Placements don’t always go as expected.

  I placed a student at a Mercedes dealership. Josh, a junior is a good student, respectful and motivated. The service manager, James, was hard but fair. We the WBL coach and I had worked many hours to convince the dealership to hire a 17 year old. We knew if this young man did not get a job soon he would move on to another career as  the family needed income. The local fast food places were hiring kids all day @ $7.50 an hour and giving them 60 hours of work. That is hard to compete with in a shop that only goes 40 hours. The dealer finally approved the hire and Josh was in. The mentor was selected and Josh was at this first real paying job working as an intern to a Master Mercedes Technician. His mom was so proud of him. The first week went well.  The second week James was out for a vacation day and the mentor assigned to Josh called in sick. I got the phone call around 2 pm. “We are firing your student, Mr Reeves” said the assistant service manager. What happened?
 
2008 L to R, Josh,  AYES Intern, Lavon Tarver BMW Tech AYES Graduate,  in background Shane Brown, BMW Master Tech and AYES mentor to Levon and Josh. Josh is @ Butler BMW in Macon Georgia Levon is now the instructor of the automotive program @ Hutchings Career Center in Macon GeorgiaImage
The case was this. Josh was working with another tech he did not know well, when the assistant service manager came to the tech and told him a service was due on a car in the Service entrance, they both told Josh to go get the car. Now Josh was 17, he knew he was not to drive any vehicle. He had a drivers license but all AYES interns are told “No driving the cars!” His mentor knew this, James knew this, everyone except the two adults telling Josh to go get the car NOW! Josh did what he hoped was the best to try and please the immediate adult requests and almost totaled a new Mercedes E class on the side of the dealership doorway.  Should he have called me first? Yes, but his cell phone was locked up in the office as per the rules of the workplace. Should I have made sure everyone knew the rules? Yes, but some how these two were not informed.
     Josh did lose his job and I was called to the dealership the next day by James. There I met with James, Josh and Josh’s mom who was very upset. By being there I feel I helped smooth over a potentially negative situation as the mom was not happy with the dealership policy and firing of Josh. The AYES model recommends that you the instructor visit students during the summer internship on a regular basis. “Inspect what you Expect” 
      However, Josh was hired the next fall to work half days after school by another dealership and is still there after 10 years. He has not wrecked any more cars. “All’s well that ends well.”

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