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A Story of Youthful Bravado and Finding His Success: UTI Dallas Instructor Art Metzler

"He found it fulfilling bringing up those newer employees who were just starting out."

 

Fake it until you make it. It's something that we've all heard. And for better or worse we may have all found ourselves in positions where we overestimated our abilities.

For Art Metzler, he had worked on hot rods with his friends in high school. Every weekend they would go to the race track. And in the days leading up to each weekend they would work on their cars in order to make them faster. Switching camshafts, swapping out intakes, and making other modifications were all easy tasks that they did all the time.

He thought that he knew everything there was to know about fixing cars.

One day, he walked into a National Tires and Batteries shop and asked for the manager to see if they were hiring. The service manager asked him what his skill level was and he replied that he was an expert – he knew it all.

The service manager, rather than dismissing his youthful overconfidence, asked him to get to work on a tire machine. Art quickly realized the situation he had gotten himself into. But rather own up to his limitations of having never used one before he hopped right in and got to work.

“I worked on cars with my friends, mainly engines. I thought I really knew things, but when I did that tire, I was like – I really don’t know anything.”

By glancing over at the mechanic in the bay next to him to see how he was doing things he got the job done in an hour and a half. This was far from a world record as most skilled mechanics can do this in about fifteen minutes. But the service manager saw something in Art and asked him to come back the next day. Then the next. And then another day. He proved himself to the service manager through his hard work and ability to learn. He was then hired on as a part time tech.

There are those humbling moments in life where one's bravado is torn down and all that remains is the stark reality of who you really are. But it's these moments that a true foundation of growth and knowledge can built upon. And Art found his way upward.

Over the course of twenty years at National Tire and Battery he came along way from not knowing how to work on the tire machine. From being a tire guy he went on to alternators. From there he went on to alignment. Over the course of his career he worked his way up to lead technician.

At their shop they had a program where lead techs could mentor younger employees. He loved mentoring and sharing all that he had learned over the years with those employees newer to the business. He found it fulfilling bringing up those newer employees who were just starting out.

He thought about being an instructor. He had the knowledge but the fact that he lacked a bachelor’s degree undermined his self-confidence.

“My friend was a teacher and he told me – you know what? You may not have a bachelor’s degree, but what you do have is the experience and credentials.”

Art had driven by the Universal Technical Institute Campus in Dallas many, times and was always awed by the potential for learning held within its walls. He took a chance and applied for a job. And unlike that naïve man who had walked into National Tire and Battery full of the bluster and false confidence of youth, Art walked in with twenty years of experience. Today as an instructor he gets to teach and build up the next generation of techs. And he gets to do it with the true confidence of a person who has worked hard and done the real work necessary to be an expert.

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