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!
I've always been amazed by the damage that can happen inside an engine compartment or on the suspension of a vehicle. The technicians always let me know when they have some car part carnage for me to take a picture of before they repair it.
A long-time customer came in with coolant leaking from her vehicle. Her vehicle contained her work items along with three grandchildren. Sitting at our shop was not on her agenda for the day.
Customers call when their brakes are making noise, their muffler gets loud or their vehicle isn’t starting. These are all part of car ownership. They also never happen at an opportune time. These are things that need to be taken care of either right away or soon.
Arie Nol opened Arie Nol Auto Center in 1976. It had a small office with two bays attached. The building had been a former gas station and, according to someone who had grown up in the area, a florist shop at one time.
The road was two lanes, no CVS pharmacy and there were two gas stations. Many of the strip malls that are here now did not exist.
Jeff was still in high school but would join the business as a full-time employee when he finished two years of college. Arie added an additional bay at that time. It was a time of no computers, one phone line, and vehicles were not nearly as technical as they are now. The answering machine was a cutting edge business tool.
It’s interesting to think back on that time as we celebrate our 40th anniversary this year. It is still a family- owned and operated business that takes pride in personal service and customer satisfaction. We have built relationships that span three generations. Cameron is the 3rd generation of the Nol family to work here. He is occasionally called “the new Jeff.” We have a customer that remembers coming to the United States from the Netherlands about the same time Arie did, stopping in for coffee and donuts, and another customer that remembers coming here with her parents as they brought their “new driver” in to get acquainted with us for automobile maintenance.
We fast forward to 2016, a much faster paced world with constantly changing technology. Our goal is to retain the values of integrity and fair pricing and build relationships with customers while continuing to provide excellent automotive repair and maintenance. We look forward to celebrating our anniversary this year and want to say “Thank you!” to all of the customers over the years that have placed their trust in us.
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.