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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. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147


    When I was n the womb my father would read parts catalog numbers to the "bump". The result was when I entered this world I knew every part number of every part ever made. I could have been the greatest counterman the world had ever seen. But I chose another career because I have great problems dealing with stupid customers who think every auto store stocks every part for 50 year old cars
  2. Moloko
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 726


    I always chime in these threads. I work for Autozone. No matter what they tell you, we can get about everything. We had all the rear brake parts in stock today for a 55 Buick rear that one of my customers had in a 56 Chevy gasser. Not all of us are clueless, just most of us haha.
  3. I love it when i go into Autozone, O'Reilly's or Manny, Moe and I don't know, and ask for a part for my Studebaker and they ask me who made it.
  4. gauto5150
    Joined: Mar 2, 2012
    Posts: 32

    from LA

    Don't hate, educate!
  5. bonesy
    Joined: Aug 14, 2005
    Posts: 3,000


    If I have to go to these chain stores - I ask for parts as if it's from the donor vehicle.

    No problems.
  6. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,216


    My over priced relabeled China made Painless Ford style brake switch died prematurely so I was going to see what sort of junk Auto Zone might have available...

    I start to wander the store for the heck of it as the kid at the counter is on the phone but he quickly tracks me down to see if I need anything. I tell him what I'm after and it's for a 63 Ford Fairlane with a 170 6 cylinder. Out of that I get "what year F-150 was that again?" not once but twice. On the third try we get it and while amused I understand he had no idea there was such a car or any interest.

    Now I try for a Holley kit which I know they carry and is often in stock. I neglected to look up the number but also know per one few V8 minded kids that work there that the kits are listed in the computer. Without a model year no dice. :D
  7. cseay1949
    Joined: Jul 18, 2012
    Posts: 18

    from Elkwood VA

    a buddy of mine went into Autozone one time and asked for a group 24 battery .. the young man at the counter said "what type of car do you have" to which he replied "1939 Pontiac". The young man tickety-tapped on the computer .. "Wow, our catalog doesn't go back that far." My buddy told him never mind about what type of car, he just needed a group 24. The young man then said, "I'm sorry but we don't carry Group 24, our batteries are Duralasts."
  8. RagtopBuick66
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,182


    Pssssst... I didn't know what an HHR was either. Not a car that I've ever paid any attention to. I had to Google an image, and then said "oh, one of those..?" I'm 38. I've worked on cruise missiles, built and programmed torpedoes, and helped build an aircraft carrier and four nuclear submarines as a systems QA Inspector. I've also been restoring classics for the past 23 years, and currently own three. But because I don't know what your '08 droid-car was badged, one of about a bazillion models in '08, by your definition I'm not qualified to work at a parts store..?

    Didn't know what an ADCAP was either, but I was given a job and I learned it. Give these young kids a little credit for even holding down a job when there's so much competition for ANY job. Maybe use the opportunity to TEACH them. You might be surprised at just how much more some of them WANT to know once you start talking about the obscurities of your ride. They'll never forget it from that day forward.
  9. Bad Daddy
    Joined: Nov 13, 2010
    Posts: 829

    Bad Daddy

    We both had a good laugh at my local NAPA store. Last night I checked their site to see if they carried motor mounts for a '49 F1. Saw that they did and went in today to order some. He gets on the comp, laughs and says he has them in stock. Both upper and lower. He was just as surprised that they had them as I was.
  10. Now that is where you are wrong. At least our local one. My buddy works behind the parts counter, and he's nice to me. Parts for my 64 Chevy truck? No problem. and anything from the performance catalog, cost plus 5%.
  11. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,226

    Da Tinman

    Point Blank.... You Fellers need to find a store that you are comfortable dealing with and stay with it. Once the guys behind the counter get to know you and understand what you are working on they are far more likely to give you that extra bit of help.

    I prefer my local O'Rielly's, my friend is the manager and I am on a first name basis with everyone that works there. I am allowed free access behind the counter for those times when I just plain have to look thru every box to find what I need. Premolded hoses and wheel cylinder kits are the main things.

    I also look up most of the stuff myself on the computer and either call with a part number or stop in. If you look it up and they dont list it, look it up on Rock Auto and then plug the part number into the stores website, you'll be suprised at the number of things they can get even though its not listed. Prices are about the same too only theres no shipping on most of em.

    Rather than humilating or pissing all over the new guy, take the time to show him what he needs to know so he/she will be more comfortable with you in the future. Most of the time the new guy with little experience gets such a hard time that they dont know if your yanking his/her chain or being serious.

    A lot of you are handicapping yourselves and making it much worse by your attitude and actions. Think about it, would you go out of the way to help someone if the last time they came in they did nothing but piss you off and make you feel like an idiot?
  12. rld14
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,609


    Spot on. I've made some smartass remarks in these threads before, mainly because I have to argue with the clowns at the counter when I give them a part #. Sorry, a 1960 Vauxhall Cresta is NOT in your computer but dammit I know what AC plugs it needs and you DO have them on the shelf.

    But some posts just fucking amaze me. No, the typical kid at the counter probably isn't familiar with Novas and might not know what a Nova is BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T MADE RWD NOVAS IN 33 YEARS! I haven't seen Novas on the road on a regular basis for over 20 years, those cars are obsolete!

    I worked at a Western Auto in college, in 94-95. Back then most of the cars that needed parts were from the 80s, 70s stuff was uncommon then, and forget about someone coming in for brake shoes for a 56 Cadillac. In a year and a half at that store I only had one or two guys with old cars come in needing parts.

    As I've said before, go to your local shopping center or mall parking lot, and unless you live in maybe SoCal or some other place where old cars survive, find ONE other car there with points ignition in it. Hell, find ONE other car that isn't fuel injected!

    The truth is, whenever I'm at an auto parts store people are in front of me on line getting an axle for their 99 Camry or brake pads for their 04 explorer or wipers for their 05 BMW or a water pump for their 02 Grand Cherokee. It's just what it is, time marches on, sadly.

    I'm amazed actually that places like AutoZone even inventory half the shit they do for some of our cars.
  13. aagasser
    Joined: Sep 10, 2007
    Posts: 47

    from ny

    That whole statement shows how "intellectually superior" you are to the rest of us. Thanks! :confused:
    I dont claim to know it all ,as a matter of fact I only know about the twenty or so cars & trucks Ive built, I learn new stuff every day. The point that you missed completely is that if you are paid to do a job the job or let someone else have the job that is qualified, even if the pay is low,and the hours are long. (They tell you that stuff when you apply for the job).
    I guess the moral of the story is there is no work ethic anymore and that is what really sucks for everybody.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,222


    I agree with this point in general. But like other rants that happen here there's a definate "FUCK YOU" out there that slaps folks like us far to often any more.

    FUCK YOU: I was busy 'sexting' my girlfriend

    FUCK YOU: I don't even like old cars, they're stupid

    FUCK YOU: You're lucky we're even here for you

    FUCK YOU: I don't give a shit, don't care if you ever come back

    That's what it renders down to. bLowes, Home Repo, Wallyworld, all hire just like major chain auto parts stores do, for the lowest bottom line in operating costs. This is the return on that investment, the cash cow that is the paying customer gets poor service and attitude with even the most remotely different request from the percieved 'normal'. You can spin the heart of this discussion into any industry out there. You guys who did it in the past, well you're here now, right? How many did you work with that thought you too were a freak of some kind for following your chosen form of pleasure beyond simple transportation? I've worked for OEM tier1 supplier/service companies. You'd think a shop full of metal fab guys and painters would be full of car freaks like me. No fuckin way. We are and always will be the minority, but I cheerfully return those FUCK YOUs when they get thrown at me. Mediocrity may be accetable to some, not to me. You're either very lucky, live in a really small town, or a liar if you can say you NEVER get any of this as you try to get what or otherwise. That's the point, not that all coutermen suck, not that all parts stores should carry points for my Kaiser/Packard/Willys/Nova.

  15. aagasser
    Joined: Sep 10, 2007
    Posts: 47

    from ny

    I just found one of those amazing fuckin posts too! (see red caption)
  16. Bigchuck
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 1,142

    from Austin, TX

    Exactly. I often forget it really is 20f'n12 (how weird is that) and that even my ot daily is 38 yrs old. That is older than most of the young guys working at your local chain parts store. Most of the cars on the road are not older than 20 or so, especially since all the 80's cars were such big pieces of shit. Even here is Aus TX where there are lots of rods/old cars, they are probably in the less than 1% catagory.
  17. you guys complain about rude and stupid parts counter people , what about the rude and stupid customers

    a guy calls 2 minutes to closing that he is on the way , and can we stay open a few extra minutes. needs spark plugs. pulls up at 5 minutes after closing but sits in car for another 5 minutes talking on his cell phone. i go outside to ask IF he needs the plugs....he says "sure , i will be in in a couple minutes" , you come in NOW or the door is locked. and booze on his breath

    or the customer in the middle of a transaction gets a cell call and spends 10 minutes chatting with his buddy. meanwhile , other things has got your attention. he gets pissed that you can't immediately get back with him.
  18. 55chrysler
    Joined: Jan 25, 2010
    Posts: 175

    from kelso wa

    I know what everyone is complaining about but I'm lucky as one of my best friends that I grew up down the street from who was born and raised in the car hobby is the assistant manager of the local Carquest so I don't have an issue when dealing with him. If I need off shelf stuff I just go in. If it is parts I need looked up I call and make sure he is there. If he is off we have another local store that all the counter people are older guy's who know there stuff when it comes to old cars so I will go there.
    Unfortunatly it is that way in just about any big chain business noe day's. Higher at minimum wage make more proffit. People leave because they can't live off those wages so then the company is off to the next low wage person available. Customer suffers do to it.
  19. I think you kind of missed the point. Knowing what a Nova is is not really his job. He will probably get asked about Nova parts once in every 50,000 transactions he makes so he has no need to know. Parts stores make their money selling to the general public and the current vehicles they are driving not to guys like us that walk in for parts for obscure old cars. As much as we would like to think otherwise it is just not the case. It is not a lack of work ethic(although there are those that certainly have none) to not know what a 40 year old car is. It is a lack of understanding of what they are there to do that would make one expect them to know.
  20. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    from BC

    I've been doing it this way for 3 decades, still regularly get the song and dance. More times than I can count, the smart-ass responded with "whats that for?" When I was young and inexperienced in the ways of idiot partsmen,(I worked as one for several years, so dont start the "try it from the other side of the counter bullshit, I did) I would tell them. Several times, I've gotten A)Wadda ya want THAT for?" or B) "they dont make those." One time with holley power-valve plugs he added "I should know, I'm the high performance expert in this location". Now when they ask me "whats that for?" I tell them to shut the f*ck up and order the number I just gave them, or I'll call the manager and see if HE can manage to order it for me."
    For some time now, I just deal with one guy at one parts store. I call first to make sure hes there. Hes getting close to retirement, then its gonna start all over again...
  21. Irishman
    Joined: Mar 28, 2012
    Posts: 148


    I have to say, the guys at my local Oreilly's are top notch. Sure, they don't have all the obscure parts that I sometimes need, but 8 times out of 10 they come through for me.
    Many the time they'll try their best to find something "that will work" and if it doesn't, I just bring it back.
    The Autozone just up the road, well that's a different story.
    I guess it just boils down to pot luck when a store has the right kind of employees.
  22. Napa is a little pricey but well worth it. Autozone/Orielys/Pepboys are terrible.
  23. KIRK!
    Joined: Feb 20, 2002
    Posts: 12,031


    Good input from many of you. I agree, WE are the ones asking for weird shit from these guys. Granted they are minimum wage know-nothings, but that's what America has become...a country where cheaper is better and quality is hard to find. That doesn't make me any less frustrated when they tell me that "the computer doesn't go back that far."

    That said, if all of the sudden quality went up, most of you would be bitching about the increase in prices and how the big evil corporations were screwing you. No one wants to pay for quality because we're spoiled by low prices and a disposable society. You get what you pay for.
  24. I came here to say pretty much the same thing. You can't be floored that the kid behind the counter making 8 bucks an hour doesn't know what a 9 inch pumpkin is or what points are or whatever. Those days, if they ever existed, are gone. If you can use the Hamb, you can order parts online from any of the stores largely bitched about here, and have it to your door step in a reasonable amount of time and with far less aggravation.
  25. RC Kid
    Joined: Jul 5, 2012
    Posts: 97

    RC Kid
    from Alabama

    I walked into my local NAPA auto parts store yesterday and got a surprise. They hired a pretty little girl to run the parts counter. She was real nice to look at, but not real helpful.
    Sometimes you need a real parts guy behind the counter to help out when you are searching for compatible solutions to your everyday issues for your forty year old technology. And this pretty little nineteen year old wasn't very capable of helping.
    My issue was finding a ford throttle cable for an Edlebrock carburetor bolted onto an old jeep, which was needed to correct the issues created when I replaced the original intake manifold with an Offenhauser in order to correct a pesky little vacuum leak at the manifold.
    It seems the cash for clunkers program inspired the local junkyards to crush any hopes of finding a replacement part in a reasonable time frame so aftermarket parts are pretty much the only viable solution to some issues. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    You know, for a few dollars more per hour, they might be able to hire better help. And who knows, with the extra money they might better enable these young folks to pay their rent and put a little food on the table. But instead these large corporations continue to provide low quality, Chinese parts which normally require some work in order to get them to function as intended, and they hire some very ignorant people for minimum wage to hand me these parts, and lord help us if we have questions about these parts, because they don&#8217;t have the answers.<o:p></o:p>
    Yes, there are still some good retail locations which are normally a direct reflection of their local manager&#8217;s abilities, as opposed to the corporation&#8217;s actual business model.<o:p></o:p>
    When I find a good store with good employees, service and quality, I stick with them, even if it cost me a few dollars more. I recommend more of us do the same.
  26. The guy at my Autozone told me that Chevy never made a Ranchero, much less a 1959 one. I just stared at him dumbfounded and said, yeah I know, but they made a FE 390 engine for one in 59, can I have a battery for that? He said,,,sure, what year was that again? Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest
  27. GregCon
    Joined: Jun 18, 2012
    Posts: 689

    from Houston

    I don't ever give the parts guys a hard time if they don't know something....but the idea that an 18 year old wouldn't know what a Nova is doesn't sound that great to me.

    First, he is a he, not a she, and he's should know their cars.

    Second, he is in an automotive related field of work - it's not like he's being asked about a 1960's piano model.

    As a model built in the millions, it's reasonable that a parts guy would have at least heard of a Nova. It's not like it's a Stutz Bearcat.

    I'm always amazed when people hold forth their age as an excuse for not knowing something. "I don't know any Beatles songs - I wasn't born until 1982." "I have no idea that there was a war in Viet Nam - that was before my time!"
  28. fatty50
    Joined: Apr 27, 2010
    Posts: 58


    Went to the parts store to buy drums for my '04 Tacoma and the guy said "nobody makes them anymore"..... I said "ANYMORE?... It's only eight years old?" he said"well that's what my computer is saying" I just looked at him and then went to a real part store.
  29. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,563


    My local parts guy laughs at me every time I go in and ask for parts to rebuild and alternator or starter, His normal comment is that "no one rebuilds those things anymore, well except you". 10 or so bucks worth of parts and an hours time vs 70 bucks? that isn't bad pay for an hour of being out in my garage.
  30. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 625

    Kustom Komet

    I've run into these types of employees at the chain parts stores, but most that help me are just fine, even at Autozone or O'Reilleys. If they haven't ever heard of a Fairlane or a Tempest, I tell them. If they ask several times for basic information already given, like the year or model, I tell them nicely each time. I get what I need, and I'm on my way in far less time that way with no ruffled feathers.


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