All of us have individuals in our lives that for better or worse impact who we are as a person forever. One of those individuals for me was a technician I worked with while being a fixed ops director for a car dealership. He came up to me one morning asking me to read a brochure then have a meeting with him. The brochure was about ALS disease better known as Lou Gehrig’s. I read the information as he directed and said I’m ready for our meeting. Our chat was heartfelt and life-changing as he informed me he had ALS. He asked if I had any questions after reading the brochure and I had only one. I informed him the information was spelled out very well however, I didn’t notice the cure. The look on his face informed me of the answer before he spoke and told me there wasn’t a cure. We both held back tears as we discussed openly what his plans were and how I could help. He wanted to continue working as long as he could so he could help his kids get through college financially. This disease is horrible and it takes a toll on your body over time. He kept performing as a technician until one day he fell over in the shop hitting his head hard on the floor. Realizing he could no longer be a technician and be safe the dealer allowed him to transition into warranty administrator. Whenever I would ask how he was doing, he always responded with “still kicking just not as high”. This man was a fighter however, the battle never went away as he continued to deteriorate. Eventually, he was restricted to a wheelchair in tremendous pain and seldom missed a day of work. One day he asked to talk with me as he broke into tears saying he wasn’t of any value to himself or the company anymore. Nothing could have been further from the truth as he inspired everybody around him. I reminded him he personally generated over $1 million in labor and parts revenue while he was a technician. How he is using his knowledge of being a technician to file incredibly accurate warranty returns to the manufacturer. He literally felt better about his worth at that moment and smiled. Maybe you aren’t feeling of value to those around you right now. You might question your worth to your family or company. In those times reach deep inside and understand your true worth is helping others get through this short time on earth together. Do this and you are priceless and worth more than gold. Rest in peace Doug, you made the world better for everyone around you.
Rob Gehring, President
Fixed Performance Inc.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.