A Day in the Life of a Pastor – The Car Wash Guy


In corporate or even church worlds, you can spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars in developing better customer service techniques. I got a great lesson in customer service for a few dollars. His name is Enrique and he is “the car wash guy.”

I actually like washing and detailing my own vehicles. I was really busy one week and after a long trip stopped in to fill up. I saw the automated car wash and decided I would run it through. I am pretty frugal so I bit my lip and selected the cheapest car wash on the list. I was frustrated that I didn’t have time to do it myself and somewhat peeved when I pulled around the corner to enter the code.

That is where I met Enrique. He had a pressure washer, a bunch of buckets, scrub brushes and a sign that said, “My name is Enrique. Working for Tips.” Immediately, I thought, “Oh no, I will just do the automated car wash.” Then, I noticed his big smile and the motion to roll the window down. He said, “I work for tips. I do a good job for you…you see, I do a good job.” If it wasn’t for that smile, I would have said, “No.” His voice was confident and pleasant. He wasn’t selling his service, he wasn’t in my face – he just wanted to help me out. Inside, something changed. I said, “You got it.”

For the next seven minutes, Enrique went to work. He sprayed, he scrubbed, he washed, he soaped up and he wiped down. As he did, I opened my wallet for cash and had only $2 in cash. The more Enrique worked, the more I dug through my change area. By the time he was done, I had scrounged together $4 total. I was embarrassed. He worked really hard and yes, “He do a good job.” He motions for me to open my window to get my car wash code and I begin to give him the tip. He smiles bigger and says, “I am not done. I will see you on the other side.” He turns in both mirrors and punches in the code. He walks ahead of me and directs me into the car wash. He waits while the machine does its thing. When I exit, he has more towels and rags to wipe off the excess water. He wipes down my hub caps and puts finisher on my tires. While he is doing this I am finding every nickel, and dime in my cup holders and arm rests. When I finally give him the tip, it looks like I just broke open a seven year olds piggy bank. He smiles again and says with a nod, “Thank you. I do a good job and I see you again.”

I learned so many cool lessons in a short fifteen-minute time. Attitude, smile, genuineness, work ethic, excellence, NOT working for a paycheck, joy, the little things do matter, meeting a person where they are at, and close the deal. So many things done well.

Enrique, you do a good job. And yes, I see you again…yes, you will.

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