Current Issue
Published on December 12, 2005

Mail Call, Dec. 5



Dan's comments on work ethic hit reader hot button

I read Dan Marinucci's column in the Sept. 26 issue regarding the lack of work ethic and personal pride among many workers today. Wow, did he hit the nail on the head.

When I graduated from high school auto shop in 1977 things were oh so different. I was an award-winning, straight “A” automotive student and applied for an entry-level position at every shop and dealership in the Orlando, Fla., area.

Jobs of any kind were hard to get back then, (if you worked at McDonald's it was a good thing back then) even with a letter of recognition from my shop teachers.

I wound up delivering parts until I could get my foot in the door at one of the shops we delivered to. It was exciting to finally get a job doing what I loved.

I believe that the 80/20 rule (20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work) gets worse when the economy gets better.

I greatly appreciate the efforts Dan has made to help in this area. In order to fix the problem it has to be addressed, and he has done a great job of that in his column.

I have become a babysitter at my dealership because of my refusal to let the quality of the shop go downhill and because some people simply don't care about quality.

These employees don't fear the loss of their job. As a matter of a fact, I fear them leaving.

Well thought-out ads with job offers of high pay, full benefits and a great work environment run for weeks with little or no response.

I am thinking about becoming a one- or two-man shop again, but my overhead won't allow it.

I look forward to future articles by Dan on this subject and will send along any remedies or ideas that may work.

Mike Gagnon


Gagnons Tire and Auto Center

Panama City, Fla.

Editor's Note: Mr. Gagnon describes himself as “mom, dad, babysitter, financial adviser, auto shop teacher, coach, legal adviser, marriage counselor, spiritual adviser, financial adviser, ASE master auto technician, quality control and owner of Gagnons Tire and Auto Center.”

* * *

I've read and enjoyed Dan Marinucci's articles for years. He obviously has his finger on the pulse of what is going on in auto repair shops.

The phrase he used in his Sept. 26 column, “younger people today do not want to work very hard,” is a saying that was probably used by my grandfather and his grandfather before him. It is fictitious. It shows a lack of managerial ability and experience.

The manager he talked about in that column who tried to set a solid example by doing what he's asking his workers to do was a huge and very telling mistake.

Employees look for leadership and discipline (even though they don't know it) in their workplace environment. This does not come from the guy changing tires on the next tire machine.

To that manager, I say, I'm sure you will learn from your experience. Think about your best bosses over the years and think about what they did to make themselves successful.

Jim Melvin


Tire Pros of Rhode Island

Pawtucket, R.I.


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