A little love, please, for your car technician … and your computer tech while you’re at it
They say there are three people you shouldn’t get on the wrong side of – people you need to keep happy at all costs: your auto technician, your computer technician and your proctologist. All three people can wreak havoc in your life. You’ll eventually need all three and rarely will it be a one-and-done relationship!
Over the course of my life, I’ve been fortunate to serve the public in two of those three most honorable professions – an automotive specialist and a computer technician. I doubt I’ll ever check that third box!
I found that the two professions are very similar – the diagnostic tools they use, for example. As an automotive specialist, I mostly did diagnostics, emissions and electrical work – all the things most techs hate or just can’t seem to get the hang of. Now, as a computer technician, I also specialize in many relatively complex areas that other technicians choose not to venture into.
Compared to the medical profession, though, auto and computer techs just “don’t get no respect” (as I shrug and tug at my collar, a’ la Rodney Dangerfield)!
Why not? The three of us use similar diagnostic tools, albeit with different probes and attachments. We all serve members of the public and fix their problems that are extremely critical and impactful in the moment. Granted, cars and computers are not life and death, but tell that to some of my past customers and clients!
Here’s the big area of difference, though, between doctors and the rest of us technical service providers: customer respect and patience.
If auto techs and computer techs don’t find and repair something quickly and precisely, and we suggest we have to “try something else,” the customer is shocked and dismayed. “I thought you knew what you were doing!” As if the Lexus or laptop were no more complicated than a door hinge.
Now let’s watch as that same person goes to their doctor or a medical specialist with their nagging symptom or painful condition. The doctor will make a diagnosis (i.e. an educated guess) and suggest a path forward. A few days later it’s, “Darn, that didn’t work, let’s try something else.” Or, “I’m not sure what more I can do, I’d like to send you to a specialist.”
More hypotheses, more tries until hopefully, ultimately, the problem is solved. All the time the patient raves about how that doctor is so dedicated to their profession and their patients.
So, what’s my point? What am I asking for?
First, I want to share something. Like doctors and auto techs, I’m continually learning and training – both on and outside the job. I want to solve every customer issue quickly and on the first try. I do this pretty well, but I’m committed to doing it better and 100% of the time.
Here’s the ask. Please recognize and acknowledge that what’s behind the keyboard and under the hood is very complex – more and more every day with each new model that comes out. Troubleshooting is a process. Answers are not always black and white.
And I think most doctors would readily agree that, in this way, the three professions are similar.
David Eisner, TD (Tech Doctor)