T’was the night before Christmas… Or, was that the night before New Year’s?

Written by mitch on. Posted in Uncategorized

I feel as if I’ve been unfaithful… hanging out someplace else with someone else when I should have been here all along.

I have an excuse, though! Lots of them, actually. There are always excuses!

Last week was the week of New Year’s Eve: the week before New Year’s Eve, and it was a tough week. It always is. I was on deadline for the publishing company I write for…

Have I mentioned that I write before? Well, I do… In addition to my responsibilities running our automotive service business – I’m a professional automotive repair technician and that’s where the “Captain CarFix” comes from: an old CB Radio Handle, I am also a Senior Contributing Editor for Babcox Publications: the leading publisher in the automotive service aftermarket. Being “on” deadline is all about the eighteen hundred words I must stitch together for one publication and the five (never just five…) hundred to eight hundred words I have to put together for another every month.

It’s a lot to do and the magazines come first.

There was a lot to do at the shop as well. The holidays are no holiday for us! Not in the automotive service business. All most people care about is our having their vehicle ready when promised, which can loosely be translated as before we close for the holiday. That would be OK if everyone understood the role they must play if that is to happen successfully.

Unfortunately, everyone – translate as: motorists – waits until the last possible moment to bring their vehicles in and then can’t understand why or how that might be contributing to the system breaking down. Our goal has always been to “clear the lot” at week’s end. We don’t want anyone walking or without transportation if we can avoid it, and avoiding it generally results in a Herculean effort toward the end of the week.

Holiday weeks are almost always short weeks: think stuffing five quarts of anything in a four quart container!

Two holiday weeks back to back are brutal: mind numbing! And, that’s why I’ve been elsewhere doing other things… or, more appropriately, doing no-things!

I’d love to say I’m back, fully recovered; but, I’m not! The fact that I am back at all will just have to be enough. In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about you. Hope you’ll be doing the same.

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I am a fourth generation, forty-sixy year veteran of the automotive aftermarket: an ASE Certified Master Technician, Service Consultant and Approved Automotive Manager. I grew up in this business with a passion for all things mechanical, particularly those things relating to performance. That passion grew to include all aspects of management, leadership and personal development with a special focus on every day shop operations which resulted in an eight-volume series on automotive shop management published by Cengage Learning and Thomson Publishing. I have been a trade journalist writing to the aftermarket for almost thirty years, devoting my professional life to improving both the image and experience of everyone struggling to succeed in the service industry and I've worked diligently to improve communication and increase understanding between all segments of my industry. This site and everything on it is both an extension and a continuation of those efforts

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