Since nearly being fired by one of my managers I learned a lot and have since refocused my work around quality rather than quantity. I have released myself from the grip of others and don’t need them to tell me whether I am a good mechanic or not, and I have detached myself from the craziness and stress that is present in Glenside.

My service manager in the city helped me realize a lot through this whole thing. He didn’t put much of the blame on me but rather on people’s failure to correct my downfalls. He said I was a new mechanic and if I have shortcomings they should be addressed to me and I should be instructed on ways to prevent these shortcomings from happening again. And this seems true. Every time I messed something up he took it very seriously and talked to me about the problem and how to correct it. When I messed something up in Glenside it didn’t seem nearly as serious as it did with him. And the seriousness was often followed by jokes that’s only purpose were to demean my abilities as a mechanic.

He also was frustrated at coworkers at Glenside who made references to how slow works goes at the shop in the city. He said that it takes the amount of time it takes a person to do a repair, you can’t pressure someone to do it faster, one only become faster over time. This especially has helped me push away time pressures that I have felt, either from myself or coworkers and instead focus on getting work done well. Now I will spend a long time on even a shitty bike to make sure it actually work rather than putting in a certain amount of time and them moving on to other tasks.

I also was finally explained what a tune up was. A tune up is the yearly or twice yearly repair that is done to ensure the bike is properly repaired. The entire bike is gone over, the mechanics job is to catch any small problem and to tighten and fix everything wrong on a bike. So when you get a tune up the entire bike should be working great and should have been gone over.

Finally I have become detached from Glenside and have realized how truly crazy it is there. While I knew it was pretty bizarre there one can only realize that when looking from the outside. The stress levels there are very high. They have extremely high views of themselves and the work they do. While the salespeople are much better and the mechanics are good and work on good bikes both of these groups often fall far bellow their views of themselves. The views and the fact that they must conform to them is the main cause of this atmosphere of stress. You either bust your ass trying to be the best, fastest, awesomest employee there or you become somewhat miserable and frustrated with working there (the latter one is where most people are with spurts of greatness).

Knowing that is the case I can leave that binary and simply do good work there. I can ignore the pressure of doing lots of work and just do thorough quality work at my own pace. I can and have been develop a rhythm for working on bikes. I can relax at my job and reconnect with working on bikes, ignoring all the other crazy stuff. I can be what I wanted to be, a good mechanic and a happy not-so-stressed person.


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