By Geralynn Kottschade, AAM, Chairman
Each morning as I enter the shop, turn on the lights and switch on the phone, I wonder what will happen that day that could impact the rest of my life.
About five years ago, after placing a help-wanted ad for a quality control officer, I received a call from a placement firm representative who would not take "no" for an answer. Char insisted on an appointment to sit down and talk about her client and how he could bring so much to Jerry's Body Shop. The meeting went far better than I anticipated, and left me with more than I had bargained.
Along came Brian into our lives. Brian was a senior in high school who worked for us in the afternoon hours with a job supervisor. The first thing Brian did was ask for a list of all of his co-workers. He drew a map and wrote each of their names on the map according to where they worked in the shop. Then he wrote each name 10 times, saying this would help him remember everyone's name.
At first he was nervous. Certain things scared or bothered him, but
little by little he grew to trust everyone. One day his job supervisor felt he was able to work without her help, and he was left alone for three hours a day. He did great! He knew where to go for help, and he could always find a job to do.
As graduation day approached, Brian changed. He grew quiet and less open. I asked him what he was going to do after the big day. He said he
didn't know, but he wanted to find a job. I had him complete an application and go through the interview process. Then I offered him the job. He was so excited, but not as excited as the day he received his uniforms.
We celebrate Brian's birthdays with ice cream cakes. He always has fun at the Christmas party, and always makes sure everyone gets a present. We have a saying around the shop: A day without Brian is like a day without sunshine.
Today Brian takes over the detail department when our full-time quality control officer is gone for the day. He keeps the shop clean and full of life. Everyone respects Brian and goes out of their way to make sure he is taken care of. One of his favorite jobs is helping in the parts department. He loves to deliver parts to the technicians. If you ask Brian what he is going to do with all the money he is making, he'll tell you, "I'm gonna buy Jerry's Body Shop."
As we take stock of our daily life and reflect on our purpose, I always look for the positive. What positive impact can I have on the world today? How can ASA have a positive impact on the industry? On our membership? What can we do to create a fun, comfortable environment for our employees and family?
I have some answers: Attend NACE and CARS. Sign up for classes. Register to attend next year's Celebration of Excellence. Get involved in your association. Make a difference so that, by the end of the day, you have already impacted your life and the people around you. Strive to inspire those around you - and allow yourself to be inspired as well.