When Dan Nagy asked me on Thursday where I wanted to go the next day, I said without any hesitation, “Wadsworth.” The store in Wadsworth was where I started my journey into the world of collision repair, and so I thought it was appropriate to end it there. Besides, the staff treated me just like family, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Off to the Races
When I pull into the parking lot at 7:30 a.m., I’m amazed to already hear a buffer whirring. These boys don’t mess around!
If Tammy and Boomer the office managers greet customers as nicely as they greet me in the morning, I’m pretty sure Nagy’s customer retention rate is 100 percent. Seeing a scar on Boomer’s forehead reminds me that when I first noticed it on Monday, I thought it was an old injury. Turns out it happened very recently when he had an unfortunate run-in with an ill-placed door panel. That is EXACTLY the kind of injury I thought might happen to me this week, but amazingly I am walking away from Nagy’s without any scars.
At the daily meeting, Tammy hands out an advisory notice that serves as a reminder to the team to take extra time to go over picky customers’ cars well.
The Joke’s on Me
Travis tried to pull an early morning prank on me by blowing off the dust on a door I just DA’d and then asking me to help him flip it over. Apparently, I was supposed to get shocked when I touched the door, but it didn’t happen.
“I get Stevie with it all the time,” he says with a laugh.
I wondered why it took this long for someone to try to mess with me. Probably because these guys are too friggin’ nice!
As I’m installing a bumper cover on a Honda Accord, I see Stevie whizz by outside riding a parts cart. Man, I love that kid’s youthful enthusiasm!
Eddie, who has been my paint/prep mentor all week, explains to me the various grits of sandpaper and their uses. He also explains the difference between “mud” and “icing.” Dang, I’ve learned a lot this week.
Today was country day on the radio. I’m not the biggest fan, but man, Lady Antebellum is really growing on me. At some point, I swear I hear a commercial for livestock feed…as if I need a reminder that I’m in a rural area!
The Window is Up
Boomer tells me he’s going to fix the window of my car, which fell down after the motor quit. Tammy gives him a vote of confidence by saying, “Yeah, after he’s done the door will probably fall off!” I must say he did a great job, and no longer will I receive an e-mail from someone at my company saying, “Hey, I noticed your window’s down.”
Hard to Say Goodbye
I must say it’s hard to say goodbye at the end of the day. These guys were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. They let a clueless editor enter their world and get in their way to see what it’s like to get people back on the road safely and in style – and they did it with grace, charm and a sense of humor. I can’t say I’m surprised, especially when you have guys like Ron and Dan Nagy running the show. I left the shop with a feeling that, despite the struggles it’s going through, the collision repair industry will be all right after all.