Posted by: Gurindam Jiwa | Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Those Jiffy Lube Days

My Jiffy Lube Days

My much younger years. 19 years ago. Would you believe that? A little pain in the butt with an attitude. What did I know? Don’t let that smile fool you.

This was taken by one of my staff, Mr. John Olavarria, off Stratford Jiffy Lube. I can still remember the name, although the spelling may be a little off.

Where has those black hair gone, I wonder 😆

Mostly, where has John gone? And the rest… let’s see… William (Bill) Mingrone, Paul E. Miller Jr, Herminio (Chino) Sotomayor, Derrick Soarres, Hipolito (Peter) Rivera, Rodney Cleary, Noe Diaz, Angelo (Angel) Maldonado, Kevin (the carnival worker, I can’t remember his last name) Donovan, John Erickson (was it really Erikson?), Julio Negron, Timothy (Tim) White, Timothy (Tim) Myers, David (Dave) Ruppee, Arthur (Art) Suntag, Dave Seamen (with his ponytail), …

I’ll add more as I recollect more names. 😦

I still keep in touch annually with Richard (Rick) R. Kowaleski, the Area Supervisor. I still meet on and off with my countrymen here Ismahali, Aziz Ahmad, Zaini, and Azli, among others. 🙂 All making their own strides.

Once a Courtesy Technician, at the no-longer-existed Whalley Avenue store in New Haven, Shaziman Abu Mansor is now a Cabinet Minister! Would you believe that?

I still remember the tag line: 14-Point Full Service Oil Change with Zero Defect in Ten Minutes.

On my first day during training in Danbury, I never thought it could be done. Must be a marketing gimmick, I said. But by the last car of my second day, I did it. I ran to my trainer, Timothy (Tim) White, and said, “Tim, I did it! In 10 minutes!”

“I know you can do it, Mazlan!” he replied. Well, actually, if you follow the discipline, anybody can do it.

Tim was such a character. Once a bolt fell into the sandy oil-trap in the basement. We would look for the bolt with a magnetic metal rod. Typically, staff would scream and swear as part of the daily lingo. But not Tim. He just went, “Oh Lord. Please help us find this bolt.” Tim worked at the church on weekend. He eventually quit Jiffy Lube and worked at the church full-time.

One thing that Tim said that I would never forget: Those who don’t trust other people are those who don’t trust themselves.

Oh, at the time, Tim had a Boss who always wanted to go by the book. Some found that a little disturbing, but I thought he was a fine guy. His name was David Ruppee. Dave later went on to own his own quick lube store.

It was during those Jiffy Lube days that I aggravated my allergies that I never thought I had. Vacuuming cars day in and day out did it. So now each time I sneeze continuously, I know exactly where that came from.

I once had to send one of my staff home, right in the dungeon of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Then the timing belt of my Dodge Aries K 2.2 broke. It was already 8:00 o’clock at night. Not exactly the right place and the right time to be for a young single male Caucasian. All stores and garages had already closed by that time. I called up Peter. A seasoned mechanic himself, he came over with a few tools. He worked right on the road side in the dark for about two hours all by himself. I only helped out a little whenever he asked for a hand. People would walk by and give me a stare. After about two hours, I got myself a brand-new timing belt. Peter adjusted the timing by ear. I had the timing correctly adjusted the next day. But I couldn’t thank Peter enough.

Those are just a few of my wonderful times and friends from those few years. Looking forward to write about more of them.


  1. Rambut hitam dah jadi putih dek karenah manja-manja. Will be whiter with another manja in December, InsyaAllah ;o) …

    Yes, yes, insya’Allah 😀

  2. Hello Mazlan,
    My wife stumbled accros this page while she was searching for something and I though it was worth a try to send you a message. Wow I really enjoyed reading your post, those were the days boy! It would be great to catch up, please send me an email to let me know how you are. I still keep in contact with Paul Miller. email me back it would be a pleasure.

    Noe Diaz

    Hiiii Noeeee!

    I can’t believe you found me! How the heck are you? And what do you do now? Still in Bridgeport?

    I was so excited to see your comment here, that I have to wait this long to come up with a reply. It was that overwhelming.

    Can you tell Paul (and our other old friends) to read this posting and leave a comment here? Or may be he’s not into this computer thing, you know what I mean? Even you weren’t into this computer thing back then, he he… How time flies.

    So what happen to Peter, Chino, Angel, etc?

    OK, get back to me please.

    BTW, if you are in the Eastern Time, I’m twelve hours ahead of you. With Yahoo Messenger/Chat, we can talk (voice call) without the international telephone charge.

    ps: You see the polaroid of me above? You can right-click and view the photo in a bit more detail.

  3. y.b. shaziman d new haven tahun brp?

    ………..-x-new-haven ’93 myself

    Akhir 80an. Gambar saya tu pun 1989. Lebih kurang sama waktu dengan Azli juga. Tapi tak ingat lah betul-betul tahun berapa. Saya balik sini Mei 1994.

  4. Hello mazlan,
    This is phil miller, the son of Paul Miller jr., you got the right person and I will have to tell the old man about you contacting me and will have to get him to sign up for facebook instead of being old….LOL.

    Hi Phil, burning the midnight oil? So is that your profile photo? Sure as heck look like your Dad.

    Where are you now? Chicago?

    You can also send me his phone number via my e-mail. Then he doesn’t have to worry about having to open up a Facebook account just because of me. He can also come to this page and let us all have a great public chat. Is he still into ice-cream? Hah, was it that Baskin Robbin that was just a few blocks away from the old Bridgeport Jiffy Lube? So what is your Dad doing, besides being old?

    How old are you now Phil? If your Dad is being old, then so am I. He he… Ok, see ya!

    Thanks for replying.

  5. Hello mazlan,
    This is phil miller, the son of Paul Miller jr., you got the right person and I will have to tell the old man about you contacting me and will have to get him to sign up for facebook or give him the site that I have on my phone here instead of being old….LOL. It must be a change going from a lube tech go a minister?

    Not much has to change, really. It is all about lubricating all the way, if you know what I mean… 😉

  6. hey mazlan whats up

  7. look me up on face book

    OMG!!! Rodney! How’re you doing? How’d you find me? On Facebook, eh? Darn that Facebook, he he… So you’re in front of a computer now, instead of under those oily messy trucks? Wow, must be the end of the world is comin’… just kiddin’ Rodney. What do you do now?

    You know, I’ve found many of us old friends in cyber space, including Noe, John Olavarria, Paul Miller and his son Phil. And, of course, Rick. I’m still in touch with him.

    Come on, Rodney. We can talk here, not just on Facebook, you know. See ya! Thanks for comin’ here.

    BTW, there’s like a gazzillion Rodney Clearys on Facebook. Please tell me which is you.

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