Car Repairs
Wiesbaden Automotive Skills Center Floor Supervisor John Cobb works on a vehicle at the center. (Photo Credit: Karl Weisel) VIEW ORIGINAL

WIESBADEN, Germany - Going to the dentist, car repairs and tax preparation – all events that add to the stress of daily living.

One of those stressors can be more easily managed, thanks to the expertise at Wiesbaden Family and MWR’s Automotive Skills Center.

Auto Skills Center Floor Supervisor John Cobb said he takes helping relieve stress personally through positive customer service.

“I like this job. From the beginning, MWR in general has always treated me really well. The effort I put in comes back to me.,” said Cobb.

“I like what I’m doing very much,” said Cobb, who has worked for Automotive Skills for more than a decade – first in Mainz-Kastel and then at the current operation on Clay North. “I like to serve people. I’ve always liked helping people in any way I can.”

“I’m an Army brat – I grew up over here,” Cobb said. The 52-year-old who was born as a U.S. citizen in Panama where his U.S. military father was stationed (in between tours in Germany and Vietnam), grew up in Germany, attended DoDDS and German schools before earning his automotive mechanics degree in Hanau, Germany.

“I learned on Suburus from 1986-89 while earning my mechanics degree,” said Cobb, explaining that working for AAFES for 20 years after that gave him the opportunity to work on and learn about a wide variety of vehicles.

“It was one of the best times ever,” said Cobb, explaining that he had a chance to work on everything from Fords to Chevrolets. When new cars came out, we had to learn how to fix them – such as repairing different transmissions.”

He also received continuous training – such as taking welding classes. “That’s how you get the experience – learning by doing,” he said.

Helping people in need is just part of his approach to life. “I’ll stop sometimes when I see a Soldier whose car has broken down and needs help.”

“Sometimes the job is challenging,” he said, trying to find the best way to assist a customer. “Customers have come in crying,” he said, “but I tell them don’t cry over a car – I’m going to help you. … I’m always open-hearted. If we can’t help them (such as a complicated vehicle computer issue), we’ll refer them to a host-nation service provider.”

“John is probably one of our best customer service guys,” said Automotive Skills Center Manager Richard Babcock. “He’s always in a good mood – always takes the time to talk to the customer and to explain what he’s done. He’s very thorough – takes his time (to do it right).

“He’s good at defusing situations and getting things to work,” said Babcock, adding that positive Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) card feedback is a result.

The father of two children – ages 6 and 20 – has a German wife and lives in Buedingen.

“I’m going to stay here until at least my retirement,” he added.