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Got Laughed at Today at the parts counter!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Kage, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Bad Eye Bill
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 841

    Bad Eye Bill
    from NB Canada

    Well said. Why can't people understand this?
  2. GregCon
    Joined: Jun 18, 2012
    Posts: 689

    from Houston

    I did have a guy at Autozone recently ask me "Plymouth? Who makes that?"
  3. Deadbird
    Joined: Jul 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,128


    Agreed. I've all but given up on the local parts stores. I've been very pleased with the quality and pricing of the Rock Auto stuff.
  4. smarg10
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 10

    from Texas

    Can be frustrating I know! But I'd like you guys to know that two "Hambers" ( my two sons) are putting themselves through school working as counter guys at AutoZone!- All is not lost!
  5. R A Wrench
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 487

    R A Wrench
    from Denver, Co

    Lotta good points on this thread, we have all had our times at most parts stores.
    Just a few years back I went into one asking for a carb kit for my 63 falcon. The young cool dude who was giving his co-workers some fun crap looks at me and asks
    "falcon, falcon, who made that?" I tried to avoid him in the future.
    My late brother in law had a 53 I-H bus for camping etc. Needed a master cyl. Had it in hand when he walked into an older parts store in Albaqurque, the old counter guy took a look, turned around and was back in minutes with the right part. The box was dusty but the part wasn't.
  6. cseay1949
    Joined: Jul 18, 2012
    Posts: 18

    from Elkwood VA

    ... ask him to look up a water pump for your '65 Corvair. having worked in a parts store years ago that was a good initiation for "the new guy", esp. if it was clear he didn't know much about cars lol
  7. Hotrodhog
    Joined: Aug 11, 2011
    Posts: 169


    I find it's easier to give the part number to the kid behind the counter that I already looked up. Or just buy it online.
    But wouldn't it be nice if the stores would give their kids some training on how to be a parts counter guy and what some of the "old" technology terms or parts that people like us may ask for?? I mean I had a kid look at me dumbfounded when asking for a HEI ignition module!!!!
  8. pbr40
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 831

    from NW Indiana

    It's hard to find good help! No one has pride!
  9. hotrod--willys
    Joined: Dec 15, 2009
    Posts: 525


    Years ago my family were on vacation in Yakima Wa. At that time we had a 1979 Ford custom van. We were out driving and noticed smoke comming from our exhaust.OH OH we have major problem!!! So we go to the local Ford Dealer. After an agonizing wait came the bad news(broken oil rings) Cost to repair $1,500 to $2,000. Oh no...I decided to say hell with this. I will drive back to Brookings, Or. fix it there. Let the engine smoke. I will buy more oil and fill as needed. Engines f$#k anyway. So we stopped at a local parts store for a case of oil. The kid behind the counter looked to be about 14-15 years old. I took the case of oil to the counter to buy. The kid said what is the oil for. I said did you see all the smoke comming out of the exhaust. He said ya. But he said it looks like transmisson oil burning. Did you check the modulator?????I said what the hell is a modulator. He said it is on the transmission and if it leaks you will have fluid going to your intack manafold. He said is the cover off the engine in the van. I said it is easy to remove. So with a couple of weanches he showed me fluid being sucked up to the intack manifold through the vacum line. I said you have go to be shitting me. He said for about $20.00 buy one and it will be fixed. So with the tempeture at 100 deg. I'm out in the parking lot changing the modulator....I instlled it and ran the engine for five to ten minites and (GOOD TO GO) I said to my wife, give me a $100,00. She said what for. I said to tip this kid....:eek:

    When your going to New York don't get off in Chicgo
  10. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    And then wonder why these kids don't give a crap about us dinosaurs asking for parts for our antique cars. :rolleyes:
  11. Murphy32
    Joined: Oct 17, 2007
    Posts: 747

    from Minnesota

    ...Great story!...Good for you.:cool:
  12. 117harv
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 6,590


    Yes, thanks for the great story, and classy move with the tip:)
  13. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,292


    With all due respect to all who have posted in this thread:


    Were each of you born with all of your current automotive knowledge?

    When you were hired for your first job, did you know EVERYTHING about your job the first day?

    While it may be trying at times to help some of the newbies that work for the FLAPS to help us; remember these people are actually working (or trying to work) and are not on the government dole rosters. Give them a break as you might wish someone to give you a break.

    And just to make conversation, this issue is definately a two-sided issue. I do mail order, and have for 35 years. Each day we get several callers that would easily make this list; but we try to help them determine what it is that they need. The most common offense is: "why do you need the identification number, they're all the same". The latest: "I need an air screw for my Carter AFB, it sits between the mixture screws". (there are at least 4 different).

    Have a little compassion for these people that are actually trying to work.

    My opinion, others will differ!

  14. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash

    After all this ranting and raving, it boils down to one thing for me. I don't expect any new hire to know everything about a job on day one. But for gods sake, learn something along the way...

    In an effort to become more effecient with computers (I work with computers by the way), we've dumbed down the job so much the employee isn't forced to think, nor does he/she care to!
  15. I wish that was true. Try buying a gallon, of gas, or a quart, or a pint, or a cup full of anything at a gas station in Canada.
  16. cseay1949
    Joined: Jul 18, 2012
    Posts: 18

    from Elkwood VA

    I agree definitely should have compassion for the people who are actually trying to work .. the young guy inexperienced with not a lot of car knowledge beyond his 10 year old civic who says "Yes sir how may I help you?" "I don't know but I will be glad to look it up for you." and actually has an interest in trying to help you .. but I have also dealt with a lot of young guys who act like you are bothering them when you ask them for a part .. don't give their name when you call them on the phone so you don't know who to ask for when you call them back .. or actually cuss when they are trying to look up something for you "this f-ing computer doesn't go back that far" or simply trying to put you off and make you go away by saying "we don't have parts for cars that old" so he can go back to texting his girlfriend. So yes there is compassion due where it is due.
  17. carbking
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,292


    I would offer one other suggestion as relates to acquiring parts:

    My shop truck is a highly modified 1968 F-100 Ford. EVERY PART I HAVE NEEDED IN THE LAST 10 YEARS WAS AVAILABLE (special order, but available) AT MY LOCAL FORD DEALER!

    Can they look up the parts on their computer? No; but years ago, I purchased a 6-inch factory master parts book for Ford printed in 1969. When I need a part, I simply take the parts book with me, hand it to the parts manager, and he looks up the part. The part may have been superceded 2 or 3 times, but so far (knock on wood) every part I needed was available, even the oval dual quad air filter used on the 1963 427, since I have dual fours on my shop truck. Without the parts book, they could not have helped. NOT THEIR FAULT!

    Same thing is true with my Pontiac.

    Do not understand why the accountants at both corporations will continue to store parts that they have no reasonable method of selling.

    So far, my worst experience with the Ford was in acquiring the plastic bracket that holds the horn button. Ford packaged them four in a package, and I did have to buy the entire package (now I have 3 spares, although if I ever again need one, I will probably not be able to find it).

  18. traffic61
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,519

    from Owasso, OK

    I worked part of my way through school at a tire/hardware/auto parts store (OTASCO for you OK oldtimers) and I will freely admit that I knew then, but a fraction of what I have picked up in the many years hence. Yeah, I was that dumbass across the counter that didn't know that some Ford motors used a Delco type starter solenoid. And I will freely admit that I don't know a lot of things today, usually just enough to be dangerous, if you ask my wife

    I try to cut this generation of counter guys some slack these days, as I was there once. We didn't have computers then, only lots of catalogs/parts books. Things change and we have to accept that. Corporate auto parts stores, low paid empoyees that seemingly don't have a clue and Chinese parts are part of the environment now. I am not happy about that and I try to work around those impediments as best as i can. It's just part of the reality of today's life.

    I don't expect the new guy at (insert offending store name here) to know what I know at my age. Information is your best weapon against the unknowledgeable. If you're on the HAMB, you must have some computer literacy, and surely you can do some research into the part numbers that you need (emergency situations excepted, of course) before going to the parts store. Going in armed with more info than the guy across the counter has saved me a lot of time, aggravation and money.

    Your mileage and opinion may differ.
  19. I know we all miss the old days but it's no sin to not know something. I think we can make the experience better for both sides of the counter if we help them learn and don't expect them to be like the counter guys 40 years ago. To find what we need may require some help from our end. As others have stated, looking up the part number ahead of time can usually save everyone a lot of headaches. If we do our part, it will be less frustrating for everyone.

    Occasionally, I find myself pissing and moaning about the young generation, their lack of work ethic, intelligence, etc. When I remember back though, we had dumbshits like that in our generation too. Okay, maybe not as many :) Part of what this generation lacks is wisdom, common sense and experience. But, like real patina, that only comes with time. The only ones I really have a problem with are the smartass guys that think they are already geniuses and don't need to learn anything. For someone who has the humility to admit they don't know everything, and has the willingness to learn, I'm willing to share what I know. Sometimes I learn a thing or two in the process.

    As I posted recently in another thread, I think we need to keep this in perspective. 40 or 50 years doesn't seem that long to some of us, but keep in mind, back in the 50's, 60's or 70's when we were the age of some of these young guys, somebody walking in and asking for a part for a car built 40-50 years ago would be the equivalent of someone asking us for a carb kit for a Velie or a Dort, or a valve sleeve for a Willys-Knight. More than likely we would have said WTF? Just like the kids today who want to know who made the Edsel.
  20. mrpowderkeg
    Joined: Mar 11, 2009
    Posts: 178


    Most of my stuff is OT cars, circa 60s and 70s. It's rare that any parts store in town has what I need. The last time I looked for anything was a set of head gaskets for a 460 ford. None were to be found at any parts store, oreilly, carquest, napa, etc... I just order most stuff online now, it takes the same amount of time to get to me, and it's delivered to my door. I call O'reilly Oh Really. cause every time they tell me that they don't have it, I say "oh Really"... I hate all 3 of them in my area. One accused me of stealing, the manager was yelling at me over the phone until it dawned on me that I had returned what they were "missing" to a different location, once I got the manager to settle down, I had both receipts and he was able to look up the other receipt he didn't have. He didn't apologize for his accusation, or even try to act somewhat respectful. O'reilly is the scum of all parts stores. I was so freaking mad I almost called Greg Henslee the CEO of O'reilly on his home phone.
  21. cseay1949
    Joined: Jul 18, 2012
    Posts: 18

    from Elkwood VA

  22. cseay1949
    Joined: Jul 18, 2012
    Posts: 18

    from Elkwood VA

    Ah thanks! Funny my answer was unknowingly included in my question! Ha ha
  23. Moose223
    Joined: Sep 17, 2007
    Posts: 147


    I'll try to drag a counter person out to the lot to see what I am driving and it is amazing how they react. With that said it seems to make parts finding much easier most of the time. On the other hand it has a tendency to make counter people scatter when I come through the door again!:D
  24. cornbread-red
    Joined: Feb 3, 2012
    Posts: 21


    I guess I am lucky, Advance Auto has an old line parts guy I deal with. I took in a brake caliper off of my 29, to get new pads. He knew immediately it was from a late model Chevy. Since then I've used him for most everything. If he doesn't know the maker of the part he knows the computer system well enough to find it.
  25. "Who makes the Monte Carlo?" - O'Reilleys, Eagan MN. She was cute, so I let it slide........
  26. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 21,964

    from Michigan

    That's what happens when you hire rookies... :rolleyes:
  27. Cutlassboy68
    Joined: Dec 3, 2011
    Posts: 593

    from Boone, Nc

    What about a local privatly owned store? Best guys you can ask for usually running them...
    Got a store called "Critcher's Auto Parts" I can call him up and ask for something wierd, and if he cant find it he will spend all day looking for one.

    By the way, went in to local Advance Auto and was messing with the guy behind the counter and asked for a water pump gasket for a '64 corvair... They had one in stock...
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  28. Wow imagine that. It has after all only been 40 years since the metric system was introduced in Canada. I can't imagine why you wouldn't be able to buy anything in imperial measurements anymore:rolleyes:.
  29. 47ragtop
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 664


    Anybody been to a new car dealership for a part in the last 10-15 years ? The 1st thing they have to know is the complete VIN. Why? New vehicles became so complex and with new parts to deal with the ECM's, thats the only way to keep up. A royal pain to have the VIN- Yes but you get the correct part the 1st time. They dont have to ask all those questions and they usually can show you an exploded view of what your working on. Believe me they are NOT all the same. I started at a chevy dealership in 1973 and retired in 2006. I saw alot of changes and dealt with some real winners and losers. The next time you go into any parts house that kid may know alot more about cars than you do- late models ! So be polite and respectful and thats probably the way you will be treated. I always look up the parts on the parts house web sites and print out the number. I learn alot about how to install ,tell the difference,etc. After all you are on the internet USE it !
  30. catman
    Joined: Oct 18, 2005
    Posts: 144

    from El Reno

    visited an O'riellys here in OK. to get a cabin filter, told the counter boy it was an '08 HHR, he asked me what an HHR was ! not hiring car people has caused the big box auto parts stores to go in the toilet for sure...:confused:

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