I used to enjoy this. Used to get great satisfaction seeing a car returned to its old beauty. People loved getting their cars back clean and shiny, freshly polished and detailed, with all traces of an accident removed, and returned to its former glory. Used to enjoy the occasional restoration job, hearing the stories of back when the car was beautiful, and the owners plans of what they will do when its beautiful again.
Used to enjoy my time with my boss and friends I worked with together as a team for 10+ hours a day, spent more time with them than anybody. Then, as times changed, I chased the money. I wanted to....I Had to. Shops became larger, along with the workload. No more speaking with customers, hell, I barely saw the finished product anymore. 2-3 cars a day turned into 6-10, some days even more. Teamwork turned into a free for all, and nothing matters but pushing that job out of your bay and onto the next step. Quality left for quantity. Along with that, happiness and satisfaction left for stress and anger. Constantly hating getting out of my car every day. I thought I had to do it for my family, and we needed the money.
Well I need to say what my family needs, is me. Happy. Alive. Free. This thing I used to enjoy has sucked the life out of me, now it has sucked my enjoyment of cars out of me too. Cleaning my own personal vehicles has become a chore, I hate everything with wheels at this point. The very thing that got me started in painting was my love for cars, and gave me great joy on weekends and at night.
I’m hanging up my paint guns, at least in this capacity, getting out of the booth. Stepping back from all this aggravation and stress. The whole industry has changed, and not for the better, however all I know is paint. It’s what I’m good at. It’s what I’ve probably shaved years off my life for. I know getting away from the daily anger will bring me back to my former happiness. I want to love getting in my Monte and going for a ride again, and not be upset when and if I actually have to pick up a wrench.
I will now use my skills again, helping people solve problems and learn how to use the products the way you are supposed to. Not just be a robot and spray car after car with no care or concern about the vehicle, or the customer for that matter. Go back to not being angry. Having a dream of advancing, some for of light at the end of this tunnel. Hanging up the guns and stepping out of the booth to be a tech rep for Finishmaster’s, starting on Monday January 6th, new year, new career! Very much looking forward to it!
When I saw this car pictured below in a jail cell with my kids on a trip to the Eastern State Penitentiary, it hit me. This was me in the paint booth, a prisoner in my cell. It was meant to be art, representing what happens to ones mind being locked in a cell. But I guess it means whatever you want it to, For me, Time to break out, get on with my life. I’m better than this, and I deserve better. Time to act on it!