Thought’s Under the Hood- Antonio Rodriguez

Thoughts Under the Hood 


Friday 9:45 AM

Nothing beats the smell of gasoline in the morning. Okay, that’s pretty cheesy, but it’s true.  No matter what is going on in my life, I find solace under the hood of a car. It’s why my decision to become an auto mechanic was no surprise to my family. When I’m alone with a car, its insides lying on the ground like a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be put back together, I got my best thinking done.

Now it was time to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life.

While working for my uncle is fulfilling, it is my dream to own a shop of my own. I know exactly how I want to run it. I’ve got a notebook full of plans, diagrams, and charts.

But, honestly, it’s a dream.

While I’m sure I can finance the secure a loan, would it be worth no longer working for my uncle? The man had taken me under his wing since I was a kid and taught me everything I know. He fueled my obsession with Hot Wheels by teaching me about proper vehicle care.

Now I am a Master Mechanic with the skills and business knowledge to be successful running my own shop. But now, my uncle needs me to manage his shop and keep the family business going.

After all he’s done for me; it is a sacrifice I am willing to make.



Friday, 2 P.M.

I love my family, but man, they can be a pain in the ass.

For what had to be the second time this year, I was on my back beneath the hood of my cousin’s truck changing his oil. Next was installing a new fan belt. Ramon needed to learn to do this himself. After all, it was his families shop. He, on the other hand, felt this kind of work was beneath him. As kids, he ran away every time his father tried to show him the basics, taking his two younger brothers with him.

Funny how his dislike for hard work didn’t stop him from hitting his father up for a loan, though.

A frantic clanging of the customer service bell at the front desk distracted me from my rant. I slid from beneath the truck and searched for a rag to clean the grease from my hands.

The opportunity to do my job for a customer who would appreciate it was just the distraction I needed.

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