Hola! It’s Dad-vice Friday, a good time to take stock, and a few deep breaths, prior to the impending weekend debauchery to make sure you’ve got money in your pocket, wine in the fridge, and a spring in your step—in short, that you’re about to do everything YUD would do. But before you head out to enjoy your sunny summer Friday (if you work and/or if you still have summer Fridays), My Retired Father has a few things to share about keeping premiums and overheads low, thinking creatively about employment, and how to get a free lunch.
I backed up my car and hit a concrete pole in the parking lot. Ouch!
I took it to a body shop, and they quoted $1000 to replace the bumper with a new one. Double ouch!! That’s money out of my pocket. (My insurance deductible is $1500, in order to keep my semi annual premium low.)
So I asked a few friends about repair services that they had used, and I heard about some other body shops and disappointing results. Not very encouraging. Later, I was having the oil changed at the car dealership. I talked to a service representative about the damage.
He had a card for The Bumper Man. The guy works out of a trailer, and under a tent. He moves from dealership to dealership, fixing up their used cars for resale, and he does work for drive-in customers too. I called and found him set up in the local Toyota dealer’s parking lot.
He heats the plastic bumpers with an industrial sized hair-dryer, uses blocks to press the plastic back in shape, cools it with water, then sands down the surface and spray paints to match the rest of the car. Amazing!
He told me that he makes $100,000 a year, and has no overhead. He has one helper, a young fellow who is learning the trade. The employment is almost recession-proof – he had a little slow period this spring, but now his workload is back to normal.
While the work was being done, I went into the dealer’s waiting room and ran into a salesman whom I had met at Gold’s Gym. We chatted, and the dealer brought in a tray of sandwiches for people who were waiting for their cars, so I ate. I guess there IS such a thing as a free lunch!
Then I went out to collect my car. Here is how it came out:
Looks good! The cost? It was $150 and also included some touch up of minor nicks in the paint on other parts of the car.
The Miracles had it right when they sang, “My Mama told me / you better shop around!”