Day 1 at Nagy's: Late for Work - BodyShop Business

Day 1 at Nagy’s: Late for Work

BodyShop Business Editor Jason Stahl starts his week-long work experience at Nagy's Collision Specialists in Northeastern Ohio.

The alarm goes off. I stare at the clock disbelievingly. 5:45. I can’t remember the last time I had to get up before 6 a.m. for work.

Only when I’m lacing up my steel-toed work boots does it sink in that I’m not going to be sitting at a desk all day. I will not be staring out the window of my office at fluffy clouds drifting by or deer prancing around. I will be doing hard time in the dirty confines of a body shop. Today, it’s Nagy’s Collision Specialists’ location in Wadsworth, Ohio.

When I arrive 45 minutes late due to my shameful reliance on Mapquest, I am dutifully served a pink late slip to document my tardiness. This is standard procedure, says Tammy the Office Manager, and so it must be done. Nagy’s relies on standard operating procedures to ensure consistency across all six of its stores.

So it’s time for introductions. Tammy and I have already become acquainted, and she is so nice I have forgotten all about the pink slip. The rest of the team includes:

“Boomer” – assistant manager, been in the business forever

Rich – body tech, 38 years old, 20 years experience

Kevin – frame tech, 35 years old, 18 years experience

Ed – head painter, mid-30s

Travis – painter’s helper, mid-20s

Stevie – detailer, 20 years old

Stevie intrigues me. He is the future of the industry. I ask him why he got into collision repair, and he said it runs in the family. “My dad builds race cars,” he said.

This is a good team, Tammy says. They all get along and work hard. The shop does around $1.5 million in gross sales and cranks out 40-60 cars per month. Few walk-ins, mostly insurance referrals. Life is good in Wadsworth.

Ed sicks me on a Dodge Caliber hood. I prep the underside for paint with a scratch pad, then flip it over and do the top with a power sander.

When I break for lunch, I notice two things: my back and feet hurt, probably because I’m not used to standing all day at work, and I can taste degreaser in my mouth. I hope it doesn’t spoil lunch…and it doesn’t.

Vice President and Owner Dan Nagy pays us a surprise visit in the afternoon. I get to witness an informal interview with a prospective employee who might be able to help out at the store. Apparently the man used to work at Nagy’s, so the team seems confident he could be a good addition to the Wadsworth family.

Tomorrow is another adventure. I will put in more time at the Wadsworth store, then after lunch head to the Doylestown location, which Tammy says for some unexplained reason gets a ton of walk-ins. This is the store that Dave Nagy, father of Ron and Dan, opened in 1973. This is the store that started it all. And it’s the largest in the family.

More of Jason’s adventures:


Day 2 at Nagy’s: Pink Floyd and Cupcakes

Day 3 at Nagy’s: A Clean Sweep

Day 4 at Nagy’s: Oh Brother

Day 5 at Nagy’s: Adios and Farewel

1. nagy’s collision specialists…my home for the next few days.2. tardiness doesn’t pay – a late slip on my first day. blame mapquest.3. i felt like one of the guys power sanding a dodge caliber hood.4. a dirty job creates dirty hands.5. inspiration for a good day’s work.6. Travis the painter’s helper likes to keep family close at work.

You May Also Like

Body Bangin’: The Employer-Student Disconnect

Micki Woods interviews Raven Hartkopf, lead collision instructor at Collin College in Texas, on what students want from a shop employer.

Micki Woods, master marketer for collision repair shops and owner of Micki Woods Marketing, has released the latest episode of "Body Bangin'," the video podcast that is taking the industry by storm!

In this episode, Woods interviews Raven Hartkopf, lead collision instructor at Collin College in Texas, on students' desire for shops to work around their school schedule and let them work part-time ... yet most shops don't offer a part-time position. If a shop does do this and is flexible with the student, once they're done with school, they typically stay with that shop and go full-time. Are shops missing an opportunity here?

Body Bangin’: Why Follow OEM Repair Procedures?

Micki Woods interviews Logan Payne of Payne & Sons Paint & Body Shop on the importance of following OEM repair procedures.

Body Bangin’: Getting Paid for Calibrations

Micki Woods interviews Andy Hipwell and James Rodis of OEM Calibration on how to get started doing ADAS calibrations.

Body Bangin’: What Are The Consolidators Up To With Laura Gay

Micki Woods interviews Laura Gay of Consolidation Coach on the current state of auto body shop consolidation.

Body Bangin’: The Magic of a Massive MSO with Patrick Crozat

Micki Woods interviews Patrick Crozat, the COO of G&C Auto Body, which is the largest privately-owned, family-owned auto body shop group.

Other Posts

Body Bangin’: Changing Your Mindset with Mike Jones

Micki Woods interviews Mike Jones of Discover Leadership Training on changing your mindset to change your life.

Body Bangin’: Rivian Collision Program and Insurance

Micki Woods interviews Frank Phillips, collision repair program manager of Rivian, on how Rivian’s collision program works.

Body Bangin’: Favorite Takeaways from the Southeast Conference

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods does a post-show wrap-up on the Southeast Collision Conference with the SCC committee.

Body Bangin’: Overcoming Objections

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods interviews Ron Reichen and Barry Dorn on overcoming objections, the talent shortage and the SCRS blend study.