Friday, September 26, 2008

A Word from One of Our Readers

I received a thoughtful letter from one of our readers today, which I've reprinted in its entirety below. In addition to TechShop, I'm the publisher of Tomorrow's Technician, which is a magazine that goes to students in automotive programs. One of the number one reasons they say they want to get into the business of fixing cars is because they "get a kick out of taking a broken car and making it whole again". I'm glad Steve still enjoys his profession, though I know it must be difficult for him to get up and get going some days. I'm also glad that men like him are still in the business - integrity is as important an asset as the best diagnostic tool.

Next time you're in Gloucester, stop in at 159 Maplewood Avenue, and say hi to Steve.

Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 6:32 PMTo: Beth Skove

Subject: august 2008 pov column
Hello, I hope this letter isn't too long. Forgive the typos but I have to get back to work!! I would like to address what i see as going on in my market area here in gloucester, Mass. First, as you mention alot of folks go to jiffy lube or the midas, etc because they can afford to advertise and make it look like a good deal. At the same time alot of local shops are only taking on the good jobs and not the tough ones. I haven't figured out how to tell a good customer i only want his gravy jobs without him getting mad. In our area everybody's home bills, fuel bills and tax bills just keep going up. How high can i raise my prices? The techs who left the industry are working in their driveways, again with the gravy jobs. When you don't have overhead you can charge alot less. The employed techs are doing it too. Most of us can't take alot of time off for training so we go at night when it's offered. So after a 10 hour day and a 1 hour drive, you know where i'm going with this. I have to tell you after almost 40 years i still get a kick out of taking a broken car and making it whole again. I don't know the answers but i know after 60 plus hours a week i'm tired. I know that i'll have to defend my diagnosis and estimates and bills 25 times a week because some in this industry continue to do unsavory things to their customers making it hard on those of us trying to do the right thing.

Ok i feel better. Thank you and keep up the good writing, steve linsky's service sta glou mass

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