Mini Vacation

In Girl in a Mechanics World by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Most people dread coming back to work after having a couple days off. But me on the other hand couldn’t get dressed any faster on Monday to come in after being home for 3 days. Only to have Gabe, the service manager, call me to say to “stay home due to the snow storm” I was so bummed out. There’s only so much Dora the Explorer I can watch. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be home with Layla, my one year old daughter, but I needed some adult interaction. And because I was sick from Wednesday until Saturday I was paralyzed and couldn’t move. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick in my life.Mini Vacation

So, on Monday I couldn’t do anything because there was a blizzard going on outside my door. But I did manage to escape my house for a little when the snow stopped and took Layla out. It was way too funny. The snow was almost as tall as her. But we weren’t out there for too long I was shivering after 10 minutes. But Layla felt nothing. I guess you feel the cold more when you get old. Tuesday I was so glad to be back. My guys are so funny they had so many jokes about me being sick. I have never been so excited to sit at my desk and write thank you on customer bags. I guess I just really enjoy the people I work with that are why I was dying to come back to work.

Spring into Spring

In Girl in a Mechanics World by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Spring into Spring

It’s hard to believe, but Spring will be here soon and that means time to check out your car. Our service writer, Teresa, gives you a quick rundown.

Quick Tips:

6 Things to prepare your vehicle for spring.

1: Make sure your wiper fluid reservoir is full.

2: Inspect your wiper blades for tears or cracks and replace as needed (April showers bring May flowers!)

3. Make sure your Air Conditioner is functioning properly. If it’s not blowing cold, you may need to test the system.

4: Change your air filter and Cabin air filter so you and your engine can breathe comfortably!

5: Check the tread depth of your tires. As spring arrives, it’s usually wet, and low tread could make your car slide in wet conditions!

6: Have your brakes inspected. With upcoming summer travel, you will most likely be in stop and go traffic more often than in the winter months.

Snow Day at Steve’s Auto and Tire

In Girl in a Mechanics World by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Yeah Yeah Yeah! Finally we got some snow in the area! Woke up excited like a little kid! The guys I work with are great. They offered to come and pick me up to insure I made it to work, fortunately my husband had to go in an hour later than normal and was able to bring me, but to know that the guys at the shop were willing to pick me up gives me comfort in knowing how essential my presence is at my job.

I arrive a few minutes early to see Scott, one of the owners, out there clearing the walkways with the snowblower so our customers can get in to get repairs done safely. We wait…We wait…and we wait some more, it’s very quiet here in the early morning and very white outside! S.T. the CEO shows up with his FJ cruiser with plow attached (he is very proud of finding the right blow to attach!) and starts plowing the parking lots so we can give our customers a clear path to park their cars. We had most of our employees come in, awaiting the abundance of drivers who had accidently slid into a curb, or had a flat tire, or more importantly discovered that they actually could no longer put off buying new tires! First call of the day came in around 10:00 am..a cancellation for a state inspection…that’s ok, we want our customers safe, the inspection can wait till the roads are cleared and VDOT has a chance to do their job. We already had 2 night drop offs from the evening before and would know have the opportunity to get those vehicles fixed.

The guys were in pretty good behavior considering we were slow. No snow ball fights, or ice skating on the frozen pond in the parking lot! Scott brought us a lunch from Smokey Bones, the nearby barbeque, and boy was it good! I was stuffed and about ready for a “food coma nap”. We rescheduled a few appointments for the next day, and actually closed the shop early in anticipation of the final round of snow that would come later that evening. (and we already had 12 inches!) It was a slow but somewhat productive day!

2014 Olympics

In Girl in a Mechanics World by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

ST and his crazy ideas, I honestly don’t know where he comes up with them. For the past couple of weeks he has made all of us into movies stars. If he keeps this up he won’t have any employees because we will all be on our way to Hollywood for big movies. Last week we created a special commercial just in time for the Winter Olympics (Sochi eat your heart out). The commercial should start to run on local channels during the 2014 Olympics in the next couple of days. It’s one of the corniest commercials you will see. It’s kind of like the funny ones that you see during super bowl. I was all about helping behind the scenes by throwing peanuts at our mechanic, Ray, while he pretended to ski. Somehow I ended up in two clips of the commercial. I can already see my friends calling me to tell me that they saw me. I was nowhere near prepared for it. I look so awkward waving. But I can’t help but laugh about it. It’s one of those things you just can’t take to seriously. Anyone want my autograph?

2014 Olympics

Girls Rule and Boys Drool

In Boy Scouts, Community Involvement, Girl in a Mechanics World, Pinewood Derby by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Not only did the Pink Derby car win the race by our very own Margo (marketing director) we also added a new female to the team at Steve’s Auto Repair. Monday I came in and asked who the winner of the derby race was and I was very to pleased that Margo won. If I were one of the guys I would be dying of embarrassment that I lost to a girl and not only that to a “PINK CAR”. Guys are such sore loser because they said they didn’t believe that Margo made it on her own that she probably bought it off eBay. Horrible!

derby_cars

As for our new teammate at Steve’s she’s pretty awesome not just because she bring me homemade candy but because she actually knows what she’s talking about. I have never met a female that knew so much about cars. Her being here gives me a little bit more hope that I will eventually catch on. And it’s so much better that I have someone to talk to since they took Margo, the only other female, away from me and gave her an office at the neighboring store, HomeTowne Tire.

Now I have girl time all the time because our new female service writer is at the computer next to me. Soon Steve’s auto repair is going to be all Girls. SIKE!!

 

The Service Writer (Righter)

In Girl in a Mechanics World by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

As a female in a predominately male industry its quite funny how people perceive you.

theresa

Hi, my name is Teresa and I’m an automotive service writer. I’ve been doing this for the last 9 years or so. I guess in one way or another I’ve always been around the automotive industry. From my husband fixing our cars, to helping and assisting in my boat motor install to working for a huge corporate automotive company. When I begin my last 9 years with one of the largest tire corporations in America I was just a “counter girl” taking in the cars, selling tires and offering maintenance services. It was fun and I really only wanted to work 4 days a week since my two girls were at the age where I didn’t really need to be a stay at home mom any longer. As time went on and I became more involved with the aforementioned company, I was amazed at all the technical things I was picking up without even realizing it! Before I knew it I was now writing and selling service. I took many online tests required by my company and achieved great scores! For the first time, when we had an issue with our personal cars, I was out there telling my husband what was wrong with them! He laughed because he had never before been able to talk about car repairs and trouble before with me and me actually be telling him things he didn’t know!

I am one of the professionals out there who believe in fixing and maintaining your vehicles. I don’t however believe that every time your car comes to my shop that I have to sell you a service! That’s where the corporate world would like us to do.. “You must hit this number or that number, sell more alignments, more fluids..etc etc etc! After 9 very stressful years, I finally got a new opportunity that just kind of fell in my lap. I am now at Steve’s Auto Repair at Hanco Center. It’s only my second week here, but OH MY GOSH what a difference! No more “numbers to beat”, no more stress, no more corporate policies and procedures, just locally owned and operated with fantastic people to work with every single day. I think this just may be my perfect job!

A lot of women who are forced to maintain their cars themselves and have them serviced feel that because they don’t have a lot of knowledge about cars themselves, that the moment they come through the door mechanic shops see a “easy sale”, Well I’m here to tell ya, you are not alone! I’m here to tell you that the way I explain what repairs need to be performed, is on a one to one basisand a level you can comprehend. You don’t need to know all the specs of your car to understand certain things.

I’m not going to try to sell you $5000.00 worth of work to your little $500 car, no matter whether you are a woman or man. I believe in keeping your car healthy and keeping it running for you. I will prioritize what needs to be done. Safety first! Not just for yourself but for the other drivers who share the road with you. You do however need to maintain vital fluids for your car to not have mechanical breakdown. Yes your oil should be changed every 3 to 6K miles, yes you should flush all the fluids that are testing out poor as over time and mileage, just like everything else, it gets worn down. Your cars fluids are the car’s blood line. These fluids are under a tremendous amount of heating and cooling down, which in turn causes your fluids to deteriorate over time. Power steering fluid is actually under more heat than transmission fluid is! I normally recommend every 30K to flush all these fluids, so it prevents power steering pumps and rack and pinions from mechanical breakdown and to continue functioning properly.

It’s very fun to be in this industry. First and foremost, it blows people’s minds when they come into your auto shop and think, “Oh there is a cute girl at the counter taking cars in” and then they come in and ask if they can speak to someone who can answer questions for them. DUH! What do you think I’m here for!? Haha…I love to shock them by saying what brings you in today and can you tell me what you are experiencing, and they describe the problem, I then begin asking more probing questions and then say what I think the problem is, and I’m right! I like to keep it real.

I once had a man stop by my shop and ask if I could get someone to check his oil level. Well you can imagine the look on my face. A man asking if someone could check his oil..I said sure, Lets you and I go out to your car! So we go out, I ask him to pop the hood, and then I proceed to ask him to come over so I can show him where his dipstick is and I showed him how to check his oil level. I couldn’t stop laughing, I said, “Sir, do you mind if I ask you what you do for a living?” He said, “Oh, I’m an IT guy..I just patted him on his back and said, today sir, you now know how to check your oil… so now you are a mechanic!” We both had a good laugh. He then became a customer of mine for life!

 

BAZOOKA!

In Girl in a Mechanics World by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Snow days are also known as slow days. But, working with a bunch of guys is like working with a bunch of 5year olds. They always find something to do when there isn’t anything to do. They’re latest toy or weapon of choice is the “Bead Bazooka” it’s used to fill up tires when they won’t seat on the rim. But these guys use it to blow snow balls out even tennis balls. Gabe is the shooter while Eran fills it in with the snow balls. And Fred he runs and runs fast. So pretty much all day Tuesday they were shooting each other with this. While I was in the office doing my thank you calls. At one point X came in and told me he had a YouTube video for me to watch in his box aka dungeon. I walk out and POW! I get snow all over my hair. This isn’t the first time I came across the Bazooka. I got air blasted in my ear last week which I’m still recovering from. These guys are sometime too much to swallow so I just hide out in the office and even then sometimes they dare to come in and beam a snow ball at me. As much as I love the winter and snow I might have to start calling in sick on snow days if I don’t want to get shot with the Bazooka!

The Perils of Pinewood

In Boy Scouts, Community Involvement, Girl in a Mechanics World, Pinewood Derby by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

Guest Post
Margo Schlossberg, Marketing Director
The Perils of Pinewood
Had I heard of the Boy Scout’s Pinewood Derby? Sure, somewhere maybe the brother of a friend growing up or the son of a friend as an adult. Did I know what the Pinewood Derby was? Nope, no clue, something about making cars out of wood?

About two weeks ago two boxes were delivered to Steve’s Auto Repair, the shop where I work as the marketing director. Well, given may be an improper use of the word since I immediately took one of the boxes, determined to make a car. I mean, how hard could it be?

Apparently, there was a lot more to this Pinewood Derby than I had initially thought. For example, weight and tools were involved. Two things that have always spelled trouble for me. I found a template and thought okay, I will tape the template to the block of wood and just saw it. Easy! Well, after making one very distinct saw mark which was more like a scrape then an actual cut into the wood, it was clear that I was not going to cut the entire car, or in fact, any part of the car. I realized that I was going to have to enlist a bit of assistance.

It is now Wednesday and the cars are due by Friday and will be raced on a surprisingly sophisticated track on Saturday. Did someone say laser? There is also some type of weight limit which I am learning about. So, stay tuned for guest post #2 where we will see if my car is a success or a complete debacle. I hope at least I will win some style points…

Take what you dish!

In Girl in a Mechanics World by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

So normally when I notice that guys aren’t paying attention I give them a wet willy. As nasty as that sounds I’ll admit I find so much joy seeing their face squirm with disgust. It’s my entertainment of the day. So when I walk by the guys normally tilt their heads to their shoulders so I can’t get them. But, I’m smarter than that, I do it when they least expect it. I guess the prankness (I know it isn’t a word) has rubbed off on me. Or when I see them walk into the bathroom I knock and knock on the door until I see the knob move and run away. I guess you can say I’m like that annoying little sister.

But to be completely honest I cannot take what I dish out. In the words of Ray (Tech) because today when I was cleaning the bathroom I was all in my zone when Ray comes by and was like “ Hey” I turned around and I get this huge horn filled with air blown right in my ear. This thing looked like a ghost buster gun that blew me into the wall. My ear was ringing for about 30 minutes it felt like it was bleeding. I was so mad. But, what got me more mad was because I had gotten got!

Finally got my man

In Girl in a Mechanics World by Steves Auto Repair and Tire

I got a puppy Tuesday night! He’s Chihuahua mixed with I’m not sure but he’s the smallest cutest little thing ever. He’s about 4 weeks old so I still have to bottle feed him. I guess I didn’t think it through adding a baby into my life when I already have a baby. The first night reminded me of the first night I brought Layla home from the hospital. So Wednesday coming into work after a sleepless night isn’t my idea of a good day, but something about being a mom gives you natural energy.

The guys already knew about the puppy because I have been talking about him for the past week and they all told me I was crazy. I think they were thrown off a little because in the picture I had showed them the puppy was brown but the one that was brought back to me was black and from that I named him “Beans”. As any proud mom I have hundreds of photos of him already and the guys joke around calling it a rat. But when I went on my lunch break I drove my 3 min up the road to pick him up and show him off. And of course all I heard them say was awwwww! I think seeing beans gave most of the guys puppy fever. They all told me they wanted a small lap dog now and that rat face was too cute! I kept him with me for about an hour under my desk in my purse and for that hour he was such a good boy. I guess I finally got my boy!!

beans