Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Aren't you that Car Lady?.......

I was recently at a gathering in my neighborhood where I only knew the people giving the party. As I was introduced around the room, some of the people felt they knew me from somewhere. All of a sudden someone said “Hey, aren’t you that car lady?” I had to laugh and then I told them I was.

I teach a class for the local community and for the last year, they have posted my picture next to the class description. I never really thought anything about it, but I have had people see me in the neighborhood and recognize me. It’s a strange feeling to be recognized by strangers, but also fun to hear them tell me that they want to take my class. Women get excited when they hear what I do and they are eager to learn about their vehicles.

I understand this because I know that many of them have never had the opportunity to learn about their vehicles. If you had told me 20 years ago when I started turning wrenches that I would one day stand in front of a group of women and teach them about cars, I would have said no way.

When I first started working on cars I did it because I loved working with my hands, solving new problems every day and not worrying about getting dirty…..not because there were no women in the shop and I was trying to prove a point that women could do it too.

I did learn however, that women wanted to know more about their cars and they didn’t like the way they were being treated by shops and service personnel. I thought that maybe if I could teach them the basics about their vehicle and give them the terminology, they would feel comfortable talking to their service representatives. This would also help them to become more confident and better-educated consumers.

I found that these classes have been just as rewarding for me. I love the fact that I am able to give back to other women the knowledge I have attained over many years. The look on their faces when they learn how easy it is to change a tire is something I cherish every time I teach. Women are strong, smart and want to learn if given the chance and I enjoy every opportunity I get to work with them. I’m not sure how I feel about being called the ‘car lady’, but it beats being called ma’am!


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