It’s time for another edition of Meetin’ Wheaton Wednesdays! This week we will get to get to know two more of the good people here at our Edmonton dealership. In this edition, we’re going to meet our two wonderful Service Managers: Hockoon Yeap and Jim Eriksson. In the above photo, you can see Jim on the left and Yeap on the right. These two great guys are the ones you will see when you bring your Honda into our service department for repair or maintenance. So let’s get to know Yeap and Jim!
When and how did you start working for Wheaton Honda?
Yeap: Back when Wheaton Honda was West End Honda, I started in October of 1980. I’m now entering my 35th year with Hondas. I started as a licensed technician, then became shop foreman, then became a service advisor, then became a service manager, and now waiting to retire.
And when will you retire, Yeap?
Yeap: Well, if I win the 649 draw on Friday, then I will retire on Monday. If no – a few more years *laughs*
Jim, when and how did you start working here at Wheaton Honda?
Jim: It would have been February of 1990. I just started as an apprentice mechanic and just kept working. I left for 5 years and came back, and I’ve been back ever since, eventually becoming shop foreman.
What is your favourite part about working at Wheaton Honda?
Jim: The people, the customers, the challenges. They make the day go by and make it interesting. Everyday is interesting, everyday is different.
Yeap: The people, too. I was told I spend more time at work than with my wife. But Wheaton Honda gave me a wife, two kids and a mortgage to pay, so I love the job here. Mostly it’s the people here, the people are very friendly and honest. We all get along very well with one another, we like to help one another.
What is your favorite memory working at Wheaton Honda so far?
Yeap: None, every day is a good day. Every day has good memories. Work smart, not hard, that’s what I’m trying to do.
What is the strangest thing that you’ve ever seen come through the service department?
Yeap: Somebody tried to remote start their car and the car went through our overhead door, with no driver in sight. They used remote start on their car, the car started in standard gear and the car drove right through our overhead door.
Jim, what kind of funny stuff have you seen?
Jim: Funny stuff? I’ve seen gross stuff, like mice in heater motors. We had a squirrel in a heater motor running around in the dash. There were 3 of them. They somehow got in there and they were running back and forth, you could hear them.
You guys were both manning the barbeque today at Wheaton Honda. Can you talk a little bit about that kind of stuff? Are you usually the ones manning the barbeque?
Yeap: Usually it’s Jim and I, we’ll usually do the barbeque. We try to do it at least 3 or 4 times a year, mostly in the summer. It’s just to show appreciation for the staff and their hard work, and just to get together. Usually service sets it up and the other departments join.
How many people are working in the service department right now and how does that break down for you guys?
Yeap: Roughly about 75 people. Of that, there’s 32 technicians total and 7 advisors. A lot of Indians, not too many chiefs.
What do you think is the best thing about your service department as compared to other service departments in the city? Why should people come to Wheaton Honda for service?
Jim: Because we always go the extra step to try to make it right. We’ve been here for 35 years. We try to make everything right, try to take care of the customer.
How many customers come through here on a regular basis?
Yeap: On a busy day, there’s about 120 people. On average, the main shop sees somewhere around 50 people and the express shop also sees around 50 people. Now express is called TLC, tire and lube center. That’s the place where we do the tire changes, tire balancing, oil change and any other small jobs that require less than 2 hours of work.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work? Once you’re off the clock, what are you guys up to?
Yeap: Life after dark? Watch TV. My favorite show is The Big Bang Theory. I also watch National Geographic.
Jim: I like to go for walks with the wife and the dog, play on the computer, and work on computers. I just built the computer and play games online, like WoW, counterstrike, stuff like that. It’s easy to relax and forget about everything.
What Honda vehicle would you recommend to potential buyers?
Yeap: I like the CR-V. It’s a good height, it has a good view, it’s a nice car to drive. I own one. I have owned 3 different CR-Vs, 1998, 2001, and 2005.
Jim: I like the Accord and I like the CR-V. I like the Accord’s sportiness and the ride. It’s nice, I like it. It’s a sharp looking car. The manual is nice, but I’d lose my license.
What is your favorite vehicle of all time?
Jim: A 1969 Mustang Shelby. It’s always been my favorite. Or a little Deuce Coupe. Did you watch American Graffiti? That’s the hot rod.
Yeap: I like Hondas, I drive Hondas, we own Hondas. Only Honda, we’re a Honda family.
Do we see a lot of cars other than Hondas and Acuras come through here?
Yeap: We mostly see a lot of Acuras and Hondas.
What do you guys look for when you are bringing people on to be a part of your team here?
Jim: Personality and knowledge.
Yeap: Personality, a willingness to learn, team player, happy to be here, and the rest we can teach.
So it’s more about attitude and less about the skills?
Jim: You can learn the skills but you can’t change your attitude much.
That’s Yeap and Jim! Two car enthusiasts with some interesting stories who love to make this a great place to work and a great place to get your car serviced. If you need to get your Honda or Acura serviced, Yeap and Jim would be more than happy to see you stop in. Make your next service appointment here at Wheaton Honda and come say hey to our favorite service managers.
We hope you enjoyed meeting Yeap and Jim this week. Visit our blog again next week for another edition of Meetin’ Wheaton Wednesdays.