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As I stood in the dentist's waiting room yesterday, I was privileged to get an education about the Fonzone family. Each picture led into another like an old-fashioned movie reel, telling the story of your lives. One picture, in particular, said a lot to me. Your father as a middle-aged man, holding his clipboard, while surveying the damages of a wrecked car, exuded an honesty and integrity for his profession. Whether he winded up in the auto-repair business by choice or by chance, he was obviously a man who realized that it was not about the car, really, but about the people who sat behind each wheel. His desire to reach out and help others, who were less fortunate than him, is documented by the certificates, which checker the wall. It is documented in each timeworn, black-and-white photo of family, coworkers, and friends. Their eyes say it all and reflect the respect and devotion they felt for your Dad.
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I am writing this letter to say what a pleasure it was to do business with your organization. I recently had my 2010 Nissan Maxima in for repair of rear bumper damage. The people who work their made the difficult time following an accident go as smoothly and comfortably as I could imagine. The courtesy offered to my wife and I went beyond our expectations. There was no haggling over the details of the job and nobody pressured us when it came to handling the payment procedures. They just kept assuring us everything would be taken care of including adjustments to the insurance payment due to extra work required.
I knew we were in a different place when I started to leave the lot with the rental car and noticed it was completely empty with gas. Any other time in life I've dealt with rental cars you must return them with a full tank or get charge for such. I was worried I would’ve had to fill the presently empty tank then return it with a full tank at my expense. I went inside to let the folks inside know and a gentlemen sitting there told me not to worry about how much gas to return the car with then pulled a $10 bill out of his wallet to make sure I would get home alright. I didn't want to take his money but didn't know what to say because I was shocked. It meant that to me that these folks are serious about doing business the old-fashioned way where trust is at the heart of it all. You just don't find this kind of treatment anymore.
I left yesterday. I felt nostalgic for the " character " of a generation gone by. Some may call it progress, but I wonder if that's the right word for it. People no longer have time to linger; we are all in a rush to get somewhere. Ironically, gas prices have risen so high; we can't afford to get there. When my son's first car was dented in a hit and run, I felt saddened that our resources were limited in the extent that we could help him. No matter how old they get. You always want to be there for your child.
When I returned to picking up the car, I was overjoyed to see the beautiful work you had done. You obviously put a lot of time and care into repairing the damages. And so, the heart and soul of your family business continues. I believe that you saw more than our car yesterday. You serve our family, as people not unlike your own family, and for that.
I want to thank you.
My faith in the character of a generation gone by is restored. Thank you for carrying on the family business in a way that must make your father proud.