Use floor mats.  I promise you your customer doesn't want greasy boot prints in their car.  Your boss will also be less than impressed if the customer calls to complain about this.  In a pinch turn the customers floor mat over or strategically use your work ticket pouch or a shop towel.  Get in a habit of carrying a clean shop towel with you just in case you need one.

Don't double gasket oil filters.  When an oil filter is removed, sometimes the old gasket sticks to the block.  Checking for this should be a no brainer, but, new guys can fall victim .  When it happens, it makes such a big mess, one won't easily forget.  To be sure, one might develop the habit of oiling the new filter seal with the residual oil from the gasket of the old filter.  That's also a good way to make sure the filters match.

Remember to return wheel lock keys.  A good way to remember is leave the glove box open.  Whether or not that's where the wheel lock key came from is irrelevant, though most will come from there.  When you get back into the car, you'll see the glove box hanging open and ask yourself why.  Shortly after that you'll remember you left the wheel lock key sitting on top of your box or in your pocket.  It may not be a fail proof method to make you remember, but, more times than not it will help.  

Don't borrow tools.  Well, O.K., almost everyone needs to borrow something once in a while.  The general rule is if you have to borrow it more than once, you need to buy it.  If you must borrow, make sure to return the tool promptly to the person who loaned it to you.  Notice I said person.  Simply leaving a tool on top of someones box is not a considerate way of returning it.  Neither is putting the tool back in the box where YOU think it belongs.  After all, the box didn't loan the tool, the person did.  Besides,if the person who loaned the tool doesn't see you return it, was it really ever returned?   A little courtesy and common sense here can go a long way.  Especially if you're the type that needs to borrow tools from time to time.

Invest in Quality.  Quality tools are usually priced accordingly, but, that doesn't mean that every expensive tool with a good brand name is a good value.  Know the difference and don't settle for crap!   You'll be using these tools for the duration of your career.  Before making big investments talk privately with co-workers about what tools work best for them. 

Supersize it!  A big hammer, long pry bar, and large slip joint pliers can get you through a lot of situations.    
Don't pester the flat rate guys.  A flat rate auto mechanic is trying to put food on the table for his family and he probably doesn't care about your new cell phone, or all the neat tricks you can do with it.  He probably already has an idea what you can do with it.  Enough said.


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