I work in an auto body repair shop in Salt Lake City. There are two auto painters who work under me whom I supervise. One is named David and the other is named Bobby. Yesterday the two of them were working on a Crown Victoria that required a repaired metal frame to be repainted. I thought everything was going fine between them but around 3:00 PM in the afternoon (I remember because the Rush Limbaugh program had just ended) I heard them arguing about something. It sounded pretty heated.
First I heard David yell, “Damn it Bobby, we sanded the dirt nibs from a metallic base coat before applying the clear coat!”
“Yeah,” replied Bobby. “So what?”
“So the clear coat can now be applied directly over the sanded basecoat,” said David.
“You got that all wrong,” said Bobby.
“How so?” asked David.
“We have to apply another basecoat,” said Bobby. “It will help prevent the sand scratches from showing up.”
I heard all this from the other room. Of course I agreed with Bobby on this one. Those sand scratches would show up clear as day without the second basecoat. But I wanted to see if they could work it out on there own. That way I did not have to intervene.
Luckily the next thing I heard was David say, “Okay we’ll do it your way.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. I do not like to intervene if I have to. It just causes unneeded friction that I do not want to deal with. This is one of the many things I have learned not to do while working in this collision repair shop in Salt Lake City all these years. It is not merely about fixing cars in this shop. It is also about keeping relationships from needing fixing.