First Job: Dealership Technician

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    Lee AnnLee Ann

      I began my first job this week as an Automotive Technician at a local Ford Dealership. It has been an incredible week. In a recent post I shared that my dealership seems to support my professional goals. Well, everyday that I have been there so far, this idea has been reinforced.

      It was a little awkward on my second day as I was called in front of the group and introduced formally to my shop. Of course, those scary words came out the meeting leads mouth, “Tell us about yourself.”

      Today, in front of the group, my boss told me to make sure inspections were being carried out. So with four people on my team, we should be able to cover four basic systems: Brakes, Suspension, Exhaust/Fuel, as long as everyone is willing to participate. Sometimes we are so busy that we have to break up into two teams to get the work out faster. I guess the person doing tire rotations could do the brakes and suspension inspections while the person doing oil changes could run the fuel/exhaust system inspections.

      I performed my first recall repair today. 🙂 Maybe tomorrow I will do a re-program.

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      Jason WhiteJason White

        Good start. Sounds like they are teaching you properly instead of throwing you to the wolves. Right now, focus on the basic items and making sure you do things properly, 100%, no mistakes. In this field, we learn from tial and error. Just try to keep your errors from being too damaging.

        Lee AnnLee Ann

          I had my 90 day review recently. Got the maximum raise that goes along with it. However, still in Fast Works. Maybe my expectations were too high?

          It seems like I will always have to fight for my job as there are some co-workers who are still skeptical of my abilities (even though I have proven that I can do all the physical tasks that my male counterparts do). Most don’t know my intellectual capabilities because I don’t go around bragging about my academic accomplishments (Currently, all A’s in my Automotive Technology program and a Masters degree in science). It seems like all they see is my blonde hair/other physical endowments and can not fathom an intellectual resides behind the exterior.

          I believe we female technicians need to do a better job at self-promotion. It should help to ensure we are taken seriously about surviving and thriving in this business.

          Let me know your thoughts-

          A toyotakarlIts me

            As a guy, I don’t know if I am supposed to post here, but since you asked for thoughts.

            No matter who you are, when you come to a shop (and especially if you are new to the given field), you most likely will take a load of $#it… and EVERYONE will question your abilities… Doesn’t matter who you are… Male or female. You are the new “guy”… They want to see what you can do and push your buttons…

            Also, in this economy… Everyone has to fight for their job… Not just you….

            As far as bragging about academic accomplishments, good call to remain silent. Unless you have something that pertain to the job, they don’t care… and any new tech coming into the field I would tell them that you have two ears and one mouth for a reason…. Listen, Listen, Listen… Unless you know what your talking about, don’t talk about it… This usually pertains to the cocky young turks, but the lesson is still there… Listen…. In a few years, you will be able to be the Yoda, till then, suck up information like a sponge and if you can find a good mentor… find one…

            Attitude determines altitude… If you have an attitude that they are doing this to you JUST because of your sex, hair color, skin color, religion, affiliations, etc then you will not last…. You can always use this as an excuse… A garage is not a place for anyone who is thin-skinned…. If anything, they may hold back on you because you are a female and they are scared you will go to HR and claim the company is allowing or encouraging a “Hostile workplace”….

            Do your job, do it well and they will all recognized your abilities and achievements after you have proven yourself…. It won’t happen overnight… Have a thick skin.. You are not a victim unless you allow yourself to be one…

            One last thought if you ever feel down, remember…. “Only one person in this world can make you feel bad about yourself”… Guess who that is…. 🙂



            Robin DeanRobin Dean

              ToyotaKarl has some great points. As someone who was a bit of a trail blazer for women in a completely different field, I can tell you three things will always be true.

              1) You will always have haters – and if you don’t give them any ammunition, they’ll make that &h!t up anyway. Know who they are, but ignore them. If you react to them at all publicly, you’ll instantly turn into scary militant monster testicle crushing chic and you’ll never overcome that rep in that shop.
              2) You will usually have people who will be supporters – and this is generally the case if you work your butt off… like that group of cats over there who will eventually become supporters because they are butt-off-workers too. I think most places that rely on “production” have a core group who only care about who is earnest, engaged, independent, and strives to do great work. They don’t give much of a rip about anything else. Strive to be one of them.
              3) As a woman, you will have to prove yourself constantly. However, as you get older, you start to earn your reputation. It will follow you like a jaguar in the jungle – so make certain it’s a good rep.

              ToyotaKarl mentioned a mentor. Yes indeed. But please understand that if you want to maintain harmony at work – keep things strictly platonic. In fact, if the oldest, crustiest bastage in the shop also happens to be the shop Yoda, all the better. NEVER put up with lecherous bull&h!t. You’re there to work, not to get passed around like a freakin’ Harley mama. Anyone treating you like that should be put to the curb. If you’re built like the proverbial brick *** house or a looker, you really have your work cut out for you. It isn’t impossible, however. You just have to understand you are ALWAYS being watched. The haters will ALWAYS be talkin’ &h!t. You are ALWAYS going to have to fight to maintain your rep. It’s easier – eventually – for guys. Steel your spine now, sister. If you’re in it for the long haul, you’ll have to work up some serious callouses. Let your work do the talkin’. Be a great team player. Become The Master – strive for that – and hang out with the others who share that professional goal. You’ll likely set yourself up for calmer waters that way.

              Oh yeah – and NEVER leave ANY of your property unlocked while you are not in the immediate vicinity (toolbox or locker). Protect yourself. There are lots of dirty little small minded pigs out there – and you don’t want to have to pay the enormous replacement costs which could result from any “boys will be boys” reindeer games. No need to be overt about it, nothing obvious. Just do it.

              Best of luck to you! I hope you have a long and prosperous career doing something you love.

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