The Oath

Jan. 1, 2020
What can the industry do to improve its image? One shop owner has a proposal for all to consider.

By Andy Fiffick, Contributing Editor

Many of us in the automotive repair industry complain that we are not paid enough or respected enough for our place in society. The fact that many shop owners do not have higher education, coupled with a general lack of respect for our industry, results in a lack of recognition for our skills and dedication. I truly believe that continuing education for both the management staff and technicians can translate into more consumer respect for our industry; therefore, I’d like to concentrate on morals and ethics and how they can improve the perception of our industry. On a mission to find ways to enhance the public’s opinion of our industry and increase our professionalism, self-worth and operating procedures, I have talked to many shop owners. It is apparent to me that our industry needs to operate more professionally and ethically. After questioning some of our customer base, I believe that, as an industry, we don’t totally believe in ourselves or really know how to act professionally.Sure, some of us have a grasp on it, but there has never been a universal policy for us to follow. The data I’ve gathered points to the fact that we need to treat our fellow technicians, shop owners and customers with more respect and dignity. Let’s set some ground rules: I firmly believe that it is a transgression to openly criticize another technician or a competitor’s shop. It clearly sets the wrong example. Frankly, if we don’t respect our industry and ourselves, who will? We need to set the right example for the public to follow. We need to build the attitude within our industry that we are truly professionals and deserve to be treated as such. Even with the correct attitude, we still need to ‘talk the talk and walk the walk.’ Therefore, after reviewing the operating procedures, rules and regulations of other highly respected professions, I have developed a ‘Technician’s Hippocratic Oath’ that I’d like the industry to consider following.If we all follow these standards, I believe we can significantly increase the status of the automotive service and repair industry, as well as the professionals who make it their livelihood. Following and practicing the oath will help us earn the respect of the motoring public and pave the way to higher earnings for all. I ask that you make a copy of this oath and post it in your shop or on your toolbox. Read it weekly until you know it and believe it. Pass it along to your fellow technicians. Include it in your employee manual and make each new employee in your shop aware of the oath. It is up to all of us to make our industry better. Following this creed is a small step in the right direction.

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