Do you ever feel like what we do for a living is meaningless? Face it, we don’t cure disease or put out fires or anything but is what we do really worthwhile?

If you’ve ever thought that what we do doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, think again.

After last month’s CarWash College Tip was published, I received an email from a reader named Gemma Nash. Below are excerpts from her email:

“It wasn’t until I was 35 that I met my husband, Frank, a teacher. We didn’t exactly rush to have kids; I had my first child, Jamie, when I was 38. My impending fear of two separate toddlerhood’s and my advancing age meant that we had our second child, Mia, soon after, when I was 40. Mia, who is now three, missed the terrible twos and decided to ‘express her character’ this year, in the form of loud, high-pitched, ear-destroying screams and sometimes, putting her in a ‘quiet spot’ doesn’t exactly encourage her to pipe down when she is having a tantrum. This is when I head for the car wash.

As an academic (I teach Art History part-time), I hardly cared much about the car I drove; my last car was a sight for sore eyes, constantly breaking down and hardly worth even the minimal compulsory third-party insurance I was paying for it. When I had the kids, I gave in to pressure from my husband and parents and we purchased an SUV, which regardless of its enormous size always seems too small for my kid’s bags, books, toys, candy wrappers, etc. Needless to say, my car is always in tip top condition on the outside, shining and gleaming like there was no tomorrow, owing to the frequency with which I head for the carwash (once a tantrum, to be exact). I know the books say that tantrums should be ignored, but Mia’s can last for an hour and a car wash only lasts five minutes.

During tense moments, I pop both toddlers in the car and head for the car wash, almost literally across the road. Forget those ‘do it yourself’ type set-ups, with hand jets. I always go whole hog and opt for gold standard drive-in car washes, since the kids love sitting inside the car while the enormous brushes move up, down and sideways, filling the windows with soapy suds before rinsing them off and leaving the car in a spanking clean state. The best thing about the car washes is watching the expression on my kids’ faces; they always seem surprised and overjoyed, despite the fact we have been there many times before. Jamie is obsessed with the mechanics behind the process while Mia, ever the perfectionist, looks for spots the machine misses and finishes the job at home!

Our fun car wash experiences remind me that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for moms and dads when it comes to tantrums. It is important, I feel, to be creative and to find ways to distract kids in ways that are fun for you as well. When I am really tired, I take the opportunity to listen my favorite song while the car is being washed and even those five minutes are perfect when disconnecting from the world is required. Somehow, I think the car wash across the road will always have a faithful customer in me, and that even when the dreaded day arrives and my kids leave home, I will always associate car washes with relaxation, joy, and a ‘surreally’ good time.”

Pretty powerful huh?

Read that last line again, “I will always associate carwashes with relaxation, joy, and a ‘surreally’ good time.”

Did you ever think you could have that profound an influence on someone? If Gemma feels that way, how many others out there feel the same about our industry? Dozens? Hundreds?? Thousands???

What we do DOES matter. Granted, it’s not rocket science or eradicating Ebola, but it’s important in its own way.

Feel good about yourselves Car Wash Nation and remind your customers, it’s cheaper to take your kids to the car wash than to a therapist!


Bob Fox is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.