Monday, August 14, 2006

Why the dealership job is important

In 1989 or 1990 i went to and graduated from an auto tech school in Hawthorne, CA. I then went to work at a place that was something of a throwback - a "service station". A gas station with two bays, two lifts, that sold tires and had two full-time mechanics on duty, as well as four pump jockeys with enough know-how to do things like oil changes, tire switchouts, battery charging and replacements, some troubleshooting, etc. I learned more there than at the school, basically just building on what my dad had taught me while i was growing up (he was a high school auto tech teacher). Then i moved to Nashville and worked in the Tire & Battery area at Sears over at the Madison mall. I got burly doing that! I also got a really fantastic acid burn on both my arms while loading used batteries onto the DieHard truck. We stored our old tires in a cage, about 15 feet high all around. Part of my job was loading those old tires out, too. When it was full, you climbed up to the top and just hurled tires over the fence to the guys on the other side, and as it emptied out you had to throw them harder or just roll them out the door. You came out black at the end of it. If you couldn't find gloves, your hands were shredded from tires that had belts showing through. Then i left Nashville, in '92, and came back to LA and went back to work at the same gas station. I really didn't do so hot the second time around. A couple of months in, i found coke and then the job started interfering with the drugs, so i quit the job to do coke all the time. This is totally a reasonable thing to do when coke has a grip on you.

What was stupid was that i had gone into the school with the "wants" to become a certified mechanic, and i did a lot of studying and questioning and pestering of the mechanics at the gas station, and found the ASE tests to be out of my financial grasp for a while. I kept putting them off. Once i got going in the white powder, i kissed that little dream goodbye. How could i afford the coke and not the ASE tests? Friends in low places. Yeah that's all I'm saying about that.

After cleaning up the dusty habit, i started looking for work in my chosen field. I applied all over Phoenix (where i was living when i cleaned up) and after a while, i got tired of fighting for work and just found any old job. And so that's what i did, any old job, just make the money to eat and pay some rent and bus fare to that any old job.

It's always been in the back of my head to go back to school and get those certifications. I now have 16 years of technology to catch up on, and although i've managed to sort of keep abreast of the advances, i've really only concentrated on one maker. And hopefully the dealership will let me do it through them.

Just so all know this isn't just some lark i'm having.

But the other day i was out at the annual mountain jam, and came down from this area that the local tribe uses, a gorgeous spot with a circle and everything, and as i was coming down i found a hawk feather so hopefully that's a good sign.


  1. I think it is so cool that you dig engines.

    You really have the best of all worlds; playing music part of the time and following your other passion as you can.

    In as much as that is true, you've no need to explain yourself, but seeing your inner thoughts on the subject is very joyous, nonetheless.

  2. Whew, thot for a while I had lost you. Glad to see you on the air again. Go get'em on the ASE...