” compensation. In what reality did or does anyone truly think that plugging in a scanner or other code reader will magically tell the under 60 IQ meekanik exactly what parts to replace on a car to fix it? And…

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Rod Diagnostician
California
Rod
 

Sounds like you are working for the same type of narcissist I have worked for several times. These type of individual lacks empathy , they see you as nothing more than a slave to make them money There are only two ways to deal with narcissists , brute force or complete avoidance. Since we have a legal system that protects them and you don't want to go to jail , the complete avoidance…

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Justin Technician
California
Justin
   

Warren - Thanks for that honesty . Sucks that it’s the truth . Brought me tears because my uncle who was a great mechanic drank himself to death . There is no proper foundation in this industry . The next few years are gonna cause shortages in our field so use websites like indeed to put out your resume . The car companies are aware of this impending crisis and need skilled diagnostics techs…

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Helpful
Sherman Owner
Texas
Sherman
 

I often wondered over the years if license structure would make a difference. I wonder if Electricians, Plumbers, or HVAC folks have the same sob stories we mechanics have had or do have. My perspective is tainted by the fungible beattitude of the masses regarding cars. One cannot place a disposable posit on comfort when it is 98 degrees coupled with 80% humidity and the A/C in one's home fails…

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Agree
John Owner
California
John
 

Here's a link to a Ratchet and Wrench article covering profitability. That is a great stress reducer. ratchetandwrench​.​com/articles/11742…

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