In my craw

By Paul DeGuiseppi, MACS manager of service training

I know this may come as a shock to my regular readers, but there are a lot of things stuck in my craw. Here are a few automotive (and one non-automotive) examples.

Stuck in my craw are the people who are always complaining that there’s not enough training available for automotive repair techs. Hmmm, that’s funny—I regularly receive notifications of many classes being offered. Then often, when I go to a class or put one on myself, the room that’s set up to hold 50 people contains less than 20.

Maybe what the complainers really mean to say is that we’re not coming into their living rooms and spoon-feeding it to them. If these people would put a tenth of the effort into getting off their duffs and improving themselves than they do into complaining (and watching NASCAR and football), we’d all be way-better off.

Also, for everyone who complains about the lack or unavailability of service information: Hey, while I’ll admit that there’s a lot to be desired, there are so many available sources that I don’t want to hear it. (And don’t discount the online “hobbyists” forums – who knows more about certain vehicles than the whack-jobs who enshrine them? I’ve gotten a lot of good information from so-called non-professionals.)

Don’t get me started about those who believe that because much of today’s service information is available on the Internet, there should be no charge for it. Why should that be? Just because you’re not buying a book and can’t hold something tangible in your hand, why should you get it for free?

How much do you think it cost the vehicle manufacturer to develop that information? And why shouldn’t it serve as a profit center for them? Just pass the costs along to the customer with the broken car! The sooner we all start listing “Service Information Fee” as a line item on our invoices, the better.

And I am really tired of being the one that avoided the accident. Let me explain.
How many times has it happened that if you weren’t the one paying attention, or the one who took evasive action, you would have ended up in a vehicular crash? It happens to me almost every week, and quite frankly, I am sick of it. And I believe that this situation is only destined to get worse.

The general public’s driving “skills” have positively sunk to an all-time low. It is simply way too cheap and way too easy to obtain and keep a driver’s license in this country. We should adopt a system similar to Germany’s. Some of the highlights: you must be at least 18 years of age, you must participate in classroom as well as on-the-road training, you must pass a rigorous final test, and by the time all’s said and done, it will have cost you the equivalent of over US $1000.

Then there’s this: the people my wife refers to as those who take it upon themselves to “direct traffic.” You know the ones I’m talking about: the Samaritan you encounter at a busy intersection who decides he wants to wave you on, even though at the time, he has the 100% right-of-way while you have nothing of the it.

Even more my favorite: the stupidly courteous motorist in front of you who decides it would be just so polite to stop dead in a spot where there’s no stop sign, no red light, no crosswalk, no nothing, to allow a jaywalker, other car, Wookee, or whatever, to occupy the same space he momentarily would have if he did not unnecessarily and voluntarily curtail his forward motion.

I’m not saying you smack into people if you can avoid it—I’m talking about situations where these morons do this for absolutely no discernable reason other than to slow themselves and everyone behind them down.

Listen to me, you fruitcakes! Follow the standard and accepted rules of traffic movement! We’ll all get there sooner (and safer) if you do.

Lastly, here’s one of my real craw-gummers: people who stand in front of their perfectly good seats at concerts, and often, for the entire (or almost the entire) length of the show! What in tarnation is up with this?

I saw it happen for the first time many years ago at a Pretenders show. I’ve been to many concerts since that one where it did not occur, but recently, it seems it’s more the rule than the exception. For example, I’ve been to two concerts within the last two weeks (Godsmack, then Roger Waters), and the standers were in full force at both. Luckily at Roger Waters, I was only sitting a few rows back from the front, and the stoners occupying the seats directly in front of me decided to relax and sit most of the time.

Phew! I really don’t feel much better since I vented all of that, but at least now the people I regularly come in contact with might understand why I’m often so torqued up. And keep in mind, I’ve got many, many more.

What about you?
Can anyone tell me exactly where my craw is? I’d sure like to be able reach in and unstick it.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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