I love magazines. I swear it’s a bit of an obsession. Family members, co-workers and I share them and pass them around. I just ordered a few new subscriptions that I really don’t need from my niece’s school magazine drive. But it’s for a good cause, right?
So when a door-to-door magazine salesman came to my house recently and I apologized for not buying a subscription from him, I felt bad, I like to help people when I can. But I just didn’t need even one more. I felt bad that is until he walked away and said, “Well, ‘sorry’ isn’t going to feed my kids.”
At first I was shocked, and then I was angry and wanted to fire back with “When is it my responsibility to feed your kids?!” But was afraid to speak out. I was alone at the house, and quite frankly, didn’t feel safe saying anything else. Nor would it have been the right thing to do.
Since then the word “responsibility” has struck a chord with me. And in reading some of the comments from our August issue’s articles, it has struck a chord with some of our readers as well.
In response to Mike DuBois’s August article, “Specialty Tools: Making a Once Difficult Task Easy to Accomplish,” Dave Kindl commented, “Good job with this one. The million-dollar question is who is responsible for buying these tools? The business or the tech?”
Peter Anderson, chimed in, saying: “As the owner of a small shop, I decide what tools and of what importance they are to a job, i.e., how many vehicles do we see or anticipate on working on.
“Over the years I have bought thousands of dollars in tools just to see them get dusty,” Anderson continued. “The flip side is that there are just as many that have paid for themselves. If the shop doesn’t want to invest in the tool and you believe you need it, then I would suggest (buying it and then) renting it to the shop when the tool is needed. Also, the tool goes with you… kind of a win-win situation.”
How does it work at your shop? Are specialty tools purchased by the shop owner or are the techs responsible for all of their own tool purchases?
Do you want to turn away a job or take twice as long to complete it because you don’t have the right tools? Or do you want to be the hero when you solve a problem in half the time, keeping the customer and/or your boss happy?
Unlike the magazine salesman, I’m not trying to “guilt” you into making a purchase. Whichever you and your shop decide is the best tool-purchasing route, remember that you are the only one responsible for your own future.
I think I read that in a magazine, once.