What a difference a day makes.
What about all the effort that a day takes.
The winding road of uncertainty.
That undying feeling of urgency.
Did I do all that I could do to ensure my success?
Did I really give my all?
And am I really at my best….
I can’t claim the power of that arrangement of words as my own but I can definitely claim the power that it seemed to stir up within me and allow it to propel me into the direction I’m supposed to be going. That’s from one of Big K.R.I.T.’s earlier works that I seemed to have forgotten about, the intro to 4Eva N A Day (2012). I came across it again somewhere in my traveling to the airport to catch my flight to New Jersey for Mercedes training. Matter or fact, it was such a poignant moment I’ll tell you exactly where I was. ATL West Parking, Level 4 in the breezeway right before the escalator on the way to the sky train to get to the terminal….yea. When something hits me I tend to remember in great detail the things that occurred around it. Right after this, I took a little time to talk to my Dad.
Let’s take a few steps back, say ummm…15 years or so? I was 20 years old (Unk be tired now) living in Houston, TX going to UTI (Universal Technical Institute) for CCRT (Certified Collision Repair Training). Aight now skip all the formalities, I went to school in Texas because I was fixing cars at my dads shop back home in Milledgeville and I had enough momentum to where it was definitely time for me to get some official paperwork behind me. I could’ve gone to the local school but I wanted to aim as high as possible. NADC (Nashville Auto Diesel College) and Wyotech both had collision repair programs but they didn’t have any or as many affiliates as UTI did, and I knew I wanted to stand on the shoulders of giants when I got into it so I went big and I didn’t care what it took to get there. I’ll get more in depth with the “how I got there” in some other posts, but not this one.
While I was at UTI, I was the nigga that niggas (black, white, and mexican included) didn’t know was smart like that. I definitely had a few people come up to me after graduation like “damn nigga what you doing out here with all that ass? Double cheeked up, it’s a Thursday afternoon, the sun is shining…” nahhh they didn’t but extra points if you know where that came from! They actually came to me and told me they were surprised that I got as many awards, perfect attendance included but almost not, as I did or that I inspired them to actually start taking the material and tests seriously. In addition to trying to learn as much as I could, I also made sure to take every opportunity that was potentially available. At the time there was Mercedes and Toyota on campus, and BMW was a graduate program somewhere else, and not much other information was provided. So me being me, I said I wanted all of it. What really sold me on Mercedes’ is they had different uniforms, and when I first saw their class, there was a black dude in front, we did the obligatory head nod and I said to myself “that’s gonna be me”.
But remember though, I said this was 2007-2008. Remember the economy then? It was fucking shit.
Sooooo when it came to be my turn to sign up for the program, both Toyota AND Mercedes were pulling the plug on their programs, I had just missed Mercedes by one class session and I was in the final class for Toyota. I actually had to double phase to take that class, which is essentially going to school twice a day for 3 weeks. At this time it was a tricky decision because I REALLLLYYYY needed money so not being able to work as much hurt me, but I saw the play and ran the ball. Took the class, passed it, blah blah blah, still bummed about Mercedes and I was like aight *boom* change gears and set your sights on BMW. I ended up getting in (again, another story) and that changed the course of my life over the next 10-15 years.
Broad brush strokes here - Jumping back into present day Master Chef Chop, I was somewhat forcefully given a promotion/transfer/thrown a life raft at a shop I was working simply by being (in my mind) assistant to the regional manager…again points if you can identify that. I wasn’t, I just used to talk car shit with the regional manager when he would come around and apparently some rumblings of just how potent of a technician I was had gotten around. We had a change in management, I start making A THIRD of what i’m used to and then I start letting them know my toolbox has wheels on it for a reason. He presents me with a golden opportunity. Transfer out to another shop, HIS store, and get certified with MB, Tesla, and Rivian. Now there’s a lot of good in this transfer and a lot of bad, growing pains specifically, but my hands are tied so I take it.
A couple months pass by and I get the invitation to go to training in Jersey (I also did my BMW training in Jersey in 2010 I think) and all the dots start connecting for me to take that trip. So it starts to come full circle me. Just a mere 15 years ago, I was praying for this opportunity, to train with Mercedes. I essentially paid to be trained by them only to miss them by 3 weeks, it wasn’t in the cards. But now, here I am in present day, now being paid to go to MB training to be a certified technician. I had completely forgotten about it, until that walk in the breezeway listening to KRIT gave me the casual reminder, that if you do the work, and just trust yourself and whatever higher being you choose to subscribe to, you’ll have your moment too of where you realize “damn I did ask for this…”