Please, Ma’am…I’m a Professional

Do you ever have those times that just when you are “thinking of yourself more highly than you ought” , life has a way of bringing you back down to planet Earth?

I used to be a tire salesman. I worked for Sears Auto Center for three years. I started my career in the tire retail business in 2000 at the Macon Mall location. I worked there for 6 months before transferring to the Centerville location. Rick Hanselman was my manager and the assistant manager was a gentleman named Tim Wood. Both were Christians and became good friends of mine. During my time there I became quite good and was regarded by management as one of the best employees on our team. I had some of the highest sales numbers each pay period. Not bad for a guy who knew little about cars (let alone tires) when he began. Yes, I was pretty awesome. I could spot a bad tire a mile away. I could even explain in detail the cause of different tire anomalies.

Now whenever I need any tire service done, I still shop at Sears Auto Center in Centerville. I know the people there, I believe in the products and services they offer, and I am satisfied with the quality of work. Also it’s nice to go back and see my old managers and friends, Rick and Tim. It is always good to hear them tell the newbies working there now how awesome I was back in the day (even though in this case “the day” was only three short years ago).

I had to make just such a visit to the store last week. I was experiencing irritating vibration from the back end of my car around 50 mph. Of course, being the diagnostic guru that I am, I knew exactly what the problem was. As soon as I arrived, I saw Rick and Tim and they began their usual ritual of poking fun at me and asking what time I was coming in to work and all that kind of stuff. Well, eventually Tim gets around to asking me why I have shown up. I tell him how they rotated and balanced my tires a month or so before and now I was getting a vibration from the back tires. “They need to be re-balanced”, I told him. So he calls for a rookie named Michael to write my car up for service telling him to have the technicians check the balancing on my tires. So I wait while Michael goes out to my car. He promptly returns stating that he has found my problem. He said, “Tim, did you want to come see this?” Tim replies with a smile, “No, you just show Josh. He’s a professional!”

Well, Michael (good ol’ wet-behind-the-ears Michael) leads me out to my car and points to my left rear tire. There it sat in plain view, as big as life and twice as sassy: a separation. Yes, my tire had an internal problem in which the steel belts begin to come apart. This often results in a lump forming on the tread of the tire. Over time, this raised spot is worn through quicker than the rest of the tire. So I had this balded spot about 6 inches wide on the tread of my tire with the inner steel belt showing. So I look at Michael and boldly state the solution to this issue, “Hmmm….looks like I need a new tire.” Wiser words were never spoken.

You must understand that I had checked that very tire at least twice in the preceding two weeks. I never felt or saw anything. Michael sure as heck did. So Michael begins to write up a work order to have my tire replaced. Tim, standing nearby, asks me “So what was the problem?” I stood there a moment and then I sort of grinned and chuckled a bit. At this point, Tim also cracked a smile for he had realized that I was feeling like a retard. I simply stated, “Let’s just say it’s something that a “professional” would never miss.” He understood completely and we both had a good laugh.

One hour and $80 later I was saying my goodbyes and getting back on the road. The car handled great and the ride was smooth as butter. As I pulled out of the parking lot I decided that the next time I visited the auto center that I would leave my ego at home.

A professional indeed. Way to go, genius.

Josh H.


2 Responses to “Please, Ma’am…I’m a Professional”

  1. 1 kev
    February 1, 2007 at 10:23 am

    You should have given Michael a roundhouse kick, Chuck Norris style.

  2. February 1, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    Cute little blog, baby. I like the funny kind better than the informational kind 🙂 I guess I’s not smart enuff for all that stuff.

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