Me Fixing a Big Truck
Just because this article is about crooked mechanics doesn’t mean that I think all or even a majority of automotive technicians are crooked. Being a professional mechanic for about 30 years I have worked with and for many honest and talented people that cared about the consumer.
With that said, there was often a bad apple in the bunch that did things that were selfish and harmful to the customers. Whenever I start telling stories about crooked mechanics the first one that pops into my head was a dealership mechanic I worked with in the 80’s that kept a squeeze bottle of used engine oil in his toolbox.
He would squirt it around gasket surfaces and then claimed that they where leaking and needed repair. When we start talking about good mechanics and bad ones I think it is necessary to point out that any industry will have its share of good and bad people contained within that microcosm. In fact this is just my opinion, but I’ve met more crooked Dentists and Doctors then I have professional automobile technicians.
Automobile mechanic wrenching
There are lots of nicknames for mechanics. Maybe the best known one of all time is grease monkey. Be sure to read the funny replies to this post and leave a comment at the end of this article about your favorite nicknames for car mechanics. What got me thinking about this subject was watching a rerun of the Battle Star Galactica series.
I heard a good reference towards the mechanics that worked on the spacecraft. The mechanics are called knuckle draggers amongst themselves and the crew. The interesting thing was these futuristic fantasy sci-fi mechanics wore the nickname with pride. They were proud to be covered with dirt and work hard.
They hung out with other spacecraft mechanics and didn’t associate much with the officers, pilots or the general public because these people often misunderstood them. I found it interesting because whether you’re working on spacecraft, automobiles, heavy machinery or military vehicles mechanics pretty much have the same mindset.
Today’s automobiles will continue towards the unstoppable trend of becoming more complex. This will only increase the need for good mechanics.
This coupled with the reluctance of today’s generation to strap themselves with a dirty job that requires massive amounts of hard work and education will continue to shrink the availability of people to repair cars.
The good news for those that are willing to accept the challenge is that they should have their pick of jobs almost anywhere in the country. This will also add a level of flexibility if relocation is required or desired.
A good example is I find myself in the state of Florida turning wrenches for local government. After spending most of my automotive career working in the state of New Jersey I never saw me moving to Florida.
I found the Florida job opening in a local New Jersey newspaper. The ad stated come to the sunny state of Florida and live, play, and work on the Gulf Coast. Relocation assistance is available for good mechanics.
I answered the ad and submitted my application. The local county paid for me to fly down for an interview and a drug test.
I went back to New Jersey and didn’t hear from them for three months. When they finally contacted me they stated that the job was mine if I wanted it. They would also pay to have my automotive tools shipped and assist with relocation expenses.
In my 25 year automotive career this was the single most important decision that I have ever made. I have absolutely no regrets about leaving my friends and family behind for this new position. Continue reading