Sorry for the delay, I would’ve posted this last night after work but I hung out with people from PAT immediately following work and didn’t get home until after midnight.
Yesterday I drove out to Glenside for my first day of work in 3 months.
I got to work at 10:45am and met the head mechanic, Nick. He showed me my work station, explained the computer system, the phones and how the whole place works. Somewhere in all that he asked me, “Are you good to do repairs.”
“Yes,” I answered promptly. Excited that I might be fixing bikes not just building them.
Then at the end of the conversation he handed me two repair slips for bikes and said, “here you go, these two need a tune up.”
I stopped dead in my tracks. My last boss, at RBR, had told me in an email that I would be lucky to work on bikes much, especially without supervision, seeing that I had no formal training or work as a mechanic. But there I was. I was being asked to “tune” a bike. I forgot what that even meant. I went over to Nick and asked, “what does a tune up entail, I’ve never tuned up bikes in a real bike shop before, only when I was working in my own shop…”
“Don’t get into taking stuff apart. No overhauling or disassembling,” he responded.
“That’s a complete overhaul. And make sure to clean the bike up with this stuff.” Then he handed me a can of bike polish.
I had a vague idea of what he was talking about. I mean, I knew what I wasn’t supposed to do, but I was still paralyzed and couldn’t think of what I was supposed to do. I went over to the bike and took the wheels off and trued them. Then I checked the brakes for tension and for rubbing. I tuned the gears. And then I spent a good bit of time cleaning it. All of this took me about an hour. I knew tune ups normally cost $70 so I figured I had missed something.
I went over to Nick and pointing at the bike I asked, “Do you wanna check this?”
“Yeah, let me come over,” he said and then he finished what he was doing and came over.
He looked at the bike, spinning the wheels, checking the brakes, the shifting, going through all the gears. Then he said, “looks good.” and went back to his work station and resumed his work.
As I continued to work my disposition went from, “I may loose this job when they realize how competent and experience I am, to “I can totally do this job.”
I clocked out at 7:15pm. 8.5 hours of work.
I left feeling confident and happy. I hadn’t felt like I had worked 8 hours. And I couldn’t help but think, “while this is just my first day, I can’t help but think this is the job for me.”