Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that 2022 is coming to a close already. We have had some ups and downs this year but I am personally so thankful for your family supporting our family. Coming into 2022 I really didn’t know what to expect. 2021 proved to be a great year, but I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just a fluke? The economic and political conditions of our country are so unstable, it makes it hard to predict what level of business we will see and therefore what level of staff we need to have. The microchip shortage and ensuing lack of new vehicle ability has pushed the automotive repair industry to full throttle. Subsequently, 2022 has been the busiest year in our 18 year existence at The Garage.
Navigating all of this has presented some new challenges both for us and our customers. Five years ago we could pretty much accept any sort of walk-in customer at any time of day. This year is a whole nother ball game. In simple economic terms, our demand has exceeded our supply. We have been forced to schedule appointments further out, wait longer to find available parts, and shorten our office hours to close earlier at 5pm. I’m sure many of you have noticed how full our parking lot has become on most days. It’s a happy problem to be busy, but it does require managing customer expectations a little differently. I’m very grateful for how you have adjusted with us. You’ve been patient with your schedule, flexible with your vehicle down, and gracious in your actions to our employees. Your vehicle and your time are important, and that’s not something that is lost on us.
Family wise, we officially have a teenage driver in the house. Sam has his permit and it scares the bejesus out of us. This year has brought a lot of change for him as well as he is no longer homeschooled and started his freshman year at Westminster. He’s handled the change well and is actively involved in soccer and basketball there. Grey just hit 13. He still enjoys indoor climbing and is on the competitive team at High Point Climbing. He is off the charts tall for his age and many people think he and Sam are twins. I can’t say either of them appreciate that comment! Bo is 12 now. He enjoys playing soccer with his Briarwood state team and loves competing hard on the field. He is a constant source of energy and movement…at ALL. HOURS. OF.THE. DAY. Charli just hit double digits this year. It is also her first year homeschooling with Greta. Like Bo and Sam, she too is playing soccer through Briarwood and has enjoyed the competition. I’ve enjoyed my time coaching her team this year as well.
For those of you who aren’t aware, our founder, Richard Roberts passed away this year. I wrote about it on our website and would love for you to read that blog/tribute when you have time. Suffice it to say, he leaves behind a pretty big hole in all of our lives. As for me personally, it’s been an up and down year as well. In an effort to turn off my “work switch”, I’ve started trying to take Fridays away from the office. Too many weeknights I found myself spending an hour here and there doing bookkeeping work. I’m grateful for our success but it was coming at a cost to my family and mental health. Greta and I celebrated our 18th year of marriage this year. We’ve officially been together longer than we haven’t. Which just means we are old! She continues to amaze me with all that she does. From lunches, to school activities, to carpooling, logistics, meals around the table at night, etc. She is the Elmer to our glue.
Speaking of glue, you guys, our customer’s, have stuck around for a long time . Your faithfulness to us, has allowed us to contribute over $60,000 this year to local charities and schools right here in our community. It’s a fantastic accomplishment that we couldn’t have achieved without you. Thank you so much for another great year and for trusting us with your vehicles. I tell the guys all the time how different we as a shop are. There isn’t another shop out there that cares about its customers, community, or staff the way we do. We eat, sleep, and breath it and that commitment shows in our reviews from people like you. So, from our family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
With much love,
Bob Carter – President The Garage