Working at an old-world automobile garage

I started work in the garage in mid-January.

It was really fun the first couple of times. I got to do things like cleaning the tools, which wasn’t that fun by itself;  but since you don’t need to devote that much of your mind to it, I was able to watch the mechanics doing their thing, taking off tires etc. In the beginning, the only issues I had was that the place was extremely dirty (as it was outdoors and they throw the packaging for the parts all over the place) and that all the tools and things were not organized.

I would go there weekly on Mondays, which was a slight problem in itself. You see, I used to have basketball on Mondays, which I found rather tiring, and therefore I was rarely at my best, energy-wise, when working at the garage. As time went by, I got more and more comfortable working there more frequently.

One memorable experience I have of working there is spending about 2 hours underneath a truck, trying to remove the brackets that hold the truck bed to the body.

1

(dismantling brackets)

That was an extremely tiring experience, and one that shows you just how tiring being an old school mechanic is. And at the end of the day, it isn’t even a particularly well-paying job! This is really a shame as many of these mechanics are really skilled. For example, they know many jugaad* tricks to make life easier and they can tell what size spanner you need to unscrew a bolt just by looking at it.

2

(draining used oil, changing filter, engine oil changing routine)

Thankfully, this garage only services medium-haul trucks and not the massive ones. Still though, it is an utter pain in the neck to remove the nuts and bolts manually. Time went by…I went to the garage for about three months, and had a reasonable amount of fun there.

3

(engine that I got to dismantle)

Yet another annoying (and a bit frightening) nuance was that they wash everything in diesel. That in itself is fine, but they leave the diesel outside in the sun and it heats up massively (I know that diesel won’t catch on fire just like that). The issue lies in the fact that they do a lot of gas cutting/gas welding. If some of that falls into a bucket of diesel, it’ll catch on fire. And because there is so much cotton waste and engine oil and flammable stuff in general, the place could very possibly go up in flames!

Overall, I enjoyed the experience of working there, even if it had a few (read ‘many’) negative aspects. Working there showed me that the real car-related heroes aren’t Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton et al., but these guys who come here at about 10 in the morning and work well into the night.

They have such a high knowledge of trucks/buses, that they could, based on their technical knowledge alone, get hired into a high-ranking position by a really large automotive company. The sad thing is that very few of these wonderful people are actually educated.

I simply wish that we lived in a world where being a mechanic isn’t only a job requiring huge mechanical skill, but a job which is highly respected and sought-after. You see so many of these youth going to these shitty colleges. Admittedly, the vast majority of them are idiots. But some of them have a genuine interest in working with their hands. Why waste time after that working as an “engineer” when you can simply work here? You’ll get the bare minimum of money, but you’ll end up being a physically fit person and one who is capable of thinking technically.

*jugaad is the art of finding solutions to mechanical problems using day-to-day materials.

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