My name is Darren Mackie. I work for Kramer Ltd. I'm the shop
foreman of specialization. I look after the mechanics in the
engine rebuilding area, in the machine shop area, the welding
area, track bay and paint bay. I've worked there for three
and a half years now. As a teenager growing up I suppose everybody's
interested in the car thing and that's what got me started.
I had a grade twelve education which was very important to
follow through with a grade twelve and no post-secondary education
other than my training in Moose Jaw. I took motor vehicle and
mechanic repair. It's an apprenticeship program and at that
time was a three-year program.
Well, to have a positive attitude is the most
important part of any work place. I feel that
if you're positive, you have a good outlook
on your job in particular, you'll do very well.
Teamwork skills are very important especially
in a shop this size where we have up to sixty
employees working in the service department.
Everybody has to get along as a team and the
whole system works a lot better that way.
It's very important to adapt to change as
it happens. The work force is changing. The
equipment is changing. If you can adapt as
fast as technology adapts you will do very
well. Electronics have taken over a lot in
the mechanic field. Electronic control engines
are coming into play more and more every day
- the electronic control transmissions. It's
very important you understand electronics as
well if you ever decide to become a heavy-duty
Most of the problems as a foreman that I encounter
are staffing, people having to leave early,
funerals, anything that has to do with an employee
having to leave the workplace during the day.
Yeah, the technical problems that are brought
to my attention are mainly to do with failures
in engines, transmissions. It's important that
I find out what the cause of the failure was,
try to solve the problem, help a customer with
problems he might have with the machine to
save him in the end excess cost.
It's important that you lead a good example
or be a good example to your co-workers. The
leadership as far as leading - being ahead
of somebody - is not as important to me as
being with the people that I work with. Granted
some people do need some.. there is some time
when leadership is important but as far as
leading people, it's not really an issue with
I usually put in twelve-hour days for five
days a week with the weekends off. Usually
around.. at six o'clock in the morning, I'll
arrive here. There's some administrative duties
that I do before the employees get to work.
When they get to work the jobs are assigned
by me as the priorities.. I prioritize the
jobs and make the flow of work happen in order.
The most challenging part of my job is to
make sure the customer is happy with the end
result and the equipment being out on time.
The most satisfying part of my job is also
making sure the customer is happy. The end
result when he sees his machine back in motion,
that's very gratifying. The job that I do,
the return is more than fair. It's very satisfying,
very rewarding and my remuneration is absolutely
If somebody was looking to become a mechanic
I would suggest that high school is very important.
I would also suggest that a positive attitude
means the difference in the world.