Younger teen-ish detailing years - cleaning cars for family and the neighbors
When I was about 12-ish, I washed a car for the first time. It was my older brother's, and it was not that fun. If you have an older brother, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. I helped my older sister clean her civic - shampooing the mats and scrubbing the clear plastic ones she placed on top. Around that time, I ended up cleaning my brother's cars regularly after that - being in charge of washing and vacuuming and keeping his cars clean all the time (with no pay, of course!)
I remember cleaning my dad's Chevy Silverado truck every weekend he came home. I spent hours on the Sundays that it was there, washing, hand waxing and dressing the black trim to make sure that the truck looked awesome. My dad payed me for this - I forget how much, because he was already paying me an allowance for just living. But I clearly remember that when my Military neighbor across the street took notice, he gave me a lot more than my dad, and he used my "services" regularly. I washed and hand waxed his big dually truck for an awesome-at-the-time, $40, and did it a handful or more other times.
Taking pride in my cars
I remember in high school, I drove my mom's green, 1999 Ford Expedition, and I kept that sweet ride CLEAN! My (mom's) car was the cleanest at school, and a lot of my free time was dedicated to it. I spent a lot of time hand "shampooing" the carpet and upholstery regularly, dressing the tan interior panels to a luxurious finish, and making sure every nook and cranny was spotless. I'm not kidding when I say that during this time, my work was probably better than it is now, considering the tools and products I had access to. My love for clean vehicles was firmly established by the time I graduated high school.
My brother, after high school, handed me down his green 2001 Honda civic sedan. This became my car - my first car. After thoroughly cleaning it, I drove it to work, to Yuba College, to the local casinos. Needless to say, I kept this car looking cherry! Sure it wasn't a Camaro or even a Scion Xb, but it was MY car that I loved and loved to keep clean.
The motivated car wash guy at Yuba City Honda
My first job being employed was not for cleaning cars or anything automotive. It was being a security guard a Ross (You know, those guys in all black, with the black vest in yellow letters). That was my first job, but after a few years, I found myself at Yuba City Honda as a car wash guy. At Honda, I used my skills of washing cars quickly, to be the fastest car washer there, eventually over a few months, finding myself in the detailing department knocking out cars and getting them cherry!
While the service department didn't take advantage of my desire to be a great, motivated employee, the sales department surely did. One of the guys managing the cars going to auction spotted my skill set, and ended up having me detail all the to-be-auctioned cars every Sunday. In that position, I had the freedom to knockout cars and align with the sales staff, without the "influence" of the service department getting in the way and hindering my growth.
Whatever they wanted, I pleased them. They were impressed with my drive, and ended up asking that I join them on their sales staff. My foolish reply was that I had to finish college so I could get a job as a writer, lol, and that I didn't want a sales position taking up my time (truth being that I was deathly afraid of communicating with others and having to sell something as expensive as a car.)
Well, unfortunately my time at Yuba City Honda ended shorter than expected, because I got fired for showing up late. The funny thing is, they hired me back a year or so later because they remembered my undeniably great work ethic. I was not a slack when it came to getting the job done, and I was no stranger to sweat and having to catch my breath, just to get the cars back to the customers.
Hi! This blog is written by Detail Pros' very own, Ken! I am the owner and detailer at Detail Pros in Yuba City, CA, which is a smallish town between Sacramento, CA and Chico, CA. Thanks for reading!
Yuba City, CA 95993
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