Posted by tim in Work Sucks on December 8, 2006

Today was pretty much one of the worst days at the shop in the year and a half I've been there.

It mostly started with this one customer. Things were going pretty well until I hear one of the guys say, "Okay, so they charged you and you want us to fix it?" Here's what happened... The lady came in for an oil change yesterday, and part of the service is that we check and adjust tire pressures. She said she went home and check her tires and found that they weren't set to 35PSI, as they were supposed to be. She said that she didn't feel comfortable bringing it back to us, so she took it to another shop and they charged her $15 to check her tires. WTF?! I told her that I'd refund her money, made a copy of the invoice from the other shop, and we checked her tires again for her. When we started to check them, she said something along the lines of, "I'd rather you didn't check them, because they're set to where they're supposed to be." One of the other guys told her that we would check them anyhow, just to see if our gauges were wrong or whatever. I told the lady that if she ever had any concern about tire pressures, fluid levels, or anything like that, she could come back and we'd check it for free. She said something like, "Well, I didn't know that," and left.

Right after that, one of the guys called me down in the pit to handle a problem with a drain plug. Turns out, the oil pan was stripped out and it was the boss who did it. I tried to clean up the threads on this aluminum oil pan, but they were too far gone. So, to take care of the problem, I put a bigger drain plug in and all was fine. See, what happens when these things strip out is people over-tighten the drain plugs, or they start them in the hole crooked. I have discussed the issue with the boss before, and he said, "Just put a longer plug in. A torque wrench is pointless because a lot of these are already stripped out." What pisses me off so bad about that is that I've requested both torque wrenches and longer drain plugs, and we've gotten neither. Every time I've requested the drain plugs, I've been told something like, "You already have enough that size." Whatever. It's your name on the sign.

Then not 2 cars later, the same issue with another oil pan, only it was a different size than the prior one. I went to see if we had any drain plugs that size, and I could only find one. When I tried to put it in the car it wouldn't go in, and I didn't want to force it. I was PISSED. I thought it was the last plug we had that size, and it had to be replaced. I went back to see what we had for other drain plugs that might work, and I just so happened to find 2 more the size that I needed.

The next car was the same damn thing! This time we had the right plug and I was able to fix it, but I just absolutely HATE having to do that. If the person who tightens the drain plug doesn't over-tighten it, there would be no need to repair it. A simple $20 torque wrench can prevent a drain plug from being cranked too tight, and will save everyone a lot of headache in the long run.

I'd guess I had to fix about 10 of the 37 oil pans that came through the shop today, and it's all because people who work there are too paranoid about a drain plug falling out, so they think tighter is better.

Maybe my skin is just getting thin. I don't know. I'm tired of having to fix everyone else's screw-ups. I'm not a babysitter; I'm a manager. There's a difference. Why does it have to be that people are so ignorant and they leave these messes for me? It's the story of my life, I guess.

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