BITOG is full of snobs.

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This thread is in response to "The truth about oil: Autozone style" thread. It is one of many threads where everyone on this board makes fun of parts store employees, looking down on them as morons who only know what the computer tells them to do. As a part-time "counter-jockey" (as some of you like to call them), I take personal offense to this. I have never seen an automotive forum that bashes parts guys as much as this one. And why is that? Because this is an oil forum, and other auto forums are not. Other forums talk about things like racing, off-roading, lifting, lowering, basic mechanics, and other things that most other people, including parts guys are commonly knowledgable about. But since these people don't know much about oil, that makes them utter morons who shouldn't be let within 10 ft of a vehicle. smirk Even many expert technicians who have been in the field for over 30 years don't know anything about oil, so why should anyone expect a parts guy to know it? It's funny how a lot of guys on here call parts guys "armchair mechanics" when THEY'RE the ones who have never done anything more advanced than a cooler-line flush on their car. And based on some of the ridiculous questions I see asked on this board, I wonder how many of you guys are "oil experts" and how you have any right to criticize others' oil knowledge. I don't claim to know every last thing about oil, but I know more than enough to give customers good, safe recommendations about the fluids their vehicles need, as well as recommendations/advice about other areas of their vehicle such as gaskets, air conditioning, suspension, and brakes. I'm good at my job. I'd like to see some of you do a better job than me. I really would. Rant over.
 
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I have a lot of respect for mechanics and "parts guys". They are an excellent resource. I have a mechanic with his own shop that I trust my subaru to, and a good relationship with the parts counter at the dealership. Don't take it personal. If you're on bitog you're almost definitely mental to a degree. So my expectations are set accordingly grin
 
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My hats off to you for keeping yourself educated here! It is bad to stereotype every parts counter person by the uninformed few. The best thing we can do , when we see an uninformed oil counter salesman is not to try and educate them there. But ask them if they have ever checked out the bitog site. If we point them here they can educate themselves, it will have more effect.
 
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JHZR2

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The issue doesnt limit itself to the parts counter. There are tons of stores (HD comes to mind), where the zero-knowledge quota hire is applied. Some may know stuff, many cant even respond with proper English. I expect some semblance of communication at least when in a store. But you are right, there are aspects that people know and understand as common or semi-common knowledge, and then stuff that requires specific understanding. What (IMO) offends people here is the spouting of half (if that much) truths which are based on wife's tales and other misinformation. To the average joe shopper, they are either intelligent enough to look into the basis for what they are going to buy, or they take the person's word for it. Here we are devoted to understanding the ins and outs of machinery lubrication, and thus get a bit more offended by information flow. There is an expectation for the parts person, selling this stuff, to have some insight into the product and to know what they are talking about. That IS a reasonable expectation, not "snobbish" in the slightest, and certainly not provided by the counter parts people.
 
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Some parts guys are really good and can be a good source of information. In one AA i go to there are 2 guys that really know what they are doing, one is retired and had had his own parts shop in town for 40 yrs, the other was a heavy diesel mechanic in the navy until he got disabled. To be honest i have met some that didn't know a lot but that's okay i will help them find me the right part, at least the guy is working for a living and i respect him for that. My dealer parts guys are great!!! These guys have an incredible wealth of knowledge and are always willing to share it. JHZR2 +1 on everything you said, that's the other side of the coin.
 
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I started the thread you mention, call me a snob if you wish. It doesn't change the facts of what I overheard and the misinformation that was dispensed at that retail establishment. It wasn't so much the specific advice that was given - as I mentioned the oil that the customer received was likely appropriate. It was however, the attitude and lack of knowledge that precipitated the advice that I was commenting about. Like I also mentioned, the manager of that store is generally pretty knowledgeable. But a new O’Reilly’s just opened in town and now I see several of the old-timers from this Autozone working there. I believe that some of the brain trust left with those individuals. Snobbery? Yes, if you define my objection to the cowboy attitude “you have a heavy-duty truck and you need a heavy-duty oil” - that influenced a technical decision - as snobbery. Perhaps I should have interjected into the conversation but as a driver of just “gasser” cars I knew any advice I might give would not be welcome.
 
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Yeah, I worked parts for a lot of years myself and I feel the same way you do at times here. It is even worse for me as I also worked dealer parts and service so I have two fold insults to deal with( counter jockey comments about aftermarket parts guys and all the stearlership people know nothing bull puckey ). I don't think a lot of people here are snobs. I see more that are just flat out rude and overly impressed with themselves. I think too many people generalize and take a bad experience they may have had somewhere and then label all people in that profession as incompetant morons. I doubt they would like it if it happened to them but they do it anwyay. I absolutely understand your point but you can't let some unknown person on the internet spouting off and hiding behind their keyboard bother you. Worry about the comments from your customers. If you do a good job and know what you are doing the only comments that will matter in the end will be from them. thumbsup Screw the guys here who think they are god's special gift to the oil/automotive world. Most of them probably can't change a spark plug and need help changing their wiper blades. crackmeup Reminds me a lot of my Sister. Super smart with degrees from MIT and Harvard but she has little common sense or ability outside her technical field. Lots of guys on here can talk the talk but I wonder how many really can walk it as well.
 
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exranger06-you have good points. I feel the same about those that refer to "stealerships". As a dealership employee for many years, I may not have a glamorous job and make tons of money, but I enjoy what I do. And I can tell you that, at least in the dealership I work at, many, if not most of our parts and repairs are competitive with the independent repair shops in the area. When we get into involved jobs, such as transmission repair or some electronics we may (or may not) be a bit higher priced. But do you want a Jiffy Lube tech rebuilding your transmission? Or diagnosing a driveability problem ? Our parts over the counter are also competitive. Maybe a couple bucks higher, but you also get the CORRECT part the first time, and QUALITY with a fair warranty. And many times our parts are priced within pennies of the local parts stores. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of knowldgeable employees at the parts stores, and they do sell some good quality parts also. They are expected to know a lot about all vehicles.. My dealership is expert on the line we sell and service, with less experience in other brands. You have my respect. Those that refer to you as a "counter-jockey" have no idea what is involved in your job.
 
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Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
you can't let some unknown person on the internet spouting off and hiding behind their keyboard bother you.
I am neither unknown nor hiding behind my keyboard. You are free to comment here or in a private message to me at any time.
 
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You need to grow a thicker skin and not worry about what other people think. Look at some of the posts here. There is a huge amount of misinformation, including some from the same people who were bashing auto parts store employees. What used to be a very informative oil discussion section is now filled with Internet experts who, after having read a few posts, feel qualified to answer any oil related question. Much like the parts store employee they were bashing, their posts are at best incomplete, at worst incompetent. It's only an Internet discussion forum; there's nothing here worth getting your knickers in a bunch.
 
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I have been guilty of the "stealership" comment myself a few times-but I've also said if you can find a GOOD dealership-give them ALL (or as much as you can afford) of your business as possible-they are a dying breed. Some parts people are decent, some should be working in the fast food industry-for what AZ and other chains pay them, we're lucky to have ANY god ones!
 
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As with anything, there are "good" experiences and then there are "bad" experiences. What you said is true, Mechanics and parts guys aren't the end all be all of automotive information. Just like anyone in the IT industry. You have Programmers and you have Technicians/Engineers. Most don't know anything outside of what their profession entails. We've all had different experiences and part of what makes this website great is everyone sharing those experiences. I appreciate what you posted but you shouldn't generalize it as BITOG itself. There may be a few who appear that way but who are we to judge?
 
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I respect anyone who works hard at their job, everyone play's an important part that keeps United States commerce ticking. As for parts counter people, never had a preconceived notion they were auto experts or not. I rely on them to find the part I'm looking for( Do you own Homework First). I really appreciate when the cross reference my car with the part, just in case I made a mistake. I do expect a parts counter guy to have a grasp on most of the parts and what their functions are, as that is an expectation a customer would want from someone selling them something( Know Your Products) overall I have had good experience with many auto supply companies.
 
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I'm still waiting to meet a knowledgeable salesperson at AZ or AAP. I have had some luck at various NAPA locations. Around here, most of the AAP employees are very young and I suspect know nothing more about cars other than how to tape a wing onto the back of their Civic or install a lowering kit (and fail to adjust alignment appropriately). Many of the "rants" on here are borne of frustration with a seeming lack of help to those who need guidance on a particular topic. It bothers me in AAP and AZ because I don't consider myself all that knowledgeable when it comes to working on cars, and yet I always end up feeling like whatever I know is more than the guy behind the counter. Just like JHZR2 said, it's a "zero-knowledge quota hire". I can't tell you the number of times I've made the mistake of asking a question at Home Depot only to have the blank stare thrown back at me with some kind of canned line to check Aisle such-and-such.
 
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After years of sitting on the sidelines and talking the talk I got a part time job at a tire store doing tires, batteries, and oil changes. Well son of a gun if I didn't break my ankle on the job not terribly long into what I thought might be a good change of career. Before I crippled myself, I have to observe... in the pits... the effect of "blinders" between the customer, service writer, repair order, myself, and actual condition of the vehicle in conflict with the customer's opinion. Then I had to work, at times, in a "fishbowl" with a big picture window between my bay and the customer waiting room. Found a loose inner tie rod and was showing another tech. We poked around with flashlights and spent an inordinate time diagnosing the clunker. Poor customer was watching the whole time and looked like he was about to cry. So spare the "quick lube" tech on your list of tirades, please, or at least be very specific about your beef with them. He might have a BA in liberal arts. LOL Incidentally about half the cars I serviced called for a grade other than bulk 5w30. "They" were too cheap to spring for a bottled oil upgrade to the proper weight. Their know-it-all friends would probably berate *us* for putting the stuff in.
 
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Originally Posted By: spasm3
My hats off to you for keeping yourself educated here! It is bad to stereotype every parts counter person by the uninformed few. The best thing we can do , when we see an uninformed oil counter salesman is not to try and educate them there. But ask them if they have ever checked out the bitog site. If we point them here they can educate themselves, it will have more effect.
This. I agree with the OP in that generalizing "counter monkeys" all together is a bad idea. My friend works at Autozone and is very knowledgeable. He and his dad build motors in their garage as a hobby. I have nothing against parts store workers, but I do have something against people who think they know everything. I'm sure if I worked at Autozone, I'd offer my opinions on stuff, but then it would be up to the customer to decide. I've had people tell me that I was WRONG about something on my own vehicle, which I then proceeded to look up in the computer and show them what was right. The person literally wouldn't let me buy the part I needed until I showed them on the screen it was the right one. That is just rude, and also bad customer service. If I was the manager I would've written that guy up. I wouldn't be offended since you are not one of these workers. I don't think the criticism is so much counter workers in general, as it is people of today's society who think they are God's gift to the world and know everything. I see it everywhere, not just auto parts stores. Keep your head up and keep up the good work, I enjoy going to a parts store where the workers are friendly and offer good advice. thumbsup
 
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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
What (IMO) offends people here is the spouting of half (if that much) truths which are based on wife's tales and other misinformation.
Well put.
 
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