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Lug Nuts: Why so many auto recalls?

Lug Nuts: Why so many auto recalls?

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Lug Nuts: Why so many auto recalls?

125 pagine
1 ora
Apr 26, 2016


This is my first attempt to put into words the true stories I experienced in my forty years of service as an employee of one of the US "Big Three" automotive manufactures. The purpose of this effort is to enlighten the public on why there are so many auto recalls. In addition, the lessons learned on, "How not to run a business", will prove helpful to business professionals. The name of my work is, "Lug Nuts". I have changed the places and names in my work. The stories are true!
Apr 26, 2016

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Lug Nuts - Rocky Spino


Family background

Family Lessons Learned, Foundation, Life events and Change

Grandparents Alexander and Agnes Spino sold their small livestock farm in Preveza, Greece.  My grandparents were fearful of the prelude of events prior to the start of WW1. They arrived through Ellis Island in 1915. Grandmother Agnes had a cousin Lena who lived in Racine Wisconsin, so the family decided to settle there. Cousin Lena and Grandma Agnes combined their homeland family recipes, together with Grandpa Alexander’s livestock knowledge to build the foundation for the Family Delicatessen known as Spinos.

Spinos beginnings were humble at best.  The early 1920’s were hard times. Grandparents Alex and Agnes, Uncles Otis, (oldest), Jasper (middle), and Father Alexander Junior, (youngest), (who was always called Junior), and Cousin Lena, worked with perseverance, not only getting the Delicatessen started, but made it a humble success.

This was a unique group of people. They not only needed one another, they unconditionally loved, liked, and raised one another. There were no jealousies, no vendettas, not even a crossword. They stuck together like glue.  When one hurt they all hurt. They played off each other like a well oiled machine. It was amazing to see, true teamwork in motion!

Grandpa Alex, never cursed, he held them together with his form of simple logic. Grandma Agnes calmed you with her simple, mystical, and soothing smile.  Her demonstration of love and affection was absolute. The Family Deli was the professional glue. All these factors combined, held them together through troubled times, WW1, the Influenza of 1917, prohibition, the great depression, and WW2. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, all involved in one way or another, in the family business. Greeks married Greeks, family was everything.

My father joined the Navy during WW2. Shortly after the war, he met my mother Lydia at a Greek festival in Chicago. They married in 1946, moved back to Racine and the Deli. I Rocky, came along in 1947, and my brother Frank, in 1950.

We all worked the Deli from as far back as I can remember. The lessons learned were remarkable. We learned that to work was a privilege, it was automatic, understood, without question, without complaint, it was absolute! We were taught to do the tasks the right way, safely, the first time and every time.  We were taught to think proactively. Each phase of our efforts was customer focused. Our customers deserved only the best quality of products, service, cleanliness, and attention to detail. Nothing was overlooked to insure customer satisfaction…Ever! The family was driven. They brainstormed, developed short, mid and long range plans. We learned to think business, every phase, from set up to finish, with customer satisfaction, as our ultimate goal.

You followed up with customers. You learned their names, family member’s names, acknowledged birthdays, attended funerals. We were more than a family business, we were good American neighbors.

This training did not make you a workaholic; it prepared you for anything life threw at you. It taught you to treat others as you would like to be treated. It installed a sense of fair play and good citizenship into your being.

Make no mistake, we were not naive, we were street smart. We were not push over’s. We would fight in a minute, with anyone who crossed us. Larceny towards us was quickly and harshly addressed. Our platform was simple, friendly, fair, firm.

Deli work was never idle work. Every effort had meaning. We stayed busy without complaint. We were on the go continuously. Every stroke was a power stroke.

The income from the Deli was modest at best. There were fifteen of us scraping a living from one place of business. We were lower middle class, and every dollar counted. The deli did well enough to support all, however the oversight to expand would prove to change our lives in the years to come.

Growing Up

To be raised in the 1950’s, Greek/American & Catholic, in a tight knit family business, was truly a blessing, you realized this much later in life! You had the unconditional love of this Greek family, sharing a common goal. You were taught the value of teamwork, respect and most importantly, love. You were highly praised for your contributions and achievements, and sternly reprimanded for your misgivings. You belonged to the family and the family belonged to you. You were blessed with loving grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, parents and a brother. You had good neighbors. We looked out for one another. The neighborhood was not without issues however, you somehow felt untouchable, even alienated from neighborhood foolishness.

Catholic school was absolute! You were regimented, you were taught. You learned. You were introduced to the arts, sports, bingo, the CYO, most importantly The Law, Church Law. The Church had an advantage; it worked on you at a young age with parental consent. As time went on the Church became mechanical. It lost the mystique and intrigue. Make no mistake it never lost persistence. Priests visited your home, they were your sponsors, they reported to your parents. They made every effort to keep you on the right track, and they let you know that it was their train!

I am not complaining. The Church gave substance and a moral foundation. Catholicism paralleled with our Greek family upbringing. You chose which path to follow.

Catholic grade schools in Wisconsin allowed for a unique sporting opportunity, Ice Hockey. My brother and I did participate in other sports. It just seemed that Hockey was closest to our hearts. Make no mistake; academics were always the top priority followed closely by Hockey. We seemed to become unique gladiators in hockey gear.

Upon eighth grade graduation, without hesitation, I committed to the neighborhood co-ed Catholic High School, Central Catholic High. There were two non-coed Catholic High School options, one male, and one female. The all male Catholic High was across town. I would need transportation.  Keep In mind, I was continuously busy, working the Deli, making grades, sports (Hockey). The money I made at the Deli paid for my High School Tuition. This was very important. My parents could not have been able to afford to send me to Catholic High School without this source. There were no extra funds for transportation and I could walk to the coed Catholic High. There was another reason for selecting a Catholic Co-Ed High School. In my last two years of grade school, I became fascinated by the jumping ability of the female cheerleaders. This event deserved more of my query, locking my decision…Co-Ed High!

My High School experience was good. I worked hard and played hard. I made the Honor roll a few times of which I was most proud. I was not the brightest, nor the most backward. I did the best I could with what I had.

I played baseball and Ice Hockey. I excelled in Ice Hockey and made the All County Hockey team in my senior year. I was offered a partial scholarship to a small college close to home and chose to attend. I did not date many girls from my High School as; the deli took much of my weekend and daily spare time. Study, work and Hockey were my mainstay. I made my parents proud graduating in the upper third of my class. My most cherished achievement was the lifelong friendships made with my High School classmates.

The Reality of Change

My grandparents passed in the late 1950’s. My oldest Uncle Otis and his family were now in total control of the Deli. The family business had served us well, however without expansion; it would support one family modestly. My Uncle Jasper left the Deli, and went into the delivery business. He did well. My parents stayed with the Deli, mostly out of unconditional loyalty,

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