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July 24, 2017 / themrtinney

Which wire is which… or… I can technician too!

So… it’s not everyday that I get to enjoy a good laugh at work.  Crying, moaning and bitching are on the regular – laughing not so much.   I work in an automotive repair shop as a Service Advisor, which is basically a customer service job that resembles being water-boarded while trying to operate a PC with your hands tied to your ankles while people yell obscenities at you… but more on that later.

I was talking to a technician today who was doing a wiring repair.  Having never been an actual mechanic, I had absolutely 0.000% clue what he was doing.  For all I know he might have been just standing there with some wires so that he looked like he was mechanicing something (that’s a real word, shut up).

I asked what he was doing.  His response:  ‘What I was told to do.”  So – I threw out the idea that he was fixing something and determined he was just fucking around with some wires because he was told to play with some wires.   There were three wires:  Red, Blue and Shit Brown.  I quickly determined that the red wire meant bad things – like ‘cut the red wire MacGyver!’ and should be left alone.  The Shit Brown one was, well, shit brown and should be hidden immediately out of sight.  The Blue wire made me think of happy thoughts, so that must be the good wire that makes the stuff in the car go.  I shared this with the technician.  We had a good laugh.  I’m sure he called me an idiot after I walked away and I don’t blame him.. but he resembles an actual Viking, so there’s that (shout out to Sven!)

Anyway… Service Advisor sounds like a very fancy position.  Like some translator of all things mechanical, I basically get paid to tell people what the technician says is wrong with their vehicle so it is more understandable.  Some people call this ‘layman’s terms’ but I call it ‘your shit is broke terms’ because I don’t know this Layman guy.  For example, a technician might say something like:

“Well, the farbulator demistified the contributor and overbobulated the whosit.”

Which I will tranlate to the customer as:

“Sir, your car is broke – that will be $1,500.00.”

One of my other roles, which makes me think of rolls and makes me super hungry, is to perform something called an ‘up-sale.’  People in retail will know this procedure, which is basically taking a customer who came in for, lets say, an oil and lube, and convincing them to replace their entire engine instead.

That may seem a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea.  My goal is to sell additional maintenance that the customer will benefit from and produce more income for the dealership as a result.  This is not a bad thing, although the world has painted it with an ugly brush.  A normal up-sale might be:

“Mr. Goshmebosh, your oil change is going fine, but your power steering fluid looks like dried up goats blood – we should do a fluid exchange to keep your power steering system from defecting to Canada.  That’ll be $129.00 if you authorize it.”

The world has demonized this process to some degree and might see it as:

“Mr. Goshmebosh, I am Satan himself come to steal your money and sleep with your spouse.  You need to flush your power steering fluid or you and your entire family are going to die in a very fiery crash – complete with helicopter news coverage – due to an inability to steer your car.  If you love your children, you must do this.  That’ll be $999.00 plus $9.99 re-occurring fees.”

The disparity between the reality of my job and the perception of my job is discouraging, to put it mildly.  If I have one more person shout “diagnostic fee!” with the same indignation they would shout, oh, “genocide!” I may lose my ever-loving mind – which is an interesting term because I’m unsure if I am loving “ever” or “mind” when I use it.

There is a book to be written about my daily life in the auto industry, but that is not for this blog.  However, a great title might be “Why I’m An Alcoholic:  Truth Bitches.”

 

 

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