Mechanic Confessions and Tips

imported_John Whelan - December 30, 2015
It's true I'm being totally transparent and confessing right here right now. I can sum it up in one statement "I don't know everything."

Even after 37 years of working in the heavy duty mechanic trade it would be a huge lie to say I know it all. First of all why would any mechanic say something like that. It could be an ego thing that would make someone say they know everything but be prepared if you stay with that mantra. The critics will be coming out of the woodwork to test you and see if you stumble or fail.

Remember Muhammad Ali who always said he was the undisputed champion of the world. There were challengers from all over the world wanting the same fame and fortune rising to the top..hungry and desperate to defeat the champ.

That's one heck of an example but stating that you know it all or you're the best at what you do is a big responsibility. My advice is to be humble and take it on the chin if you happen to make a mistake. Mistakes happen...and confessing that you made the mistake (take it from me) is a huge relief. If you blame Joe or Frank for something you didn't want to take responsibility for that's something you have to wear.

I wouldn't recommend doing that too often because it will tarnish your reputation and if you're working in a small town the word will get around that you're a player. I can honestly say there is something new learned every day. It could be a trivial fact that you've never heard of before. If you have a hungry mind and you want to learn more then I can guarantee you are going to make it.

When Your Are New To The Job

I want to share a story about a friend of mine...a certified mechanic who can't keep a job no matter how hard he tries. In fact he tries too hard and blows it every time. I lost count how many jobs he's had and when he gets the word 2 days before his 3 month probation that he's no longer employed .... out comes the blame game.

It was someone's else's fault or the companies fault. They didn't have the right manuals or tools to do the job. They were cutting corners to get the jobs out faster which wasn't the correct way. It was endless blame and after numerous firings I thought to myself...he's not taking responsibility for his actions... that is probably the main reason for him getting the hook.

Starting a new job is stressful but the biggest advice I can give is stay cool. Breathe deep and relax. Don't let them see you sweat. Working with new people in a shop is a challenge mostly because of the diversity in personalities. Getting along with the other mechanics is the key. Make sure when you ask for advice you show gratitude and be personable. Join the crew during coffee breaks.

The worst thing you can do is sit in a corner somewhere and not be sociable. If management sees that you're not fitting in your days are numbered. It's OK to sit at the coffee table and not say a lot. Just being there speaks volumes. The last thing your employer wants to see is friction between you (the newbie) and their staff.

Oh yeah....don't sit in the coffee room and check your Facebook among other things. When people see that social media is more important to you than they are you might get some negativity coming your way. There's a time and a place for everything so being keen on showing your sincerity is a very simple thing to implement when starting a new job.

Just a reminder...DO NOT come across like you know everything. Remember the Titanic? That's your job status especially if you're still under probation. Be professional and my favourite characteristic 'humble'. Fly like the wind at tasks that you could do blindfolded and take care (ask for advice) with jobs you're not totally familiar with. Just saying...peace out!