As all of you know, my truck is getting some well deserved attention. In the meantime, I'm driving my 72 Pontiac.......as in a GM product. I went to a local parts store and asked for a starter for the Pontiac.....as in a GM product. Well, the guy looked at me like I had poo on the end of my nose when I told him it DIDN'T have a remote solenoid. He insisted that GM's had remote starter solenoids and that it must be swapped in from either a Ford or Chrysler. Then he asked me if I was sure I had a Pontiac 350 in it.
You know, I'm a patient type of guy, and I know I'm not Mr Goodwrench, but when someone dares to tell me that I basically don't know a damn thing, that gives me a case of the ****. I tried to tell him that it was the original starter and he pretty much dared me to prove it, "cause no starter lasts for over 30 years". I didn't even bother to tell him it only has 60,000+ miles on it. I was actually impressed that he figured out it was over 30 years old on his own without counting on his fingers and toes!
The thing that kills me is that I've tried to get into the parts business before and they all have told me that you need experience to get a job. How do you get experience without a job and vise versa? The sad thing is, this guy's boss must think he has experience or they wouldn't have hired him. The gnomes in my head are pounding again thinking of this guy, time to calm them with some Southern Comfort.
I guess you could take the starter out and take it in and physically show it to him & let him read the part number off of it. But, I'd tell him," I didn't come in for an education, I came in for a replacement starter like the one that's been on my car for 60,000 miles and finally needs to be replaced. Now, are you going to sell me a starter or do I go down the street to someone who knows what they are doing?"
I'm usually on the other side of the conversation - something like this: "I need a pilot bearing to fit an 85 T5 from a 6 cyl thats fits the crank in a 73 302." When they look blank, I explain, "It's in my 82 Mustang...........Oh, did I mention I'm hotrodding again?" Big stupid grin at this point.
all that sounds familiar... part of the problem is that they don't pay the parts guys worth squat generally anymore, so we get stuck with the morons that can't figure it out. It is getting to be a real chore to find a parts shop that can deal with anything that isn't the standard setup shown by the computer...
There's definatly some boneheads working in some automotive stores. I realize I'm only 17, and don't have the "experience" some guys have, but I will say that I know more about cars then some of the guys working those stores. Wasn't but a month or so ago I went in to buy a U-joint for my pickup. The guy kept telling me that the the driveshaft disconnects from the differential by means of 2 u-bolts....which it doesn't. It's actually held on by 4 12-point bolts. I don't know how long it took the guy to figure out what I needed.
Anyway, back to your situation. I think I would've walked out to the car and ripped the starter off right then and there. Maybe even take a demo jack the store has on display and use it for your assistance. That'd really make the guy wonder.
Big Hoss: Got up to 30 with fingers and toes? Wow, I would have thought he would be challenged moving on to 21 with his pants still on.
My experience is mostly with NAPA. The counter folk there really tend to know their stuff. What I do really appreciate is that they listen and have never ever criticized my questions. They will "mirror" back what they understood me to ask and sometimes other questions so what I need is crystal clear.
I believe where the discount stores have failed is to train their folk to do more listening and then ask clarifying questions as needed - e.g. is it a 6-cylinder with a 3.0 engine or a 4.0 engine. Ma'am I need to know this in order to provide you with the correct part(s).
The credo from the Ritz Carlton Hotel chain always works:
We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have a Pepboys and a R&SStrauss not far from my house. When you go in there it reminds me of my days working in McDonalds when I was 16. Everyone is young and looks like summer help. They don't know anything about vehicles. I asked for a Machpherson coil spring compessor for my shocks and the guy looked at me like I orderd a slice of pizza in the autosection. Now I find you have to know what you wan't and tell them how to find it and what it looks like. I always make them turn there screen towards me so I can read for myself. Lots of times I would find them pointing to the top item on the list which is most expensive part on the screen among 5 other options or they have the wrong vehicle iformation and can't find my parts.
I'm not kidding! We need help right now... I'm working 10 hour days, 6 days a week.
You gotta be resonably good at typing and memorizing things. (account numbers, and what certain customer prefer for brands and purchase order numbers). You gotta be courteous on the phone (duh). Thats pretty much it. It would be full time plus commission. Stop by tomorrow or whenever.
I'm not kidding either! The place I'm working at now puts the fear into you that your number is next. They just started to do random drug tests that you have to pay for. I'm not worried about it, but it seems like they look for reasons to let you go. Add to the fact that I got thrown under the bus for something that wasn't even my fault, and got written up for it, on my day off!