You take your car into the shop and see some people under cars, others elbow-deep in an engine. You wonder: what is it like to be a mechanic? We're glad you asked! Get to know the ins and outs of shop life with Ted Kobak, one of our lead technicians in Texas, and learn why our Firestone Complete Auto Care technicians love what they do.
Who is Ted Kobak?
Ted is the sort of tech who likes to serve as a valuable resource and mentor to his fellow technicians. Being a resource means dedicating his time to continued growth, improvement and knowledge, maintaining an open-door policy for any questions his fellow teammates may have, and staying up-to-date with what's going on in his shop.
Ted was hired ten years ago as a general service technician (now known as an MT). During his employment with Firestone Complete Auto Care, he has attained several ASE's and worked his way up to a Lead Technician position. For Ted and other technicians like him, the opportunities for growth are endless!
So, What's a Day in the Life Like for Ted?
Workdays at Firestone rarely look the same from one day to the next. With unique car issues, various customers, and numerous responsibilities, mundane work schedules are hardly the case when working at Firestone. However, Ted was able to discern some of his most common daily duties for us, including his morning routine:
- Turning on all of the lights and compressors
- Opening the bay doors and pulling out any vehicles left in overnight
- Taking out shop trash
- Organizing tickets left on the board from the previous evening
- Cleaning his personal area where needed
- Getting started on his first car of the day
From here, "a lot of time is spent fixing cars, talking to customers, mentoring my teammates, learning, and researching things" on his own. Since Ted lives in Texas where the weather can be quite warm, he enjoys sitting in the cool A/C to enjoy his meal during lunch. After his shift comes to an end, he tidies up quickly before packing up and leaving the shop for the day.
Why Does Ted Enjoy Working at Firestone?
- Teammates: The team members are more than coworkers — they're a crew of friends you get to work with every day. They share a sense of camaraderie and enjoy getting together and buying breakfast tacos when possible.
- The Challenge: It takes a very dedicated individual to learn everything needed to know about working on various vehicle types, systems, and equipment. Since no two days look the same and unique problems crop up throughout the day, working at Firestone can be challenging and exciting. "Easy work is ok," Ted states, "but the challenging jobs are the fun ones."
- Opportunities: When Ted walked through the doors of Firestone for the very first time, he knew that this job would kick-start his career. And it did! Ted may have began his career as a maintenance tech, but a willingness to learn and a desire to grow elevated Ted into a Lead Technician role and eventually into his corporate Technical Operations position. When it comes to his goals and ambitions at Firestone Complete Auto Care, the sky has always been the limit, and Firestone Complete Auto Care has fostered Ted's blossoming career each step of the way!
- Firestone Culture: Ted values working for a company that genuinely cares for its teammates and employees.
- Reputation: Ted finds accomplishment in simply being able to say he works at Firestone Complete Auto Care. He's always felt that working for the largest tire producing/selling company in the world held some very serious weight.
- Flexibility: Ted has enjoyed the flexibility of transferring to different shops throughout his career. He was able to meet an array of amazing people and benefit from exciting, new experiences.
"This list could go on for days."
How Can You Prepare to Work at Firestone?
We asked Ted how important it was for newcomers to be passionate about cars and vehicle systems in the automotive repair industry:
"It's very, very important. There is a difference between going through the motions of the job vs. being passionate and very detail-oriented. That passion is what fuels the excitement. And when you are excited about what you do, it doesn’t feel like work!"
Whether you're new to the industry or have some experience under your belt, the willingness to learn and put your best foot forward is crucial when looking to work with Firestone.
"This is no easy job," he states. "It will be physically demanding hard work. So, make sure you've got your boots strapped tight and get ready to work."
Become a Sales and Service Specialist with Firestone
Does working in the challenging yet rewarding auto tech industry sound like fun? Work with the widest variety of vehicles, use state-of-the-art equipment, and enjoy ample growth opportunities at your neighborhood Firestone Complete Auto Care!
There are all sorts of positions available, including a brand new one that puts you in front of customers and elbow-deep in cars — a Sales and Service Specialist! Get your career started by checking for available openings in your area today!