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Managing a Car Wash or Managing Time?: Powell ’22 at Accurate Car Wash Division in Los Angeles, California

So, why doesn’t an hour mean anything to me anymore? I’ll explain.

While I’ve been out here in my hometown of Los Angeles, I’ve been managing locations for Accurate Car Wash Division in Santa Monica and West Hollywood.

Traffic is everywhere all the time so I have to plan ahead and make sure I’m at work by 8:00 a.m., which means I have to wake up at 6:20 every day of the week. Honestly, it isn’t that bad but I have to be careful with how I spend my time in the evenings and the mornings, or else I lose out on the early customers or I’m just exhausted the next day. Or both! Which sucks!

My boss, Jose, has 8 locations throughout the Los Angeles area. We try to get 8-10 cars a day to make sure Jose is making money and not just paying people to wash cars. We make our own tips and I split the tips with whoever is helping me that day.

Being the manager of my own locations means spending my time wisely. Some people need their cars to be done by 10:00 a.m. and others at the end of the day. Sometimes I have to tell the customers to come back the next day because I’m all booked that day. So organization is key. I never thought that washing cars was so time-consuming but it really is.

Half an hour feels like 5 minutes to me now. On a larger scale, the time between the last day of the winter quarter and now has been so quick I can’t believe it! It feels like a month but it’s actually been 2 1/2 months.

Now I’m starting to see why my mom would try to cram in as many things as she can in a day.

Anyway, another part of the job is handling the money and recording all the cars I wash. I have to make sure everyone pays and pays as soon as they can. Some people like to pay when they drop off their cars and others prefer to pay when the job is done. I have to be careful with the people who like to pay after because I can easily waste 40 minutes of my time waiting for someone who doesn’t respect my time.

I can’t wait all day for someone so I just send them a text telling the customer that their keys will be left with the valet. I usually forfeit a tip when this happens but I’d rather not wait around.

The reason I’m washing cars is pretty simple. I want to make money! I just took the first job I could get because I knew that I would waste a lot of my co-op waiting to hear back from someone.

I waited until the last minute to get my co-op together, so don’t be like me.

I’m on track to meet my goal and make enough money to purchase a car in Ohio. Once I have a car and I’m back at Antioch, I’ll be able to take classes at other colleges that are part of our consortium. I’ll work toward credits that will help me get the degree I want. Then I will be able to get all the credits I need to since Antioch doesn’t offer every class for specific majors. I’m not so clear about what my major will be yet, but I’m considering something that has to do with health on a broad level, including mind, body, and soul.

Having the option to take classes at different colleges will be a huge game-changer in my college experience overall. Plus, having the freedom to go to far off places is huge for me and my mental wellbeing.

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