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Driving back to Atlanta last week from an extended trip with my son to visit three universities, and learn more about their summer intern programs, I experienced the same up and down emotions, I am sure, which many carwash operators encounter each week.
For instance, we ran into major traffic jams in both Knoxville and Chattanooga. Being captured in an automobile with a frustrated 22-year-old male driver is about as fun as going to a dentist who doesn’t use a local anesthetic.
Worse, near Lexington, we had to replace a faulty alternator. Cha-Ching. I know every carwash operator has had to replace old equipment at absolutely the worst time!
Some of the “helpful” road signs also disturbed me.
The road sign warning “this lane for runaway trucks only” can never inspire a safe and secure feeling or confidence in any motorist.
Finally, while driving through an early morning fog in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee I thought, eerily, of those reliable and experienced operators who can never be sure what hazard could be lurking at any time around the next corner.
Yet this planned but intense road trip had one huge, positive outcome.
JT and I enjoyed some great one-on-one conversations. Truth be told, we talked plainly about issues that parents always want to talk about, but don’t quite know how to begin. We discussed in detail his current school work, his short-term career plans, and even his relationship with an overachieving girl friend, a truly wonderful person, even though a graduate of Georgia Tech.
As a carwash operator, I encourage you to have “the talk” with your suppliers too. Share with them your goals, your fears, and your need for their feedback and support.
Reputable suppliers would benefit as well from this frank discussion.
In too many cases, however, neither you nor they may be comfortable or skilled in initiating that important conversation.
Thus, if you really can not find a reasonable way to begin this discussion in your office or at your carwash site, then I encourage you to take a 400 mile road trip together.
There could well be some unforeseen and even frightening moments which you will not be able to ignore or escape, but you will both be the better for it!