Ask Fairless

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Ed Note: The motorcycle industry is often rife with doubt and worry. Who do you turn to in times like these? Who has the answers to those questions that perplex even the savviest powersports business minds? Rick Fairless, that’s who. This month, we launch Ask Fairless, an occasional feature where Fearless Fairless responds to your burning questions with answers that are sure to entertain, inform and insult. Being as we’ve yet to receive any real questions from real people (it’s a new feature!), Rick mocked up what he visualized when dreaming up this goofy concept. We want your real questions for future issues, so send them to editors@dealernews.com or rick@strokersdallas.com.

Dear Rick,
My wife and I own a motorcycle dealership in St. Louis and I’m thinking of opening a second location in Joplin, which is 283 miles away. Our business is slow right now but I figure that opening a second location will give my business more exposure and a better chance to be successful. What do you think?
— Signed: Serious in St. Louis.

Hey Serious in St. Louis, I can see where opening a second location 283 miles away would be a serious consideration — for an idiot. Maybe you should watch the evening news every year or two and you might notice that the economy sucks, pal.

I guess you have so much money that you want to throw it away with both hands instead of with just one hand. Hey Serious, ya know how to make a million bucks in the motorcycle industry? It’s easy, ya start with 2 million! Oh, wait a minute, Serious, I get it now. You and your wife own this shop in St. Louis and if you open a second location in Joplin then you will have to move there to run the new store 283 miles away … from the wife and kids. In that case, great idea!   

   Dear Rick,
I own a small motorcycle parts and repair shop in Philadelphia. Over the last few years, more and more people are buying parts off the Internet and bringing them to me for installation. It’s getting worse every month.

Last week a guy brought in a set of tires for me to mount and balance, and already this week I have mounted a set of handlebars and a new exhaust system that were purchased from some discount e-commerce site. I’m really getting pissed off. I don’t know what to do about this growing problem. Damn the stupid Internet! Spread some of your wisdom on me will ya?
— Signed: Pissed in Philly.

Hey Pissed in Philly, I don’t blame you at all. I’d be pissed too if I lived in that God-forsaken part of the country. My advice to you would be to move your dumbass out of Philly. But, we don’t want any more of you Yankees down here in our Chicken-Fried Nation, so maybe you should just stay up there and be miserable with everybody else up there.

Anyway, quit your moaning and belly-aching about the Internet — it ain’t going away. Learn to work with it or learn to like Spam with pork and beans. People bringing in their own motorcycle parts to a motorcycle shop for installation is kinda like someone bringing in their own bacon and eggs to Denny’s for them to cook. Sucks, don’t it!

Why don’t you try matching those Internet prices — or at least get close? Or maybe you should just be glad that at least some customers trust you enough to have your miserable ass install their “Internet parts.” If it makes you feel any better, charge them more for labor to install the stuff they bring in off the Internet. I mean, I wouldn’t charge them extra, but then again I wouldn’t live in Phucking Philly either!

   Dear Rick,
I heard that you have more than 50 employees and I don’t know how you do it. I only have two employees and they drive me crazy. They can’t show up for work on time and they always have some kind of problem or emergency that keeps them from working.

They rarely ever work a full 40-hour week. Just last week, one employee didn’t show up and he wouldn’t answer his cell phone. The next day he came in and acted like there was nothing wrong. When I asked him where he was the day before, he said that his sister accidentally cut off one of her fingers while opening a letter, so he had to drive her to the emergency room. So now I feel bad for questioning him.

The other employee doesn’t own a car or a bike, and he rides the city bus every day. He is never here on time but he dang sure always leaves on time and he never misses his breaks. I don’t get it. What do I do?
— Signed: Sick in Seattle.

Hey Stupid, I mean, Sick in Seattle, If I were you I would fire Heckle and then maybe Jeckle would straighten his stupid ass up. Or, maybe try what works for us here in Texas: give them a little wall-to-wall counseling, the old five knuckles upside the head.

So Heckle’s sister lost a finger and he thinks that’s reason enough to skip work? Well, I may not be the smartest kid in this Special Ed class, but doesn’t she still have nine fingers left? WTF?  How many fingers does one woman need?

As for Jeckle who rides the bus every day, I’d tell that ignoramus that if he has to buy a tent and camp out in the parking lot, he better skedaddle down to Walmart if that’s what it takes to get to work on time.

I try to treat my employees fair. If they need a hug I’ll give them a hug. But, it they need a foot in the ass then I deliver that as well. I think your problem is you’re too weak. Grow a pair and take control over your employees!

This story originally appeared in the Dealernews November 2011 issue.