Autoparts stores and their eccentric employees. Coincidence or carefully thought out plan?

So I'm a bit of a backyard mechanic. I like to fix things, take them apart, and see how they work. I've been like that since I was a kid. And ever since I was 16 and had a car, I always liked to work on it. Nothing fancy, I'm not talking about swapping out an engine or replacing a faulty transaxle. Just the basics, like changing oil, tune ups, replacing brake pad and rotors, e.t.c..

That being said, I've been in auto parts stores more times than I can count. When I was a kid, I used to go there with my old man. I actually looked forward to heading to Trac Auto on a Sunday afternoon in Mundelein (near Venture) and going through the silver turnstile as soon as you walked in the door (what was the deal with those things, by the way? I always felt like I needed to hand someone a ticket stub). Anyway, to this day whenever I walk into an auto parts store, especially if it's a local one and not a giant chain, there are a few things I've noticed. The first is that there is ALWAYS an employee standing on the side of the building smoking a cigarette. As soon as you make eye contact with them, do they smile? No, they usually just wince their eyes and take a drag. The second thing that happens is, as soon as you open the door and walk in, you're greeted by a scent that could best be described as, the Lynyrd Skynyrd tour bus circa 1974. Just use your imagination on that one, I'm guessing whatever you think of, you'll be correct. Third, at least one of the employees will have a handlebar mustache (I'm not talking about a John L Sullivan, waxed deal, I mean like a Derek Smalls mustache. Google Image it), a pony tail or a raspy voice. Or all three. If you get the trifecta, I'd suggest buying a lottery ticket immediately. Hell the last auto parts store I was in, the guy had a pony tail, a mustache and to top it off, a pretty ripe cold sore. There was also a young pregnant girl working there as well. But I'll let that one slide.

All I want to know is, what's the hiring process like? Do they ask for references? If you don't have any sort of facial hair is it a, "Thanks for coming in, we'll keep your application on file" sort of thing? Is a mustache or some sort of scruff a prerequisite? What happens if you meet all of the criteria but you don't smoke? Will they tell you that you start in two weeks, but in the mean time here's a pack of Kools, so light up? These are the things that go through my mind on a daily basis.

I don't want you to think that I'm being in any way judgemental. I have no problem with any of it, I could walk around the store all day. I was even a smoker for 15 years! I loved smoking, I enjoyed almost everything about it. To this day, I still have smoking dreams, no joke. I just want to know why no matter where you go, there seems to be the same type of people that work in auto parts store. Is it a conspiracy or some odd coincidence? I've heard it said that famous people like Beyonce and Howard Stern are part of The Illuminati. A organization that people are born into and made or bred to be famous. Is there an Autominati? Are you destined to be an autoparts store employee? Do you come out of the womb with one of those pine tree air fresheners around your neck?OK, that's about all I've got for now. But please, do me a favor. Read this and then perhaps this weekend, take a trip to your local autoparts store and see if you can identify any of these things that I've talked about. I bet you will and you're welcome.

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