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Rock’s Rants: A Salute to Our Service Frontline

by Ken Rock, Customer Care Manager

I hear praise everywhere for frontline workers. You know:  doctors, nurses, public transportation workers and even grocery store clerks have all been lauded in the media for continuing to work through the pandemic, risking their lives—and in some cases, losing their lives—because they were deemed essential workers.

But I don’t hear much praise for the people who work in service departments, and I’m peeved about it. I was at a dealership recently and heard that at the height of the pandemic, one of their technicians died from COVID and two others were sick and had to quarantine at home. One of the technician’s family members died, because the technician brought it home. In another dealership recently, one of the guys mumbled something about “Nobody remembers or cares about us.”

In auto dealerships, nobody was more at risk than the people who work in the parts and service departments. In sales and accounting, it was possible to work remotely or wear masks, socially distance, sanitize and be safe. But when a customer drops off their car to be serviced, someone has to get in that car and breathe in the same air where the customer was just sitting. Someone has to take the key that was just in the customer’s hand. We had no idea then how long the germs stayed on surfaces or in air vents.

Things are getting back to normal now, but the sacrifices that our parts and service employees made should not be forgotten. I still hear people who thank doctors and cab drivers for the work they did through the pandemic, but I have never heard anyone thank their service advisor, technician, lot porter, lube guy, detailers and parts employees. These workers were the ones who made sure that all of those other frontline workers could get to and from work, and that our economy could still function.

So, the next time you go get your car serviced, please express your gratitude to the fixed ops guys and gals, the ones who keep over 250 million vehicles in this country running and on the road.

And I personally would like to say THANK YOU to all of the folks who work in parts and service. You worked through the pandemic, you risked your safety, you risked your own lives and family’s lives. You were deemed essential in a pandemic, but in my book, you are always essential. You are my heroes and I salute you.

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