We regularly discuss whether a client should fix or replace their vehicle. Many of these clients mention its value per Kelly Blue Book (KBB) or Edmunds when making this decision. While market value comes into play when looking to buy a vehicle, it doesn’t really account for much when looking at whether keeping the vehicle and repairing it makes more financial sense.
It all started when my car didn’t. Quite literally. My car wouldn’t start. I was at a rehearsal for a dance show when I turned to my friend and asked, “Do you have any recommendations for a mechanic?”
Her face lit up and she grabbed her bag. She reached in and as she pulled her hand out, the bag exploded in a cloud of business cards.
“I love them so much!” she exclaimed as she handed me a card. “They’re quality focused and it’s a small business run by Andrew and his wife Bethany.”
I looked down at the card and read “Marinelli Auto Service.” Clearly Amanda was happy with the service. I had an older car that needed help and I had lived here for a few years but hadn’t found a mechanic in the area that I trusted yet. So, that evening, I sent an email with a detailed description of what I was experiencing and waited for a call.
Bethany called me the next day to talk about expectations and scheduling me. I was able to get on the schedule fairly soon after and poor Phillipe (my 2002 Grand Am) was towed over to the shop. I talked with Bethany in the office about testing and evaluation and what the next steps were.
Andrew commenced testing and was able to resolve my two main concerns; the fact that my car wouldn’t start at all, and the security issue that I was having. Around the time that I needed to bring my car in, there was an issue with the security system that made it difficult to start my car, making me do a reset that took 30 minutes. I was thankful that I didn’t have to do that anymore, and that whole exchange built my confidence in Marinelli Auto Service.
A few months later, I was having issues with my tire; it was losing pressure fairly quickly but I wasn’t sure what was going on. But I knew where I was going to go. I called Marinelli’s again and was able to get on the schedule a few days later.
While I was waiting for Andrew to find out what was happening, I had a lovely conversation with Bethany. She mentioned that they were actually looking to hire and I happened to be looking for a job. The next week, I sent my resume to them and that began the long process of interviewing to make sure that I was a fit for their business.
My New Job
As a hospitality and tourism major, I had familiarity with customer service: I had previously worked at a restaurant, however working in a mechanic shop was something new for me. My father was a mechanic, as was my grandfather, but I knew little about vehicles and was intimidated by shops. I didn’t need to know what was done, just that my car was fixed. Working at Marinelli Auto Service has not only helped me learn about cars, but I have been able to put into practice what I learned in school.
Vehicles, they’re the easy part, or so I’ve been told. Talking to people, helping them make the best decisions for themselves, their families, and their vehicles…that’s what is intimidating. Over the past year, I’ve made connections with clients and vendors; people that I care for. As I am so often reminded, people are precious, and now these clients that I’ve built relationships with are precious to me. I’ve made mistakes, but I’m lucky in who I work for. Andrew and Bethany have been so kind to me and I am grateful for the chance that they gave me.
The automotive industry is intimidating for a lot of people, and you don’t see many young women working in it. As a young female working at a mechanic shop, I’ve learned that maintaining what you have is so important and it’s okay to ask questions! You should feel comfortable with your mechanic and you should know what’s going on with your vehicle. You should be able to count on their workmanship and their service. The first step in finding a mechanic is to ask your friends, maybe they too have a bag full of business cards that explodes into a cloud.