Hi my name is Jim "Tiny" Anderson. I was Born and raised in Kenosha WI. I grew up in an auto parts store with a machine shop and a junkyard. I didn't have a chance in life. My first memories of my Fathers store, L&M Auto Parts, Is my brother and I taking a yardstick and pulling change out from under the soda, candy, and cigarette machines. We would then split the money evenly with my father getting his la Costa Nostra cut of 50% off the top. (Just kidding Mom. It was only 25%) My father realized that I was very mechanically inclined when I was about 12, so he put me to work cleaning starter and alternators and then rebuilding them. I earned $.25 an hour and my father got his cut off the top of that too. (That one was for my mom) He didn't take a percent; He just withheld his personal protection taxes. Cecil Bruce ran the machine shop. This guy was the MacGyver of the 60s. He could fix anything with a screwdriver and pliers as his only tools. Well Cecil took a liking to young Jim. (I think the extra money he received for childcare helped.) He taught me how a car worked and then taught me how to take them apart and put them back together again so they still moved on there own. This is an art that skipped a lot of guys who live in trailer parks and have a Camaro in front of their home on blocks. Cecil showed me things that are hard to explain in words. He told me once that if I ever got over being lazy that I would probably be one of the best mechanics around. I didn't understand it then, but now that I have to hire mechanics I know what he meant. Being an auto tech is a dying art.
Between rebuilding motors and selling auto parts, I worked on various race car teams. My favorite experience was with Larry Steagal. He would try any idea I had to get more performance. I rented the junkyard from my dad for a couple of years in the mid 80's. From there I went to work at a muffler shop and then Gordon Auto Parts of Racine WI. It was there that the change of a lifetime happened. Jack from Jacks Car & Truck Repair LLC asked if I would like to work for him. He offered me twice what I was making and explained it would be flat rate. (Flat rate is an allotted amount of time pre figured for the job. If you take less time you make more, more time you make less.) I tried working for Jacks on the weekends. My first weekend paycheck was almost double what I made as a part store manager. I was hooked. I purchased all the best tools and equipment. Jack taught me that no matter how much equipment a shop has, more than likely you will be more comfortable owning your own. I was making better money than I ever thought possible. Plus I really enjoyed fixing peoples cars with Jack. He taught me to make sure the customer was completely satisfied. If they were not, you didn't do your job correctly. The biggest thing I had learned from Cecil was to be complete. This made it easy at Jacks. We got along great. I taught him how to buy the best quality parts at the cheapest price and pass it on to your customers. He taught me how to be a better mechanic. I was with him from 1987-1994 1996-1997. I left him in 1994 to open my own shop. It lasted about 14 months. I am a great mechanic but a horrible bookkeeper. After I closed my shop I went to work as a service Manager at Ernie Von Schledorn. While there I learned a valuable lesson. To be a service manager you must do 1 of 2 things. Either kisses your bosses ass (I had 5 bosses over me. Way to much ass to kiss.) Or marry the boss's daughter. (She looked like a lumberjack) No really I don't think he had a daughter and his sons were already married. I went back to Jack in August of 96. I told him I would work 1 year before moving to Florida. It was a great year. I had mixed feelings about moving away from him. He offered me more perks than I deserved, to stay, but I had made up my mind to move.
In August of 97 I moved to Palm Coast Florida. I passed out my resume and the calls just poured in. The only problem was they paid about 25% of what I made at Jacks. I had one shop in Palm Coast (that was about the closest thing to a real auto shop) call me back twice for interviews and then a third time to hire me, he offered me $20,000 a year salary. My tool bills add up to half of that. So instead I started work at a Chevron Station on I95. It was my first experience at an interstate shop. Man people don't give you a chance. They all think interstate shops are the biggest crooks ever. (Thanks to Readers Digest story about crooked Car & Truck Repair LLC shops) I did all I could to show them I wasn't one of the bad apples. I even deliberately gave the louder complainers (usually from NY) a better deal just so when they got home and called their own mechanic he would say he couldn't of beat my prices. It has gotten me a lot of thank you notes and cards. I worked from early morning through late night to make close to the money I made in WI. I really enjoyed helping people on the interstate. I had the best of both worlds. Word got out that I was an honest mechanic and I built up a good reputation. I was on top of the game when Hess Gas knocked me down and kicked my ass. They bought my little piece of heaven from chevron and closed the shop. Hess doesn't believe in Car & Truck Repair LLC shops at their locations. It is easy money selling convenient goods so why bother helping people. I left there and went to work at a Mobil station 2 exits north still on I95. It was just opening and I made a deal with the owner to run the shop. This guy had to be one of the guys Readers Digest was talking about. He told me that every car that pulled in should have at least a $300.00 repair order. I thought he was kidding. He Wasn't. It didn't last long. I left there as fast as I could. My customers were calling me daily at home and I couldn't keep up with fixing cars at their houses. So 3 of my customer lent me money to buy the Car & Truck Repair LLC shop now known as Tiny's Auto & Truck Repair Service. It just goes to show you that no matter how hard you try not to be your own boss, you just keep getting it slammed back at you. We stay very busy and are always looking for new customers.
Well now you know THE REST OF THE STORY!
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Last modified: 07/19/2011