Extremely rough day at work today
- A technician straight up lied to me regarding a front brake service he performed on a 2004 BMW 525i Sedan with a manual transmission. The E60 M54 (engine model) 525i’s have front rotors (a.k.a. brake discs) that are 24.0 mm thick when brand new and need to be worn to a min spec of 22.4 mm before they can be replaced. In his correction notes on the repair order line for the brake work, he wrote that the brake rotors were at 28.0 mm thick which was under the min spec of 28.4 mm. That would’ve been fine if this car had an automatic transmission which has front rotors that are 30.0 mm thick new and a min spec of 28.4 mm. So I called the tech on the phone and asked if he measured the brakes. His reply was, “Of course I measured them!” I explained my findings to him and then he comes up with some excuse (remember now, excuses are like people’s (rears), everyone has one and they stink) saying how the service advisor was rushing him to finish the job, thus preventing him from correcting what he had written. I wouldn’t be so peeved if he simply would’ve owned up to his mistake. This guy is one of our four team leaders as well. Now this is probably not the first time he’s done this as there have been a good number of indicators in the past-including one that had me call McKenna BMW and speak to their warranty administrator and service director and basically getting in their dog house because I somehow came across as implying that their technician didn’t do their work properly. I know the technicians at my dealership are far from perfect and there are definitely some I wouldn’t trust my own car with. Conversely, there are some that I would and have.
- It only gets better, friends! I called a different technician to ask him why he updated the software on a telematics control unit (TCU) on a 5 Series Sedan (side note: the 2004-2006 5 Series is probably the most unreliable vehicle in BMW’s current line…the 2002-2003 7 Series was extremely bad as well (so much so that their standard 4-year/50,000 mile warranties were converted to 6-year/100,000 mile warranties), but have had most of their bugs ironed out by now) because I didn’t see any reason for him to update it that would be valid for claiming as warranty work from BMW of North America. So then he starts ranting about how he did it to try to take a shot at fixing the vehicle (which I don’t have a problem with) and I said I would pay him internally three flat rate units (3 FRUs) for that because there’s no way I can claim for it under warranty. Then he goes onto an even bigger rant about how warranty is always trying to stick it to him and so on and so forth. He then asks me about the work a fellow technician, a guy I think is very cool because he used to be an indy car mechanic back in the 1980s, performed on one particular repair order did to replace the crankcase vent valves on a 7 Series Sedan (common problem – Service Information Bulletin B11 10 03) and wasn’t paid for it. So I looked it up and saw I didn’t pay the tech for his labor on that because he had only 4 minutes, 4 seconds of “punch time” for the work he did on that. That job pays 4 FRUs which is about half an hour after translated from warranty time. For that particular repair, I just claimed for the parts we replaced from BMW of North America – the right thing to do because I can’t ask BMWNA to pay my dealership for labor that the documented time says was never performed. In an audit, that repair would be toast like a MiG in Maverick’s crosshairs and subject to being debited if I would’ve claimed for it. What gets my goat (which I learned tonight was an expression derived from the fact that a goat would be kept in a gate with a race horse before the race to keep it calm back in the day. Someone removing that goat could produce a severe, adverse effect on the horse and how it runs its race) is that the tech in reality had the 4 minutes, 4 seconds of time on a rear brake pad repair that pays 12 FRUs and about 36 minutes on the crankcase vent valve repair. So I swapped his times to get him 8 more FRUs!!! That’s one more hour of time. Let’s say the tech is on commission and makes $28/hour. Instead of making only $14.00 for the crankcase vent valve repair, I paid the tech $42.00 for doing the rear brakes on that vehicle. Their main point of contention is that they should be informed when they’re not paid for something. My point of contention is that we’ve these techs multiple times that they need to have proper punch times or else we can’t pay them for their labor. The tech in particular in this case is someone we’ve told several times since he started working for our company in Spring 2005. So the first tech who was ranting to me finally finishes his spiel and ends with, “I hope you can sleep well at night.” I’ve never felt so bad for doing the right thing-for doing what is right according to what I’ve been trained by my predecessors and according to BMW of North America guidelines. I take pride in what I do with integrity and ethically and if that’s shunned upon, then that’s it-forget it.
Anyway, my venting is done here. This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. I e-mailed the IT director of our organization to see if there’s any remote possibility of transferring to his department even though they just hired a new guy that started last week. I also just applied for something called a Product Information Specialist with a company called Saatchi & Saatchi LA because it looks like it’d be cool to do something that entirely revolved around Toyota vehicles. The main reasons I think I should or want to stay where I am is to be the light of Christ to those around and to see our new facilities completed. I’ve been trying to tough it out to be His light but I also feel like I’ve been worn to wit’s end and can’t take it anymore.
Please pray for me not because I want you to feel bad for me. I would like God’s help in giving me future direction. Some ideas running through my head:
- Quit my job and focus full-time and trying to start a business
- Look for work elsewhere
- Tough it out
- Go to seminary (no idea how – $$$)
- Do something else that would truly be abandoning it all for the sake of His call
All in all, please pray that God will provide me with the wisdom and direction that gives Him the most glory. After all, that is the most important thing!
Anyway, I have something to look forward to tomorrow, May 4, 2006 – the National Day of Prayer 2006:
(Sadly, the car above did not qualify for this past Monday’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race, probably because the team doesn’t have a crazy (in other words $$$) aerodynamic package and much testing on the track even though their driver, Kenny Wallace, is a pretty good driver and always a funny guy (some of you may remember him from Stacker2 commercials))