Day 3 at Nagy's: A Clean Sweep - BodyShop Business
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Day 3 at Nagy’s: A Clean Sweep

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I washed my cell phone last night. That’s right. I laundered it – right along with my dusty, greasy work clothes. On the plus side, it smelled like a mountain spring. On the downside, it was deader than a doornail. I chalk it up to getting out of my routine. Given that it is my one and only connection to the outside world this week, I make a note to take care of the situation at lunch today. There’s gotta be a Best Buy somewhere in Wooster.

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Country Time

Driving to the shop, I realize that I’ve seen more cows, horses and silos in the last two days than in my entire lifetime. I’m a city slicker. I didn’t know people still farmed.

When I arrive at the store, co-owner Dan Nagy gives me a tour of the shop, which is 6,000 square feet and features a separate office for estimates and Hertz rental cars. Hertz is on site at all Nagy’s locations.

Tattoos and Earrings

Introductions start. One thing I notice right off is that many of the techs here have tattoos and earrings. Maybe I’ll get one at SEMA this year.

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Jerry the Frame Tech has four years of experience. He used to work in construction – which I’m finding is common among collision repairers.

Larry the Painter also used to work in construction. Asked why he got out, he says, “I don’t know, I guess I hit my thumb one too many times with the hammer.”

Rich the Production Manager just got back from lean training offered by BASF. Slowly but surely, he says, the shop is developing into a lean, mean machine.

Block Sanding

In no time, I am block sanding. Damon was kind enough to let me help out. He’s 21, talkative and works like a horse. After his shift at Nagy’s, he will start his second job as a semi truck repairer. All told, he works 70 hours a week.

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“You must make great bank for being 21,” I say.

“Well, I gotta make the payments on my truck somehow,” he says.

Reconnected

At lunch, I buy a new phone and insert my old SIM card, which apparently is impervious to anything. But as I predicted, I’ve lost all my contacts – because I didn’t save them to the SIM card. Note to all my collision friends out there: Please send me your numbers! Efren, Jeanne, Lee, Aaron…you know who you are!

Enter Sandman

When I get back to the shop, I’m bound and determined to make it a cleaner place. I make my intentions known, and a couple guys let me in on which brooms suck and which ones work the best. Before long, I’m like a Tasmanian devil, creating a cloud of dirt and dust that rivals the great Dust Bowl of the 1930s. I kind of feel like Pig Pen from the Peanuts. Just like when Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” came on the radio the other day when my head was floating from too many fumes, I find it no coincidence that Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” is blaring as I sweep myself into a frenzy.

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Even though I enjoyed getting dust all over me, I can’t say I enjoyed it as much as one tech, who screamed “Oh yeah!” as one of his colleagues blew filler dust all over him. I don’t know why, but watching him, I thought of the famous image of Marilyn Monroe standing over the sewer grate.

Along for the Ride

Tomorrow, I get to do a “ride-along” with Dan Nagy. We’ll start at the Orrville store, then visit the Spurgeon store (part of Spurgeon Chevrolet) in Wooster and the store in Millersburg. I’m told I may see some Amish buggies at this store. I wonder if Nagy’s has ever repaired them?

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Visit www.bodyshopbusiness.com soon to read about Day 4 at Nagy’s.

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