When “Prince Charming” comes up on the caller ID at Marinelli Auto Service, we know that Jonathan Fernandes is on the line. This doesn’t happen often, because as Office Manager, he’s usually the one answering the phone, but when it does, we can be rest assured we’ll be greeted with something off the wall like, “Jimbo’s Tacos calling to confirm your order for 100 supreme tacos,” to which it’s best to play along for as long as possible. In all seriousness, though, Jonathan brings a good balance of fun and opportunity to our shop that has brought our business to the next level.
Surinamese by birth, Jonathan’s cross-cultural upbringing allows a perspective that looks outside the box for solutions to everyday challenges. He has been a fast learner of the industry and faces challenges as opportunities. His vision for our business is bigger than I can wrap my mind around, so when he hears about an improvement that needs to be made, he jumps right on it. This vision includes expanding our reach to be able to serve customers with more efficient turn-around times and a smoother customer experience. For example, his affinity for technology, particularly computer programming, has greatly improved many of our office processes. He’s always anticipating our next biggest need and putting things in place to meet it.
Since Jonathan has joined our team, we’ve been able to move forward from wondering how we’ll get to the end of the week to what we’ll be able to accomplish by the end of the year. Yes, we all want to make a nice income to support our families, but this is secondary to the care he has for each vendor he works with and each customer who walks through the door. When it comes down to it, he wants to take care of you and your family.
In fact, one thing that allowed Jonathan to fit easily into our fold is his heart for his family. With his wife Sarah – a longtime friend of Andrew’s and mine – his son James, and the any-day-now anticipation of his second son’s arrival, he “gets” the family atmosphere we’ve tried to create through our business. Just like Andrew treats every car like it’s owned by a member of his family, Jonathan treats every customer like you were part of his.
Truth be told, it’s his easy going relational style that makes him the right person to be on the other end of the phone and the first face you see when you walk into our office. This brings us to how “Prince Charming” ended up on our caller ID. While mostly tongue in cheek, it represents the balance between the fun he brings as well as the connection he makes with every person on the other end. If you haven’t already, I hope you get a chance to meet Jonathan soon. When you do, I highly encourage you to let him know what we’re doing right and where we can improve. I promise you, he’ll look forward to the challenge as an opportunity.
-From the Mechanic’s Wife