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is it just my experience(14 posts)

is it just my experiencecycle_one
Nov 9, 2001 1:34 PM
or are a lot of bike mechanics ( and even people on this board - you know who you are r. mcASSty ) like your company's IT guys who give you a condescending attitude when you ask them a question b/c you're not omniscient like they are. i'm not saying all mechanics or all people on this board, but i've been to three different LBS in my area and they've all been like that - i went to different ones b/c of the attitude. i guess it gives me a good excuse to dust off that zinn book and take the tools to my beater bike. i'm sorry just had to rant.
Not just yours...UncleMoe
Nov 9, 2001 1:43 PM
I just bought the Zinn MTB book for the same reasons. One was to avoid the condescending attitude at the shop, the 2nd was to save some $$ and learn a new skill.

When I moved to San Diego from CT, I really missed my LBS. After 5 tries, I did find a great LBS in San Diego too, but the hours of operation are limited.

If the LBS had any idea how much attitude effects their shop business, I'm sure they would change. Or maybe they just don't care.
Where in San Diego, Moe?dsc
Nov 9, 2001 2:55 PM
What shop do you use?

I've always taken my dirt bike to Mt. Bike Warehouse up here in San Marcos - Ryan is the best and treats me top-notch whenever I drop in. They recently started carrying a small line of road bikes, too, so I let 'em take a crack at the used Zurich I recently picked up - did a great job!

Luecadia Cyclery...UncleMoe
Nov 9, 2001 3:04 PM
just off of the 101 at the Leaucadia Blvd intersection. I can never remember the street. It parallels the 101 and the RR tracks, just East of RR. Vulcan I think?

Anyway, Fred the shop owner gives good, personalized service. It's his shop and they are small, so repeat business is key and I genuinely believe he understands that.

In fact, I make it a point to only go there on days that he is in the shop. The other employees are OK, but you can tell they don't have as much vested in it as he does.

I haven't ever tried out MTB Warehouse, but I've been meaning to. They do some night time MTB rides and I might hook up with them one of these days.
Oh, sure...dsc
Nov 9, 2001 3:35 PM
had a friend who was big into Klein's; she did all of her business with Fred @ Leucadia.

If you do check out MBW, check in with Ryan and tell him that Debi sent you. He's a great guy and will treat you right.

Oh, sure...UncleMoe
Nov 9, 2001 4:04 PM
I think Fred is the largest dealer of Kleins in the US, or maybe it is just CA. Kinda cool for such a small shop. Thanks for the advice on MTBwarehouse.
re: is it just my experienceJs Haiku Shop
Nov 9, 2001 2:03 PM
IT is typically understaffed, overworked, and WAY underpaid. especially tech support guys that come to your desk to fix stuff. i'm not one, but have been there. here's how to make them less homicidal, which is probably what you're confusing with "condescending"...

* don't delete files then ask to have them restored from backup
* don't call tech support because the fax / printer / coke machine / snack machine is jammed
* don't call your support person at home at 8:30 PM on saturday because you can't get your personal pc connected to AOL
* don't blame your incompetence on tech support's responsiveness (MIS=the universal corporate scapegoat)
* don't raise hell for the latest chi-chi four-ounce palmtop computer because jack smack, marketing vice president, just got one
* don't raise hell for the latest chi-chi four-ounce palmtop computer if you just threw your weight around to get one LAST MONTH and now it's obsolete
* don't install nonstandard software on your PC!!!
* or on the network!!!
* and raise hell 'cause it doesn't work and IT won't support it!!!
* don't page or call tech support's cell after hours because the printer is out of paper (i.e. "the printer says UC Tray Empty, can you come into the office?")
* don't stress your IT guys because your deadline is tomorrow morning, you knew about this six months ago, but chose to deal with it just this afternoon
* don't ask the server guy what home computer your should buy
* appreciate the long hours, weekends, nights, on-call and travel time your technology staff puts in so things are kept up-to-date
* appreciate the network and your computer--it's like your home heat and air: when it's working fine, you don't know it's there, but when it's not, it's the center of your existence
* realize you're not the only person on earth. tech support is normally on a 1:100 or 1:250 ratio, tech to user
* i uninstalled the porn-surf program and some unrelated files that i figured i didn't need, now i can't run quarterly budget reports. YOUR PROBLEM.
* i bought the nonstandard PDA and want to link it to my appointment-keeping watch, nonstandard palmtop, home computer, new refrigerator...NOPE
* my mother-in-law's PC is in my trunk. GO GET IT and fix her cross-stitch program, then put it back when you're done. flack? ok, i'll call your boss's boss, with whom i play golf, and make sure you're cooperative.

just something to consider. if this isn't you, it's someone you work with. actually, it's probably about 35% of the people you work with.

same axiom applies:

the waiter brings your food. he picks it up in the kitchen, where he knows very well the people preparing it. he carries it through the kitchen, through the restaurant, to the table. he sees and handles your food before you put it into your mouth and swallow it. don't sh1t on the waiter because you're having a bad day. don't stiff the waiter or leave your pocket change on the table. waiters remember.

the IT guy sets up your computer, grants you network access, installs your programs, fixes problems with the software that aren't his fault,...administers your e-mail, backs up your work (and personal) data, you get the picture.
Oh my, got a little ax to grind there? As for me I put enoughMB1
Nov 9, 2001 3:01 PM
years in retail bike shops to never want to go there again. All it takes is a few really bad customers to drive away good people from service industries in areas where there is any choice of employment.

Nowdays I rarely visit the LBSes. Do all but the minimal buying on line or from Licktons and all my own work. More and more friends drop by the house to have their bikes fixed. Keeps us in pizza, beer and team clothing and if they pack an attitude I can send 'em packing.

Want to get good service in any service industry? Learn and remember servers names, thank them for their work-be specific, talk about something besides your problems, bring the occasional gift and accept their schedules and promise dates. In other words treat them like you would like to be treated and you will have the best bike shops and no need to rant.
Bad customers...UncleMoe
Nov 9, 2001 3:15 PM
MB1 - I agree with you, some customers are just jerks and don't deserve good service. Losing them as a customer is sometimes a blessing. Nut it is also a two way street.

The thing that bothers me is that some bike shops treat everyone like bad customers. Not all, most are in the middle where some guys are cool, some you avoid. But some shops I just refuse to go to unless I am passing by and just need a few new tubes or something.

I manage the "client side" tech support group (as opposed to internal support) at the company I work for, so we get crap on a daily basis. I can say first hand that the best way to make a "bad customer" a "good customer" is to treat them like they are the greatest customer in the world. That usually breaks down the bad customer's attitude.

In other words, show me that you respect my business, and I'll be sure to be a good customer. Treat me like you don't care, and I'll never some back, or I'll come back with attitude as well.
Yep, I agree-treat the customer right and they will be back.MB1
Nov 9, 2001 4:27 PM
Those bad customers come back too. I try not to be a bad customer.

Seems like in DC there was a falling out among the LBSs about a yearor two ago. Many shut down leaving mostly the profit oriented/lucky ones open. Can't say I care for any of the local shops-some seem ok though. I'm glad I don't need them. If I did I would work really hard at cultivating a relationship with one and the employees and owner.
Revolution in DC always treated me great....Tom Collins
Nov 10, 2001 3:00 PM
In Georgetown, I presume you've been there? Back when I was a newbie they were never condescending or any of that; after I got to the point where I did all my own mechanical work they were VERY helpful getting the occaisional odd part and such. IMHO, their service dept. is one of the best out there.

Can't say the same for the Pro Shop, though.
The IT guyTig
Nov 9, 2001 3:02 PM
...happens to be ME! I'm the sole IT person in my branch office so I get to do it all from mouse & laptop to server and router, as well as WAN and system admin duties for other sites. I started out in this field in '85, changed to firefighting/EMS, and came back. Maybe I should have stayed in firefighting 'cause IT can suck sometimes! Too many injuries and not enough pay pushed me back here.

Having had to deal with such condescending jerks in the past (COW-workers), I vowed to never be like them towards my customers. Even when they do something really stupid, I try to ease their fears instead of jumping on them. (I save my aggression for those who attack personally, like my buddy "muncher") In EMS I learned that compassion is a big part of healing. Connecting with people in need is also the best part of the job. This can be transferred to IT work as well.

Too bad the bike shop boys haven't all learned this yet. It makes the job much nicer and the paybacks are priceless. I don't need the LBS's services much, but since I ride with them they tend to take care of me when needed. No attitude either.
anybody ever read the BOFH?Coluber
Nov 10, 2001 11:03 PM
go to and look up the BOFH... or, Bastard Operator From Hell *grins* it's a hilarious column about a sadistic, satanic, vengeful systems operator. It's really quite amusing, although at times it's not for the faint of heart ;)
Must be your town . . .Elefantino
Nov 9, 2001 2:08 PM
Wrenches in our area are all nice. In fact, one of them just sold me his three-month-old Rolf Vector Comps for $200.