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Closing My Garage.


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Been in the automotive trade for 45 years. Owned my own shop for 40 of those years. With covid kicking my ass financially; decided I had enough and wasn't putting any more of my savings back into the shop; to keep it going. I'll miss a lot of my customers and the loyalty they have shown me over the years. The sad part is I don't know who to recommend them to go to? All the good  smaller shops that I knew are all closed or closing. So I'm going to try this retirement thing and see how that goes. Oh man my life is in for a great big change; not sure if I'm ready for it. Dealing with the public hasn't always been easy; vehicle repairs have always been a grudge purchase; but at times it could also be very gratifying; I'll miss that the most. 

Dan.  

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you've spent more than your fair of life working so enjoying life is part of the plan. can you still do work for some fav customers after the garage is shuttered ?

 

enjoy more time fishing and putting your feet up :)

 

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Congratulations Dan, but I'll bet you'll be missed by all those customers who knew you were an honest guy to work on their cars.

You should really enjoy retirement though as that's the goal we all work toward. Just be sure to keep yourself busy with whatever you enjoy doing and never get in a rut of staring at the idiot box.

As I've always said, once your retired every day is Saturday morning.

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Thanks Guys!

I'm a person that does not like change and man am I scared of what my future is going to be like? One step at a time and I have a wonderful wife that is there 100% behind and in front of me.

So I should be OK; having her support.

Dan.

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Congratulations Dan, I am sure you will find it very different for a while, I know I did but I now have so many things to keep me busy I don't know where I ever found time to work. Enjoy, you have earned it. 

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Congrats Dan. I started mine a few years back (advertising typograpghy) only going in 4 days a week, took Friday off. Then I went to a 3 day. Tues, Wed, Thurs. Last year I had decided that in Dec I would only go in to fill in. When Civid hit The Bay terminated their advertising contract with us and the business closed. I had lots of connections and they came calling for advice or special project here and there. Unexpected I ran into to a Canadian type designer who has moved to NS from TO, we hit it off right away, had a lot of common friends and lots of typography experience, he was spearheading a website to preserve Canadian Typography history. I have quite a collection of the ‘old stuff’ before computers, he was shocked I had kept this stuff :). We know skype once a week, write articles and do things building this site. Nothing was further in my mind but it has kept me going and enjoying rediscovering what I had done and how much I can leave to the generations to come. I was a teacher in my workplaces. 

Good luck on your future endeavours. My guy was also in the same boat as you and he sent his clients to his mechanic friend and gave us their number but he would be going in to chat and offer advice. 

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typography is such an under rated aspect of EVERYTHING, it can be so subtle that one barely notices it. I knew people who worked at the Globe and Mail and when they were doing a redesign a few years ago, they had tables full of fonts...serif, or sans serif lol decision took some time and involved the publisher as well iirc.

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Wow, Dan, you deserve the time.  So many years of wrenches turned, busted knuckles and much more I'm sure.  Soak it in that you don't have to be up and running out the door at Xam anymore.  I cannot wait for that day.  I'm almost 48 and still have too many years left to fathom it.   Maybe a new hobby (on top of fishing) will help you relax more and enjoy the moments in time you have?  I got me a Ryker and sold my FZ07 and man O man I'm 4000KM this summer so far just in wind therapy on it.  Is it for you?  Who knows.  But it's something to consider, another or more hobbies.  

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15 hours ago, GBW said:

But it's something to consider, another or more hobbies.

I have my 50 Chevy 2 door sedan to work on, as soon as I get it back from the body shop. I have 45 years of tinkering, building, repairing and fabricating; all of that is in my blood. Going to miss all the equipment; but when I started, I didn't have that stuff and still built cars. Once things get settled; I've been thinking of building an air boat. Be good for water, sketchy Ice and pissing everyone around me off with the noise. LOL

Dan.   

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52 minutes ago, DanD said:

sketchy Ice and pissing everyone around me off with the noise. LOL

LOL. Oh you will get yer ears full there buddy. Mostly from those that are pissed they cant get out and you can. There are a few Americans that do it on the east side of Simcoe in the late season of ice. Heard guys gypping about the noise. I think it,s cuz they are smarter then the average Canadian bear.

Sit back,put yer feet up and chill. You will find a way to enjoy the rest of yer life. My pop keeps busy with the Sunridge gun club. He is one of the marshal's now. He keeps the place neat and tidy as well collects all the brass casings, polish them and reloads or sells. Busy guy . Still gets the dig,s in saying, today is Saturday, why am I working and not fishing. That Is on a Monday to Friday. LOL

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Congrats Dan,

My good buddy retired 2 years ago.  It was easier to book a day to go fishing with him when he had a regular job, now he has more things to do than ever LOL.  It'll be good, my  day is not too far in the future and I'll enjoy every minute!

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The retirement part I'm good with. It's having to sell/loose my equipment; that I've had for years and took for granted that it would always be there for me to use. The fish hut, quad, the tracked Suzuki Tracker and the enclosed bobsled are staying with me. Even if I have to plant them in my front yard at home and call it fishing art! LOL That's my problem, I don't have room for all my crap and will have to let a lot of it go.

Dan.

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Sad and glad for you. Glad re the retirement but sad the business isn't still profitable enough to keep running.

With the looming economic issues such as growing inflation and such I would have thought that folks would hang onto their vehicles longer rather than buying new...... meaning more work for car repair fellows. 

Any idea why it seems opposite? A good friend started boat repair and is swamped. He also says people are happier compared to people needing car repairs. Maybe since boats/toys are not essential vs cars vitally needed. 

Perhaps another option for you Dan?

Edited by cisco
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2 hours ago, cisco said:

Sad and glad for you. Glad re the retirement but sad the business isn't still profitable enough to keep running.

With the looming economic issues such as growing inflation and such I would have thought that folks would hang onto their vehicles longer rather than buying new...... meaning more work for car repair fellows. 

Any idea why it seems opposite? A good friend started boat repair and is swamped. He also says people are happier compared to people needing car repairs. Maybe since boats/toys are not essential vs cars vitally needed. 

Perhaps another option for you Dan?

Marine mechanics require schooling to be above board.

although Dan with your skill set, I can already see an incredible amount of “side hustle” available to you.

you could easily find yourself with a pile of cash jobs for close friends and family. Heck you could probably make enough money just fixing peoples lawnmowers outboards and winterizing boats for a few friends.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, cisco said:

With the looming economic issues such as growing inflation and such I would have thought that folks would hang onto their vehicles longer rather than buying new...... meaning more work for car repair fellows. 

You're right people are repairing their older vehicles; but many families (at least many of my clients) are down to one vehicle. There are also a ton of people working from home and their vehicle now is their grocery getter; only leaving the laneway once or twice a week. They don't break or wear; if they're not driven.

6 hours ago, cisco said:

A good friend started boat repair and is swamped. He also says people are happier compared to people needing car repairs.

Your friend is 100% right! It's amazing how deep people's pockets are when it comes to paying for things that they WANT. Like I said in an earlier post; vehicle repairs are a grudge purchase; always has been and will always be. Even body shops have an easier time selling a job; because the customer knows or will see that their dented/rusted car will be strait and shiny again. Automotive mechanical repair is a different song and dance. For example; we bring in a car for a basic oil change; the owner has no complains, just wants it serviced. During the servicing we find that there are issues with worn steering components. Go to the customer that's thinking he's only going to be spending a little money and tell them they need to spend big $$$. Once the repairs are done and the customer drives away. He doesn't feel or see anything different, the car drives the same; as far as they are concerned.

Dan.

Edited by DanD
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My pal who started the marine repair biz has said that dealers won't even work on anything past a certain age. Waiting lists are extremely long also due to the sudden 'freedom' to be able to go boating.  All things seem to have added up in his favor. Oh and he is about the best mechanic/repair guy I ever knew. All learned from experience and no schooling. Some have this gift. Others have the gift to swindle customers while doing shoddy work. Dan seems a 'straight up guy' and it would be nice to see his equipment stay available to him as he selects jobs he wants to do that make people happy while still being equipped to build contraptions that boggle the mind. LOL! 

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9 hours ago, DanD said:

Automotive mechanical repair is a different song and dance. For example; we bring in a car for a basic oil change; the owner has no complains, just wants it serviced. During the servicing we find that there are issues with worn steering components. Go to the customer that's thinking he's only going to be spending a little money and tell them they need to spend big $$$. Once the repairs are done and the customer drives away. He doesn't feel or see anything different, the car drives the same; as far as they are concerned.

Yup!  as a former service advisor this is 100% true.  In for an oil change and perpard to spend $x and then wham more due to lack of mainting it or a pot hole or anything.  

Dan time to wind down and really enjoy.  I wish it was my turn, lol.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm going on 14 years retired. No job .

THe most important thing for me was get on a routine, get up same time and go to bed same time.

At the start of retirement it was important for me to have a plan for next day. 

Now I have no plan, start most days going swimming at local Rec center, then doing home jobs grass ,weed eating .

I'm real fussy about what days I go fishing lately way to hot really avoid wind haven't been in a boat when rain hits for years.

Always walk away when jobs are talked about.

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1 hour ago, Garnet said:

I'm going on 14 years retired. No job .

 

Always walk away when jobs are talked about.

Retired 22 years for me and never looked back.

And your right about no talking about work, pretty well all of my friends are retired and none of us ever talk about the jobs we worked at....those days are long passed.

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