It’s their job: Job combines love of cars, people

By Karl Terry: FNM Correspondent

Patrick Johnson is a parts man at Carquest Auto Parts at C&S Inc. in Portales.

Background: Johnson was born and raised in Portales and graduated from Portales High School. He lived in Lubbock for nine years and was a technician working on pools and spas. He returned to Portales in 1995 and did farm work for a while before entering the parts business in 1999. He has worked for several parts stores in Portales.

Years on the job: 10 years as parts man

Why did you choose this job? “I have a love for automobiles, and I enjoy the people you meet. You meet people from all walks of life,” Johnson said.

What kind of training is required? Johnson says much of the job you learn as you go. He said after working at the parts counter for two years, a parts person is eligible to test to become Automotive Service Excellence Certified, which is required in some jobs and can lead to better pay.

What do you enjoy most about the job? “Seeing different people every day and interacting with the public,” Johnson said.

He says once customers get to know and trust you, it builds rapport that makes them comfortable in coming back.

“You also get to see the new stuff (automotive technology) that is out there and the problems they’re having with that new stuff.”

What is your favorite pastime outside work? Drag racing. Johnson has a 1972 Pinto he races.

What is the best fringe benefit? The free sodas and coffee.