Auto repair techs are not dirty grease monkeys

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  • #8151

    Rodney O.
    Member

    Who do people look at me as a third-rate person when I tell them I am an auto mechanic? Do they realize that the cars of today require a constantly increasing amount of knowledge to diagnose and repair, that the systems utilized in today’s cars are rivaled only by those of the human body, or that a good tech earns $40,000 to $70,000 anually? We are professionals and deserve to be treated as such.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Rodney O., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Episcopalian, Age : 33, City : Virginia Beach, State : VA Country : United States, Occupation : ASE Master Auto Tech, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #29132

    Alex29022
    Participant

    All my life I have been surrounded by auto mechanics and handymen in general, and I have been asked, told and pushed to become one for as long as I can remember. My uncle is the penultimate “grease monkey.” He is, in short, disgusting. None of his work has any quality, he does not take care of his hygiene and he has no social life. If you ever saw the Western Union commercial with the stereotypical grease monkey, he’s it and more. He is filthy, his hair is rarely washed or cut, it looks like his jaw will fall off and he is inarticulate. He does not work as a professional garage mechanic; he would never be hired. Another auto enthusiast I know, who also is not a professional auto mechanic, has destroyed his marriage by spending all his time on cars.

    Sure, you deserve to be treated like a professional businessman, like any other. But as long as there are “enthusiasts” who can’t do quality work, wouldn’t be hired by you or your employers and leave such a shocking, terrible impression on people, you will have to work ever harder to get respect.

    A lot of people you meet would probably guess that your house/apartment is full of auto parts and that you go home a mess. I would. You should make it clear that: a) You are a professional who cares about cleanliness and a home/family life; and b) “Enthusiasts” who produce shoddy work represent the opposite of professionals and give them a bad name.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Alex29022, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 24, City : Toronto, Ontario, State : NA Country : Canada, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower class, 
    #22813

    Jims
    Participant

    Rodney, I have worked in the automotive repair trade and the construction trade. A good freind of mine married a woman who thought that carpenters were uneducated, low paid, low class people. I worked very hard and took great pride in my work as a carpenter and became a supervisor. Even though I made as much as her and my freind combined, she still regarded me as a lower class person. What I am trying to say is that some peole regardless of what you do or earn they will think they are better than you. In todays society people are after jobs where they can stay clean, and not break a sweat. You read occasionally about shortages in the trades fields, mechanics, carpenters, plumbers etc… Don’t get down on yourself, maybe one of those people that judge you will have to depend on your skills to get them back on the road. I am currently employed as a Firefighter for the past 12 years. A year ago our department merged with the local Ambulance service. We now work on the Ambulances also. A few of the Paramedics thought we were lower class to them, but once they worked with us they took on a different attitude. Most of it is all perception, I would not want to be a Doctor due to the gross sights and smells that you have to deal with. This holds especially true to emergency room Doc’s. But look at the occupations that people associate success with, Doctors and Lawyers. I feel successful, this is in my frame of mind. If your happy and enjoy your occupation (most important) who cares what others think?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jims, City : Lawrence, State : KS Country : United States, 
    #37348

    Paul
    Member

    Ignore those whose perceptions are pre-set. Some mechanics are great problem-solvers and smart people. Others are poor techs, lazy and crooks. The problem is that the barriers of entry to the profession are low. It isn’t hard to find work in the field, or to start your own garage. To excel takes good work in a steady environment so your reputation can develop. That takes time. I have found several mechanics I really admire. I drive more than 100 miles to take my car to one of them.

    I think the problem also is that many people don’t understand automotive issues. That lack of understanding is ripe for mistrust when things don’t go well.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Paul, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 37, City : Seattle, State : WA Country : United States, Occupation : technology, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #30319

    Ran
    Member

    I think that the problem you are experiencing is two-fold. First, alot of white collar individuals view anyone that get’s dirty in the course of a day vulgar. The second part of the problem is that a number of your counterparts don’t act professional. Cat-calling women, taking advantage of people who do not understand auto technology etc. Keep raising the bar and setting a good example for your team mates and at least you will be able to partially control your small part of the universe. Good luck! By the way my Dad is a retired auto tech. He retired with several million in the bank and a several pieces of property. Not bad for a grease monkey!

    User Detail :  

    Name : Ran, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Religious Science, Age : 37, City : Torrance, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Merchandise Manager, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper class, 
    #47059

    Anonymous23688
    Participant

    I can’t speak to you about being disrespected because of what you do for a living, but I can say that there are people who teach children and do the most thankless jobs in emergency rooms who don’t get paid $40,000 to $70,000 a year. And I will point out that the automobile is seen by many, including myself, as a horrible creation that you and the rest of the auto industry are helping to keep alive (ask the average Englishman). I know everyone’s got to find a way to make a living, but maybe what you see as disrespect is actually more like resentment.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Anonymous23688, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 26, City : Farmington Hills, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : Computer slave, 
    #22487

    Muna
    Participant

    Many times we cause our reality to be true because it is what we believe. What we believe usually comes true if we believe it long enough, and with enough zest. If you carry yourself as a professional, you will be a professional, regardless of what anyone else thinks. If they are around you long enough, they will see that by your thoughts, actions and words, you are what you believe. The difference between who we are and what we want to be is what we do.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Muna, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 32, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Entrepreneur, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #19714

    Olive
    Participant

    I can’t tell you why those people make assumptions about you. Maybe thinking is too hard for them; I’m sure it’s easier to rely on what other people say. I can tell you that I know good, honest, intelligent mechanics who I’d trust without hesitation.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Olive, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Rationalist, Age : 19, City : Denver, State : CO Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
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