Thursday, July 1, 2010

But I'm Just a Car 'Canic

 After spending a total of 10 years in the Navy, Brian enrolled in the automotive technician program at Spokane Community College.  In 1992 he got his first job in a GM dealership in Spokane and, over the next 18 years, migrated from there to Phoenix, to Portland.  I remember one day sitting with him at lunch shortly after we met (met again, that is - at our high school reunion) when he was feeling a little unsure of himself, he said "but I'm just a car 'canic." 

Being a car 'canic was good thing in my book.  At our reunion he told me he worked for Carr Chevrolet, but he didn't tell me, and I didn't ask, what he did.  So when, after 2 months of praying about it, I called Carr to ask him out (yup, I sure did) I asked the receptionist what he did there.  I'll apologize now to any car salesmen that are reading this, but I am a somewhat shallow person and my impression of car salesmen at the time was less than stellar.  To my relief she said he was the heavy line tech...I had no clue what that was other than being a mechanic, but it sounded pretty cool to me.  I asked her to transfer the call and the rest, as they say, is history.

Brian wasn't just a car 'canic.  He was and is a great mechanic.  One day he opened his bay doors to find a Peterbuilt truck staring him in the face.  Another time a Franz bread truck from Bend was towed to him after the previous mechanic gave up, leaving all the parts in boxes on the floor of the truck.  He was the guy that worked on the Nike buses.  Anyone in Beaverton remember those?  Michael was little and he called them "the silly buses" because of their shape.  Brian called them silly buses because they were junk.  Another time he went out to a Christmas tree farm in Aurora and fixed a DC 10 Cat that had been out of commission for years.  In 2004 he was ranked one of the top 10 GM technicians in the Western region, that's 750 techs.  He looked at his ranking and said "I just want to make #1"...and he did, the following year. 

I'm pretty proud of my husband.  He can fix anything that has a motor, faster and better than anyone else out there.  The last 2 years in Beaverton while he was attending Multnomah he worked on cars in the driveway to make money.  Everything from beat up Honda's to BMW's, Gertrude the Winnebago and a Jaguar.  I am amazed at his ability to diagnose and fix absolutely any car that comes his way. 

After he got his #1 ranking he looked at his ranking sheet, then looked at me and said "now what?"  Well God had a plan.

Frederico Quiros lives here in Honduras.  He owns the Chevrolet, Nissan, Mazda, Jeep/Chrysler, Hyundai, Maserati, and Ferrari dealerships in Central America.  (Brian got to stand next to a Maserati when Frederico fired it up and that was just about the best thing next to my homemade bread that he's ever had.)  Brian met him a couple of years ago and has gotten to know him quite well since we moved here.  Frederico is quite excited about the Micah Automotive Tech school that will be starting soon and has offered tons of equipment and help to get the program off the ground.  A couple of months ago he asked Brian if he would do some consulting work for him, to help get the service departments more standardized and up to snuff.  Today he was the main presenter in a meeting with Frederico and several of his service managers in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras.  He talked about the importance of getting all of the dealerships on the same fee schedule, of teaching the technicians to be honest and to do the job right the first time.  He talked to them about training the tecnicians in reporting methods.  He talked to them about how it was more important to make customers want to bring their cars back to that dealership forever, than to make a few extra bucks on this particular service.

When it was all said and done, Frederico had decided to purchase a software license for all of his dealerships, that will ensure that Billy Bob mechanic in Tegucigalpa is working the same way as Dexter Doolittle in San Salvador, that they will follow the same diagnostic paths and charge the same amount of money for the same repair.  The automotive repair industry in Central America is about to radically change and my husband, just a car 'canic, is leading the charge. 

Just a car 'canic.  Sounds pretty cool to me.


beckyc said...

Wow! How wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Wiggs!

OK, I'm standing on my desk, yelling "You Rock, Jesus"! And I'm so proud of God and what He is doing in Brian, you Natasha, and the Wiggs guys. It is so wonderful to see what God is doing, and to have the firm hope of an array of wonderful, faithful, techs that are going to be serving the Lord with wrenches in hand, doing good work God's way.

We pray for you all, and for the Micah Project, often. You're in my thoughts at night, and I'm roused to pray upon your behalf.

In Him,


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