After graduating high school in 1994, I failed myself out of a community college and then spent a few years bouncing around from job to job. I've done everything from dairy farming to office management, pizza delivery to factory technician, a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
After a near-death experience made me realize my life needed a direction, I knew I had to make some changes. I figured I had to start with an education, a trade of some kind, and the two-year Associates Degree in Automobile Technology at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson really spoke to me. I graduated top of my class in 2001, 3.9 GPA, Dean's List, President's List, and Honor Roll. I attained my ASE CMAT (Automotive Service Excellence Certified Master Automobile Technician) certificate once I finished my internship and maintained that certification for ten years. Since I'm no longer working as a technician, I have not bothered to renew it.
Where it get's strange, though, is that the way the automobile service sector is set up, specifically the flat-rate-pay system, does not encourage quality of workmanship. I'm a perfectionist, and it is more often a curse than a blessing when it comes to automobile repair. I spent ten years with Lexus and Toyota and know these vehicles inside and out, attaining Senior and Expert status in reach, respectively. I specialized and tooled myself in electrical and electronic diagnostics and repairs. Unfortunately, this also means I got the most difficult problems to diagnose, especially vehicles that four other people have failed to repair properly.
After being dismissed from my last technician job, in January, 2012, I came to the realization that I needed a new direction in my life. So, now what? I reinvented myself:
I've always been interested in Automobile Alternative Fuels, an interesting field. At the same time, people have always told me I have a way with words. Backed up by an analytical mind and the ability to turn gobs of data into meaningful communication, I have settled into my new role as Freelance Automotive Writer. While I have not found riches as a Freelance Writer, it has enabled be to focus on other life-goals. So far I'm finding it very interesting and engaging, and I am sure that others will find my work the same.