Some people say “I’m an automotive technician.” Others just stick to the basics and refer to themselves as “mechanics.” For some reason, the two are looked at as being on opposite ends of a spectrum, like one is better than the other, is more intelligent, or has better hands. Here are the facts:
According to technicians, mechanics are the guys who get greasy: the guys with the beat up hands, the dirt under the nails, mouths like sailors. Mechanics are the assholes. And according to mechanics, technicians are the guys that love to talk all kinds of shit about being good but can’t diagnose his way out of a paper bag. They’re the pussies. The truth is, any technician/mechanic can have an over-inflated sense of self, and neither title really means sweet fuck-all.
A squid (or rookie mechanic) will walk into a garage with his “starter kit” and his chest puffed out, talking that inflated talk about how he built a nine-thousand horse power Camaro engine out of an Erector Set and empty beer cans and put a turbo on his buddy’s Honda blindfolded. According to them, they know how to work on EVERYTHING and how they can diagnose ANYTHING.
shit and usually they last a week. Six months at the most.
Technicians get their bullshit early, too. It all starts with those pieces of shit thieves that run technical institutions. They fill these kids’ heads with stories of how they’re going to learn everything they need to know in 2 years and come out a Certified Automotive Dealership Technician in six to eight months, as if that really meant anything anyway.
It takes a time to grasp the understanding of how the systems operating within an automobile and how they communicate with one another. And you have to internalize the logic behind it all to be able to accurately diagnose anything. This shit’s chess sometimes, it ain’t checkers. And the Institutions couldn’t give a shit less if you really learn anything. I’ve know firsthand that in order for T.I.’s to receive their government grants, at least ninety percent of the applicants have to pass the program. Of course they’re going to push kids through who aren’t ready when their funding is on the line. Theoretically, you could just stand around with your hands in your pockets, dutifully go through the motions, and get you’re Certificate of Achievement.
/*This floods the industry with ignorant fucks that think they know
something because some twenty thousand dollar piece of toilet paper tells them so.*/
Most frustrating is that these kids always get into the business because they had nothing else to do. Working on cars was the last way out. There the ones you can pin-point just by asking them a simple question, “So do you and your kid work on cars together?”. And nine out of ten respond,”Fuck no. My kid will NEVER be a fucking Mechanic.“.
Mechanics at least have the passion for it. Most have participated or at least watched racing, and plenty have competed in engine-building events. They frequent car shows, swap meets, and club events, and get pissed when they can’t solve a problem or understand a system. They eat the same bullshit lunch every day —Brakes ‘n Burgers because the grease adds flavor—and do their homework after-hours. These guys have been spinning wrenches since they were little. And if you know these cats, you’ll notice a tiny ball-peen hammer with a wooden handle about seven-to-eight inches long inside their toolbox’s hammer drawer (and yes, I own one). They know where everything in their box is, no matter how clean or unorganized. They’d rather make-out with their own grandmothers than lose a tool.
These men are the backbone of the industry. These are the guys who no one ever really appreciates because their hands are dirty. While the guys running the show, who think they know everything, try to tell them (and you, the customer) how to fix a car “because they’ve been working at the dealership for twenty three years,” except they’ve been sitting behind a desk.
For mechanics,, this isn’t a job. It’s a lifestyle.
Either way, the two will never get along on a professional level, which is probably a shame.