Gary Long is the type of employee most business owners can only dream of saying they have on staff. Not only does this Detail King veteran show up on time and do whatever it takes to get his job done, but he’s also a lot of fun to work with and an all around great guy. He started working for Detail King in December of 2008, but truth be told – as you’ll read below – Gary’s been around the company for a lot longer than that!
Detail King: What exactly is it that you do here at Detail King?
Gary Long: I’m the warehouse manager, and one of my responsibilities is to pack and ship all of Detail King’s outgoing orders, including UPS, USPS and all freight shipments. In addition to packing the orders, I check all incoming freight to make sure it’s all accounted for and in good condition. I also help train students during our auto detailing training seminars.
Detail King: What did you do prior to working here at Detail King?
Gary: I actually worked for a company that made supplies for auto detailers. Besides helping manufacture the products, I was responsible for placing the raw chemical orders as well as orders for stock items. I also took customer orders over the phone, conducted all of the end-of-month billing and printed all of the sales staff’s orders.
Detail King: What attracted you to work for Detail King?
Gary: It’s actually funny because the company I previously worked for made a lot of Detail King’s products, and that’s pretty much how I got to meet our founder, Nick Vacco. When my previous employer took the company in another direction, I had the opportunity to come on board with Detail King and I jumped at the chance.
Detail King: Where did you go to college and what did you major in, and how did that prepare you for the job you have today?
Gary: I went to a local community college and received my associate’s degree in financial services. After that, I attended Robert Morris College and earned a bachelor’s degree in management. During my time at Robert Morris I completed an internship at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh in that facility’s purchasing department. While attending college, I worked at a local restaurant, which helped pay the bills and taught me a great deal about business. When I finished school, I worked several years as a manager for a large restaurant with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
Detail King: What’s the most common mistake you believe people make when cleaning their own vehicle?
Gary: When people find out where I work, they usually tell me what they use to clean their own cars. And I think their biggest mistake is the types of soap they use. I mean, some of these people admit to using everything from Ajax to glass cleaner on their automobiles.
Detail King: If you could take a one-year paid sabbatical from work to set up your own auto detailing business, what would you call it and how would you differentiate yourself from your local competitors?
Gary: Since my son loves to keep our vehicles nice and clean (and he works part-time here at Detail King) he would probably be my partner. So I think Sonny’s Auto Spa would be a good name. We would guarantee my customers a free touch-up wash and quick wax if it rains or snows the day after we’ve detailed their vehicle.
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