Hi, I'm Debbie Nol, and I married a car guy. My 14 years of working at Arie Nol Auto Center has been an incredible journey, building amazing relationships with customers and learning so much from our experienced technicians.
Now I'm launching a blog to share what I've learned about cars and some of my most memorable customer stories. Hopefully you will find my blog both helpful and entertaining!
Walk through any of the local stores and you will see the signs of back to school are everywhere. Backpacks and lunch boxes for the little ones and extra-long twin sheets for the dorm-bound college student.
I was speaking to a young woman who is a senior in high school. Her vehicle’s check engine light illuminated on her dashboard and she stopped by to have us check into it. While a technician was checking the vehicle, we had a conversation about finding a college. She has been participating in college visits to find one that suits her. She had visited the college my daughter attended, and we spoke about that as well as some of her upcoming visits to other colleges.
It was interesting because I had been reading about finding your strengths as it applies to the working world. The phrase I've heard lately is, “That’s in my wheelhouse.” It means that it's something which is within your area of expertise. I always thought it had to do with boats but after checking, found that it is a baseball term meaning a ball pitched right where you want it. You're most likely to hit the ball if it's in that area.
The customer I was speaking to was saying she wasn't sure what she wanted to pursue in college. You're fortunate if you know what career you want to pursue at eighteen years old, but it is more the norm to not know what you want to be doing five days a week for the next forty- some years after graduation.
Our technicians and service writers know that repairing cars and working with customers is ‘in their wheelhouse.’ They all enjoy learning and advancing. The challenge of new technology is something they enjoy. It interests me how each of them came to the realization that this is what they wanted to do. Being a good technician isn't something you fall into and decide to stick with usually. The good technicians have a real interest in cars and tend to pursue it even if they’re off the clock. It really is a passion.
I'm thankful to work with people who love what they do. I learn from them all the time. They're always willing to answer a question and I usually am shown the parts, etc., so I can accurately describe it, whether to a customer or for some other reason. Sometimes for my blog post.
Is what you do ‘in your wheelhouse?’ If you have high school or colleges students, helping them make those big decisions and hopefully pursue their passions is important. People who love what they do excel and enjoy their work.
It’s that time of year. Making the list of items your college bound student needs before they leave. Extra long twin sheets for the dorm bed, a laptop, and a slew of really expensive text books they can later sell and perhaps purchase a cup of coffee.
If they are taking a vehicle with them, add “vehicle check” to the list. This is important for several reasons. Firstly, most college students are not worried about oil change intervals and battery health. Having the vehicle checked over and maintained by your local repair shop before you leave can save you time and money. No one wants a phone call because their student living out of town has a dead battery. This requires finding a local shop and possibly paying for a tow charge. It’s also less stressful working with a shop that you are familiar with now, rather than trying to find a repair shop in the town your student is living in while they are trying to deal with the situation.
Being proactive now can save you phone calls and unnecessary repair costs later. College costs enough without adding any extra expenses.