Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt: “When you were a kid, did you want to have the same job or a different job than your parents when you grew up?” Their jobs certainly influenced my decision through process of elimination; do not pick a job that keeps you away from your family for extended amounts of time. On the other side of the coin, I did not want a desk job. I wanted to be on my feet or working with my hands. Automotive slid right in to score the career-winning run for me.
I could use my knowledge two-fold, by getting paid to apply it and by saving money from taking care of my own vehicles. Also, either turning wrenches out in the shop or simply working the parts counter, being on my feet for a fair amount of the day ensured I had my exercise done for the day. I’d been known to say I was getting paid to exercise.
Although, after moving and having to re-establish myself at another dealership, I found starting from the bottom exhausting on my not-so-young body. Being the runaround lube-tech didn’t agree with my feet as well. Fortunately, I got into the parts department in a short amount of time; high-back chairs were readily available in between bouts of running-around.
Working parts, I loved the challenges presented me, trying to figure out, even from professional body shops, what that mysterious part in the wheel well was called. How could they order and replace it when all they could tell me was basic description and location? I needed a proper name and that begins from understanding what systems would be in that area, what components would need electrical wiring, for what function. It takes another battle of process of elimination to finally narrow it down.
But, with any retail customer service position, the melodrama of price competition, having or not-having the part in stock, giving advice and not having it heeded, and such other matters could drain passion for the challenge and transform what I did into work. I hold myself partially responsible and yet in ways I cannot control. Any socially charged environment can be overwhelming to a natural introvert.
The whole male-dominated part was less the issue as I welcomed the uniforms, the sensible use of toe-covering footwear, and getting dirty meant you were working hard. There was no appearance competition; it was all about ability. Sure, over the phone, if I were to answer for the parts department, a regular misconception would be the customer had received a receptionist and they would ask for the parts department. After a quick repeat that this was the parts department, they’d eventually get down to business. Yes, the shop talk reached a level of crudity that matured my innocent ears. Eventually, I learned their vulgar dialect and participated satisfactorily. However, I had my limits and learned to express them. Some boys never grow up though they can pass for men in stature and facial hair, but their expressions–facial or verbal–ofttimes give them away for what they are. 🙂
What else can I say but that I am seven months pregnant and am in-practice to be a stay-at-home mom? Will our son be a “gear-head,” following in his parents footsteps? We shall see. And, while away from Automotive, I can wrench on the nuts and bolts of Writing.