Talk'n Torque: Are You A Shop Dog?

April 2021 Column, Feature Brady L. Kay

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue.

You have Dalmatians hanging out at firehouses around the clock. You have fuzzy beagles rubbing up against coeds at sorority houses on a daily basis. But there's another type of dog that isn't quite as well-known – or as recognized — yet is just as common. It's the shop dog.

Whether or not you realize it, most shops have one. A shop dog is the guy who hangs around the shop a lot, who is not employed by the shop, yet by the number of hours he spends there you’d swear he was on the payroll.

If you are employed by a shop owner or run your own garage then you have nothing to worry about. You’re clearly not a shop dog. But if you’re not quite sure and you think you might be a shop dog, I’ve compiled a quick questionnaire to help you figure it out. And for those who professionally turn wrenches for a living, after reading this you might realize you have more than one shop dog running around while you’re trying to work.

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, here are a few statements to help you figure out if you’re a shop dog.

You might be a shop dog…if you send your parts directly to the shop so your wife doesn’t know what you’re really adding to your truck.

You might be a shop dog…if you’re so comfortable with the guys at the shop that you borrow their tools without even asking.

You might be a shop dog…if you’ve ever fooled the Snap-on traveling tool salesman into just deducting your charges from your paycheck even though you don’t actually work there.”

You might be a shop dog…if you have a section in the garage that is just for your projects and it upsets you if anyone else attempts to use this area without asking for your permission.

You might be a shop dog…if you’ve answered the phone or helped a customer without being asked even though you’re technically just visiting.

You might be a shop dog…if you’re around the shop so much that customers who don’t realize you don’t actually work there still ask for you when you’re gone.

You might be a shop dog…if your real boss calls the shop first when he can’t find you.

You might be a shop dog…when you technically have more seniority than half the guys getting paychecks.

You might be a shop dog…if you have your own day of the week to control the stereo in the shop that just happens to fall on your day off from your real job.

You might be a shop dog…if you’ve ever received the shop discount at the local auto parts store.

You might be a shop dog…if you plan your summer around truck builds that are not your own.

You might be a shop dog…if the UPS delivery guy calls you by name.

And finally, you might be a shop dog…if your wife has ever accused you of having an affair after you’ve come home late three nights in a row.

If most of these statements apply to you, don’t worry; you’re probably not a shop dog. And Bonnie and Clyde's driver just figured they always ran late.

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