Every job has its own set of unique circumstances that make it tolerable, or intolerable. The car business is no different. In the automotive industry, there are two different sectors; vendor and dealer. Both sides require long hours, but they both have their perks and their drawbacks. People who work on the vendor side will say their positions are the best, and that they wouldn’t trade it for the world. At the same, dealership employees will cite the many advantages of their jobs that make them stay on the dealer side. It’s a matter of preference which side you take, but both have an effect on daily life.
On the vendor, some employees are able to remote commute or work from home, and they are able to enjoy the benefits from such employment. However, few people see the downside to working from home. One of the major disadvantages of working remotely is the lack of camaraderie an employee is able to develop with co-workers. Some vendors make strides to make up for this with virtual meetings, Skype parties, or weekly conference calls, while others don’t. Choosing the vendor side may mean sacrificing the development of healthy workplace relationships.
For dealership employees, the main bone of contention is the long hours. They can work as many as sixty to seventy hours a week and only make one or two sales. Not every sale means a high-dollar paycheck, so their commission is hardly worth the time they spend behind the doors of the dealership. However, they’ll still list ten solid reasons why they love their jobs, despite the horrific hours and the unsteady nature of their paychecks. For many of these employees, the money is often worth it, and if they’re good at their jobs, the money is good.
For both sectors of the automotive field, however, a lot of hard work is required. This means long hours spent focusing on what they can do to make their mark on the industry and figuring out how to get better at their jobs. For these employees, the ones who sometimes suffer are their families. While it is advantageous to remote in to work, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re able to spend the amount of time with their family that they’d like to. For a dealership employee, obviously the hours prohibit the amount of time they’re able to enjoy with their kids or spouses. In the vendor sector, in order to get ahead, employees and owners must attend conferences and meetings. For the conferences, employees often spend days upon days away from home. They get to know hotel staff members better than their neighbors, and for some, this works. For others, they are often forced to make the choice between traveling to accelerate their careers, or the staying home to foster their familial relationships. This is not to say that any of these employees are bad parents, or are neglectful of their spouses, but given the choice, they’d probably travel less and stay home more.
In a dealership, there is little reward for staying late outside the monetary reasons. Parents, especially single parents, must often sacrifice the attendance of basketball games, track meets, and soccer banquets in favor of working. If a customer walks in five minutes before the dealership is about to close, they’re not going to turn him away, as their mortgage payment depends on sales. However, the children of dealership employees experience feelings of anger or confusion as to why their parent can’t do the same things other parents can do. A dealership employee is often wrought with questions of what is the better decision for the family. Do they stay to pay the bills, or do they go home and watch a movie with their husband?
When we look at people in the automotive industry, they’re filled with charisma and confidence, but sometimes they’re fighting a battle we can’t detect. They’re usually having to make a choice about furthering their careers or nurturing their families. The automotive industry has a lot of effects on daily life, it’s rewarding, it can be tremendously fun, and it’s often something different every day. At the same time, it can rob someone’s life of what they hold dearest.