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Old 08-24-04, 11:54 AM   #1
canuck88
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Asking to watch - taboo or not?

I need to get my SID Team overhauled, but would like to watch the shop do it so I can learn some basic maintenance steps... and I know that haven't worked on many (if any) SID Teams with the PURE climb control (so I want to ensure they take care with it).

Is it a huge faux pas to ask to watch and/or lend a hand? Are most shops receptive if you stay outta their way (or lend a hand when they need it)?

Thanks

Scott
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Old 08-24-04, 12:06 PM   #2
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I asked once and I think it depends on how busy they are. My lbs have the time to discuss things with me, but I also respect that they have other bikes to work on, and most lbs would probably discourage having a string of hanger-ons in the shop. I'd ask them on each case. I think they'd probably let you watch and not actively take part. Remember, they might have to say no, just on the grounds of public liability and insurance. Ask them anyway. Most are sympathetic but accept any refusal with grace and courtesy. A no on one occasion could be a yes on another.
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Old 08-24-04, 12:56 PM   #3
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When I worked in a shop and someone asked it could open a can of worms. Like any business you want to roll the work through in the avg. time to keep in the black. But you want to help the customer learn. During prime store hours your asking a lot to go back unless you know the “wrenchs” working that day. I would ask the shop if you can watch and let them know your flexible to when they do the work.

In general we would keep one person to handle the on the spot and sales installs. You real like to keep the interruptions away from your guys on the good stuff. When your wrenching you can kind of get in a zone (flow) and you do all the things in the order you that need to. Not only is the work done quicker it just seems to be a little better… if that makes sense to you.

If the person starts asking things that don't apply what your doing you can get out of order. Generally it just means you go back and it just takes a minute to make sure you haven’t missed a step. I found that if someone wanted to watch a big job I would schedule it Weekday mornings or end of day after the shop closed so we could really talk about what was happening and not worry about having to get to the next bike to make sure I meet the customers pick up time.. If it was a smaller thing I would try ... but like the post before said somedays it's a no and other days it's "sure come on back".

Cheers

I don’t work in a shop now but with a full set of tools and stand in the basement I like to help people learn. I can’t say enough good things about the Barnett’s bike manual. It can be bought in the paper version and then you can subscribe to the DX version that is a PDF version with quarterly updates. The cool thing is they have a checklists of what to do and space to record any measurements you need. I’ll print them out and have the person read the list and record the info and just show them what I’m doing if they aren’t tool wise. If they have the tool knowledge I sit and read to them.
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Old 08-24-04, 01:59 PM   #4
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Ask your mech, he'll be honest with you. Just don't be disappointed if they can't or won't let you hover. Some just don't like having someone watch them.

And don't forget about the Barnett's manuals you can get through these boards.
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Old 08-24-04, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuck88
I need to get my SID Team overhauled, but would like to watch the shop do it so I can learn some basic maintenance steps... and I know that haven't worked on many (if any) SID Teams with the PURE climb control (so I want to ensure they take care with it).

Is it a huge faux pas to ask to watch and/or lend a hand? Are most shops receptive if you stay outta their way (or lend a hand when they need it)?

Thanks

Scott
Many bike shops offer basic and advanced maintenance classes for a reasonable fee. If your LBS doesn't, suggest it.
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Old 08-24-04, 03:04 PM   #6
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I lot of them dont want you to learn cause then they wont make as much $$$ off ya
it's like most service Jobs the more the customer learns the less income they have
also they dont want you askin well what was wrong with that part of they arent totally honest in their repalcement part area

like geting your front end alined on a car a lot of places will tell you that you need this part or that part that isnt nessarly needing replaced at that time
I'm not saying all do it but have heard of many doing it
and other services doin it as well

I once worked for a printing and copy repair company
they had a habit of replacing parts that in my option didnt need replaced
example one customer was told by my trainer that they needed a new belt
the very next call we went to turned out to be a broken belt
and the trainer had only put one belt in the truck that day
so he proceted to put the belt on (the one that he had told the other customer was bad) and adjust the machine
and then charged the customer for a belt ( was very unacceptable to me )
I didnt work there long needless to say

so if they say no I'd be watch full of their charges
unless they have proved to be trustworthy before this
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Old 08-24-04, 03:22 PM   #7
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People asked to watch when I was a mechanic... we almost always didn't let them. In order to turn repairs over in a reasonable amount of time we didn't have time to explain everything and most of the time we were moving too fast for the observer to learn anything.

Was it just my shop where we used to time each other changing a flat or do other mechanics do that? I think from hanging the bike to dropping on the ground we were well under 3 minutes... if I remember right.

By the way there were three exceptions to the no-watch rule:

1) Customers that spent a lot of money
2) Loyal customers (the type you see every month) that spend money
3) Hot girls (my LBS was a few km away from a university )
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Old 08-24-04, 03:58 PM   #8
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1) Customers that spent a lot of money
2) Loyal customers (the type you see every month) that spend money
3) Hot girls (my LBS was a few km away from a university )

You're right on with 1, 2, 3 but 3 was the best.... hot women did open doors.....LOL.....

Do you remember the guys that couldn't figure our a third hand from a forehand....that would bring back in the really messed up fix... changing the chain and not taking out the extra links and putting it in the spockes..


Cheers
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Old 08-24-04, 04:00 PM   #9
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thats how I learn, how to fix my bike,
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Old 08-24-04, 04:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dusk
Do you remember the guys that couldn't figure our a third hand from a forehand....that would bring back in the really messed up fix... changing the chain and not taking out the extra links and putting it in the spockes..
"The chain you sold me is too long". LOL... ah, good times...
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Old 08-24-04, 04:32 PM   #11
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Remember that Murphy's law guy?

For some reason that I can't explain, whenever you let the customer watch, that's the bike that will have a stripped quick release or a rounded allen bolt or whatever. If you haven't pinched a tube in a decade and a half, you'll blow out two fixing his flat tire. A derailleur cable adjustment will involve a bent dropout. While you're doing all that he'll ask questions like: "Is this bike a lemon?" Murphy was an optomist.

When I was working in a shop I'd let the majority of people who asked watch me under protest, but it almost always turned out to be a bad idea. Oh, and the tech head guys who know and argue about absolutely everything but don't do any of their own work - NEVER, NEVER, EVER. I'd turn work from those guys away before I'd let them watch me pump up their tires.
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Old 08-24-04, 04:53 PM   #12
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Oh, and the tech head guys who know and argue about absolutely everything but don't do any of their own work - NEVER, NEVER, EVER. I'd turn work from those guys away before I'd let them watch me pump up their tires.
Yup... you have a point! You had to clear the "watcher" for normalcy before you let them back. I still stand by using the Barnett’s check list because I ask them “What does that mean?” and they see the errors of their ways. It is no difference from any business some customers are not worth the (lack of) income…LOL

But if you can help them see the light we are all better....don't you think?

Cheers
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Old 08-24-04, 06:26 PM   #13
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But if you can help them see the light we are all better....don't you think?

Cheers
Yup. Actually, all that I do anymore is a little work out of my home for a few select folks. The big thing that they all have in common is that they want me to do the work on their bike so I don't feel like I have to put on a sales pitch or a show and the clock's not running. We just talk and fiddle around until we decide that we've fiddled enough. I'd do anything for them and my shop is their shop.
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Old 08-24-04, 07:18 PM   #14
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I have no problem with someone asking to watch or be shown how to do something. It is not always easy to arange tho. A fork over haul is not a five minute job, the mechanic can't just stop and show you how to do it. You need to arange a time and then be there on time. It is also best to stay out of the way(we do this all the time with no help )

My favorite thing is when someone asks to be shown how to install a tube. I go thru the whole procedure to fully inflated, then deflate, it pop the tire off, and hand it back to them to install themselves. "You must do, to learn, Grasshopper"


Read below to see load of crap:
"I lot of them dont want you to learn cause then they wont make as much $$$ off ya
it's like most service Jobs the more the customer learns the less income they have
also they dont want you askin well what was wrong with that part of they arent totally honest in their repalcement part area"

R-I-G-H-T. Thanks John Stossel. When most people see what is invloved, they choose to bring it back in. Or they see how easy it is (When done by a guy that has performed the repair several thousand times), try it themselves, realize it is not as easy as it looks and bring it in to be "completed" I don't mind showing how to perform a repair, most customers will bring it in anyway, to have it done right and quick. A good mechanic allways leaves old parts for inspection of the customer.

And in closing, just because I watched some body play a guitar once it does not make me a master of the six string.
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Old 08-24-04, 07:40 PM   #15
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I work part time in a firearm/archery/paintball shop. And I can tell you this, hot girls always get to watch.
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Old 08-24-04, 08:02 PM   #16
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I work part time in a firearm/archery/paintball shop. And I can tell you this, hot girls always get to watch.
Me too! I seem to do them a better job if they just leave the bow with me. If they watch I tend to hurry more because they are waiting.
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Old 08-26-04, 10:02 AM   #17
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I work part time in a firearm/archery/paintball shop. And I can tell you this, hot girls always get to watch.
Why would a hot girl be in a firearm/archery/paintball shop?
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Old 08-26-04, 11:24 AM   #18
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When I asked my LBS to check out my bottom bracket (it was making noises) they actually offered to show me how to take it out, clean it and re-grease it so that "I could do it myself next time". When I watched the mech working, I noted it took some special tools to remove the BB. He said no problem, only two special tools needed, and showed me which tools I would need to get.

When the job was done he only charged me $10. I'm not sure I would be able to do what he did, but it was still quite educational to watch him work. Being a computer tech I knew to keep a certain distance and not bother him while working.

Sverre
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Old 08-26-04, 12:45 PM   #19
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Why would a hot girl be in a firearm/archery/paintball shop?
To keep guys like us away from them.
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