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outlaw118

The grumpy thread

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Sadly too many businesses forget that the culture and people within a business are what make it. I know few local garages where the sales or service people are the same ones I saw six months previously as turnover is just ridiculous. Sales and service staff are constantly treated like shit by staff who are happy to run an unhappy ship if their profits are £50 higher.

 

If anything the lad in question making the cars ultra clean and attractive gives one less reason for the customer to try and swing a few quid off. The £8.50 an hour cost could, in fact be profitable if he can polish an extra £100 into every vehicle. Or make them sell faster if they are shinier and more attractive than similar examples elsewhere.

 

Sadly nobody seems to appreciate value these days as customer satisfaction and quality is sacrificed at the altar of the bottom line

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My mate's son, 18, been working as trainee car valeter since last summer at a car dealership. He's keen on the work and is good at it (I've seen his work on a really dirty car).

Unfortunately he maybe is a bit too keen on doing a good job as he is continually harrassed for being slow. He has speeded his work up as far as he can while still producing acceptable results but is bullied and intimidated by his manager who is also in a clique with many of the other employees and with the salesmen who generally treat the lad like shit.

 

The lad likes the job otherwise but doesn't know what to do about it. The level above his immediate manager listened to him in a progress meeting then had a meeting with his manager. Afterwards his manager was very sarcastic and conspired to turn the rest of the team against the lad. The manager apparently has contacts with other local garages.

 

Is this normal these days?

 

He wants to continue but doesn't want to get a reputation for causing trouble, but he doesn't want an unjustified reputation in the local motor-trade for being a slow useless twat either.

 

I've maybe posted this in the wrong thread (mods move it if necessary, thx) but I seem to remember someone else with similar motor-trade experience mentioning this a while back. Hendry maybe?

 

Yes it was me mate. Sounds like either his face doesnt fit, which in big dealer groups or franchised dealerships can be a problem, they do tend to be quite cliquey, and a lot of motor trade guys despise working for franchised dealerships due to the internal politics. Could also be because of his age they think they can get away with treating him like shit and he wont do anything about it for fear of being seen to be ratting on people and cant be trusted. A lot of main dealer general managers, service managers and salesmen are arseholes tbh. 

 

It really depends how anal he is, and how quickly he's turning cars around. I would get constantly pulled up for doing less cars in a day than the others, but I was getting hit with filthy cars constantly because I had an eye for detail and could do a good job on them, there was another valeter who was good but he always got tidy cars because he could work very fast so he would knock 4/5 easy valets out per day, me id manage 2 filthy ones, but this other lad was in with the supervisor so always got the easy ones, another valeter was a bit older, had done the job for years but wasnt great, ok but not great, and was slow too, he usually got middling ones cleanliness wise, but when his cars sold you knew youd have a bit of work to do tidying up before handover. Another guy was a cut corners type, worked very fast, but mainly so he could arse about having a carry on, and always got away with it, and our supervisor started doing less and less cars because he was doing other shit, he was good too but started going downhill, my main problem was when I started my eye for detail was ok but not brilliant, so I could turn cars around quickly, but as time went on I started noticing more and more, and I thought if I can see that so will the sales manager and I'll get pulled up for it, and so will the punters buying the cars, and if they see stuff and point it out and it puts them off the car (used car buyers in a franchised dealership quite often expect cars in brand new condition because theres a big name and a manufacturer sign above the door) then we would get carpeted. Its hard to find a balance between doing a good enough job without being too picky, being quick enough but yet not spending ages on every wee bit and being too slow. 

 

Valeting cars is a cunt of a job, its a lot more high pressure than you think, and generally the valeters are the hardest working folk in a dealership, I thought yeah I can clean a car properly, I like cleaning my own car, this job would be ideal but its not a job id ever go back to or do again. If you go on detailing world and look for topics on them cleaning utterly filthy cars inside, some of the stuff we did was even worse than that. Cleaning dirty cars constantly does also slow you down when you do clean a reasonably tidy car too. 

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One of my customers , a limited company, went into administration last month. We have done six MOTs for them since that date and nobody said a thing.Heard rumours for a couple of weeks so today I checked with companies house.Bugger, they were on monthly billing so don't know if I will get paid for the 22 MOTs I did in January so phoned them up.If I bill the pheonix company for those after the admin date then I will get paid but last month's who knows ?

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One of my customers , a limited company, went into administration last month. We have done six MOTs for them since that date and nobody said a thing.Heard rumours for a couple of weeks so today I checked with companies house.Bugger, they were on monthly billing so don't know if I will get paid for the 22 MOTs I did in January so phoned them up.If I bill the pheonix company for those after the admin date then I will get paid but last month's who knows ?

How well do you know them? Would they have gear they could give you to square the debt before the administrators take it all as their payment - you need to be quick about it.

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Isn't that mega illegal?

You can guarantee the administrators will grab everything they can and sell it for peanuts to cover their fees first before paying any debts, just say it was on loan.

 

Edit I am a little bitter about an experience a friends company had like this. There was enough money left to cover all the debts, the administrators had everything and nobody got paid :(

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^^ Hendry.

Thanks for your insight and comments, will pass them on.

The lad's been doing the job about 5 or 6 months full time, how long would you expect it to take for a capable willing trainee valeter to be "up to speed"? By that, I mean an acceptable speed as fairly judged by an experienced valeter or decent boss.

 

I think the way things are going he may stay in the motor trade for more general experience but with a different employer. Early days yet as he's only 18 but I think he'd be better off if he was free of the malicious asshole of a manager he seems to have atm.

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^^ Hendry.

Thanks for your insight and comments, will pass them on.

The lad's been doing the job about 5 or 6 months full time, how long would you expect it to take for a capable willing trainee valeter to be "up to speed"? By that, I mean an acceptable speed as fairly judged by an experienced valeter or decent boss.

 

I think the way things are going he may stay in the motor trade for more general experience but with a different employer. Early days yet as he's only 18 but I think he'd be better off if he was free of the malicious asshole of a manager he seems to have atm.

 

I would say after about 6 months he should be up to speed, however thats if hes been trained properly, my old supervisor told me rather than showed me what to do, then he and I would work on the same car as at that time there were 3 of us and only 2 bays. But within the first week i got left to my own devices and had to learn for myself the best way to tackle particular jobs, by doing it wrong or the hard way, rather than just being told the best way to do things from the get go. Then you learn which corners can be cut, when somethings enough etc.

 

I could go out and spend 5 hours cleaning the inside of my own car and I still wouldnt be happy and I keep mine fairly clean, but car dealerships would be looking at 3 hours per used car id guess, on a not too bad one, maybe an hour on a new car, then filthier ones can add up, if you need to spend time buffing out scratches, spraying kerbed wheel trims, bringing a pogweasled car back to bright red, or removing tree sap, moss, etc. or if the interior has dog hair, has been a smokers car or has stained seats which need shampooing. There are so many variables and unless horrendously bad a manager will be thinking 'not too bad, shouldnt take too long' Ive made the same mistake myself, doesnt look too bad, has had mats in it, seats dont look bad, and it takes you a load of time to get decent, then you look as if youre slacking because you committed to it not being too bad before you started. 

 

Another way to look at it is that arsehole managers are widespread, learning to deal with them is an important life skill.  Learn to deal with this one and he'll be set for working anywhere else.

 

Sometimes you cannot deal with certain people no matter what you do and have to leave, its what I had to do, no job is worth making yourself miserable over, dreading getting up to go to work in the morning, worrying yourself sick all night after work what you are next going to get pulled up for. 

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Sometimes you cannot deal with certain people no matter what you do and have to leave, its what I had to do, no job is worth making yourself miserable over, dreading getting up to go to work in the morning, worrying yourself sick all night after work what you are next going to get pulled up for.

 

This - having been through this kind of shit (delivering superlative work and then being accused of stealing it, delivering stuff on time and being told it took too long, working 90 hour weeks and being pulled up on having a slack work ethic, etc) I have sworn that should things start "developing" like this again in future roles, I am out of the door. Not screwing up my mental health again because of some c*nt.

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Sometimes you cannot deal with certain people no matter what you do and have to leave, its what I had to do, no job is worth making yourself miserable over, dreading getting up to go to work in the morning, worrying yourself sick all night after work what you are next going to get pulled up for. 

 

 

This - having been through this kind of shit (delivering superlative work and then being accused of stealing it, delivering stuff on time and being told it took too long, working 90 hour weeks and being pulled up on having a slack work ethic, etc) I have sworn that should things start "developing" like this again in future roles, I am out of the door. Not screwing up my mental health again because of some c*nt.

These.  Absolutely.  Been there, done that, and still bitter 25 years on.

 

And no, I'm not proud of my bitterness, it just happens to be the natural consequence of not getting out fast enough.

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60 in a van is fine and 65 in a car is not a problem either as you're moving faster than the lorries hence aren't causing them to have to move into lane 2 and 3 all the time plus you have the ability to increase speed if required on hills/overtaking etc whereas they can't.

 

 

This is one of the main reasons I fucking hate smart* motorways, and the neverending roadworks they spawn.

 

That and the incessant speed enforcement, trying to juggle keeping speed constant, HGVs going everywhere at 55, cruise controllers, people that are scared to do more than 45 because of the average speed cameras... 

 

what if all these factors cause someone to have an accident?

 

 

 

...oh yeah, there's no fucking hard shoulder, motorway's closed sorry m9.

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You can guarantee the administrators will grab everything they can and sell it for peanuts to cover their fees first before paying any debts, just say it was on loan.

Edit I am a little bitter about an experience a friends company had like this. There was enough money left to cover all the debts, the administrators had everything and nobody got paid :(

I’ve had the same experience- customer folded owing about £3000. It was a fiddle as they basically sold the OLED technology to Merck then claimed they had to cease trading. After three years the £200k the company had in the bank was spent on administration. Creditors had absolutely zero.

 

We were third or fourth down after hmrc, landlord and a chemical supplier.

 

An Italian customer of ours went bust ( well Italian!) about sixteen years ago. Only owed about £700. We eventually, after six years I think, got a chq, for 16 Euro that cost £8 to cash!

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