Excuse me if I don’t make much sense, but I’m pretty freaking mad right now. I don’t like getting phone calls from people I care about, hearing that they’ve lost years of hard work.
You know what’s wrong with this freaking economy? What’s wrong with our work force?? Do you!? It’s not the workers, oh no. It’s the people who hold the check books. It’s the OWNERS. It’s the men and women who don’t put any work into their own businesses and give the shaft to the men and women who bust their ass to keep the business afloat.
This is my big red hot FUCK YOU to corporate assholes.
I’ve been going to Gurnee Midas for 8 years now. 8 years, that would be over 10 cars (don’t ask, I’m accident prone and have horrible mechanical luck). Dave, the general manager, and his crew have taken care of me and my family that whole time. They’ve looked at all of my cars pre-purchase, for free, they’ve worked on my cars (and if you’ve seen some of them, you know that’s not an easy task and is most definitely time consuming and frequent) for parts or half labor. They’ve dealt with me not being able to pay, worked payment plans with me, and they’ve gotten me deals purely because they knew I couldn’t afford full price parts. They’ve dealt with my neurosis and driven around with me for an HOUR just so I could show them that noise I heard in my wheel well. They’ve paid for tows to their shop, and they’ve gone above and beyond to accommodate me and my daughter. My daughter is 5 and knows most of them by name.
When my car breaks down (as it often does, has and likes to) or if I need general maintenance, I go there. They are my blue collar family, and I know they won’t rip me off. Not to mention, I prefer to spend my money local, even if it’s to corporate owned businesses, I’d rather my money be doled out in paychecks to the local workforce.
Anyway. So I get a call from a number I didn’t recognize this morning.
“Hello? I don’t have any money.”
“Sarah, I’m not a bill collector.”
“Oh, who is this?”
“Dave, from Gurnee Midas.”
“What’s up duuuuude? Where the hell are you calling from?”
“Home. This is my home num..”
“Why are you not at work?”
“That’s what I’m calling about. Remember when I told you a few weeks ago that we were being bought by a new owner?”
“Well, that new owner fired all of us. ALL OF US. Gave us 6 hours to get our tools out. They hired inexperienced guys for half the pay.”
The conversation went on from there. He told me some of the new reviews of the new crew from his regular customers. We all have his personal number, and apparently he’s getting up to 10 calls a day from his regulars wondering where he is, and why they just got ripped off. I guess the biggest complaint about the new crew is that they basically have turned into Jiffy Lube. Dave’s crew never forced sales, they’d tell you if you needed something, but they’d also let you know it’s not immediate. This new crew is DAMAGING cars and forcing sales. Customer’s are now walking out and searching to replace the crew they’ve all used for years.
After so many years of bringing my business there, I am disgusted. On one owner’s quest to cut his labor expense, he laid off SEVERAL man who put in their time. Those men have families who depend on their paychecks, and now those men are FIGHTING for unemployment.
I am glad that Dave has so many loyal customers, many of us are no longer going to frequent Midas, and a good chunk of us are going to give Dave our work privately until he gets back on his feet. I am sad at the loss of a great shop, a great manager, and my trusted mechanics. Hopefully by the amount of walk-outs Midas gets, the new owner learns a valuable lesson.
Good luck to my blue collar boys.