Remember that a successful automotive service department's foundation is built upon a crew of mature adults.
Children masquerading as grownups usually hamper the department's productivity and poison an otherwise pleasant working environment.
Referring to an old saying may help me further this discussion: “The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.” Truly mature adults would agree that toys are for kids.
Grown-ups, on the other hand, establish and embrace mature, adult priorities. In fact, among an adult's top 10 priorities, toys probably rank about 100.
Likely, bona-fide adults would agree that entering and sustaining a career is vitally important. Ideally, that career should provide decent food, shelter and clothing for someone's family. We like to think that a chosen career would make someone entirely or reasonably self-sufficient.
The requirements for a successful career vary widely from one trade or occupation to another. The cost of tools is a challenge to most people—professionals commonly called technicians — who choose the path of professional automotive repair.
Now you might assume that this ongoing tool investment is no secret to aspiring technicians. You also might assume that they've visited professional facilities and seen the tools firsthand — perhaps a competent teacher explained the tool investment to them. Regardless, you would think that young adults would comprehend the level of financial commitment required to be a full-fledged technician.
So to recap briefly, an ongoing tool investment's necessary to sustain an automotive technician's career. The career, in turn, feeds the family. Therefore, wisely budgeting for tool expenses is a sensible priority.
Years of field experience indicate that successful technicians budget themselves very carefully. Then they shop wisely for tools and always try to buy at the most opportune times. A prudent tech also consults a competent accountant regarding legitimate write-offs of tool and equipment purchases.
Suppose you're a mature, responsible automotive professional. If so, then the series of statements I've made are a foregone conclusion. These things may seem so fundamental that they sound trite to the adults in the room. Of course, the key distinction here is adults as opposed to children.
Adults enjoy a wide variety of hobbies, pastimes, personal pursuits. But adults possess something children — especially overgrown children — lack. That is, grown-ups have a sense of balance and perspective about life, career and priorities. Fun is fun, but it cannot and should not supplant food, shelter and clothing.
No, it's a reliable career that provides those essentials. A carpenter's career requires hammers, saws, etc. Unfortunately, an auto tech's career demands ongoing tool upgrades to accommodate changes in vehicle design.
Over the years I've learned something else about technicians and their priorities: Overgrown children who are struggling with misplaced priorities usually are chronically low on dough. Likely, they lack the latest tools that the adults around them already own. Likely, they find themselves borrowing tools and money from co-workers.
All the while, these boys and girls among adults try to validate their misplaced priorities by boasting of their “lifestyle” activities to managers and fellow techs. In the interest of preserving peace, the adults in the service department usually try to tolerate the kid's tiresome and disruptive routine.
Here's a message to those children masquerading as adults: You, your lifestyle choices and your poormouth antics are a downer, an emotional drag. You're the primary cause of your money problems — no one else.
If your co-workers are too tolerant and polite to tell you this, then I will. Grow up!