Scan the boards here,O'Reillys seems to be staffed by no nothings that could care less.Now that they are expanding their dynasty into New England,more people can experience the "Irish curse"....lol
I've worked at JCPenny auto, Montgomery Ward auto, Autozone, O'Reilly and others. The real problem is that the corporations are squeezing payroll and expanding hours to become retail - not commercial like an HVAC, electrical, or plumbing supplier. With NO service stations, and a growing population of young males with no father at home, the DIY crowd has gotten a lot less knowledgeable about things. The only saving grace is the internet.
In the case of ANY national chain store, as long as they keep hiring warm bodies off the street, and promoting those with more manipulative social skills, you won't get expertise. In the parts business, knowledgeable people aren't really all that socially adept - if they were, they'd be selling aluminum siding or life insurance, right? What I see are other corporate ladder climbers coming over to net another retirement - the last one I saw internally was from the MEDICAL SALES EQUIPMENT field. He had shrewd bullying tactics, knew how to belittle people to make a point, and had already risen in the chain to become a field trainer.
It's not just countermen at an auto parts store who are idiots.
I recently bought a suit at JC Penney, and opened an account for the discount. The clerk typed in the wrong zip code, my bill never reached the house for three months. All I got was a call from GE Credit complaining I wasn't paying, and they didn't fix the problem. I had to go online to correct things, wrote a letter asking to remove the charges. So far it's cost me another $100 - $25 a month - in late fees for a $67 suit on sale. I'll have to refund it to break even.
Very small typo on the part of the clerk, and corporate is just too bungling to fix it. Before anyone wants to go out on a limb and start snarking about who is working where, let's all agree that a lot of nice people are doing the best they can at their job, but nobody's perfect.
If you want a better level of service, start getting selective about who you have wait on you, and be prepared to give some respect to get some respect. The "I haven't a clue, no idea how to fix your problem" is usually reserved for arrogant high maintenance customers who are demanding service above and beyond. I've seen it done for years by dozens of others, and frankly, it speeds up the line at the counter pretty quickly. How did I learn about it?
I was the guy. After a few brushes with "Can't help you, sorry" I found someone who would give me a minute to hear my request, and continued to go back to that one guy, to the obvious and clear relief of his fellow workers.
Now I work with him and try to shield him from it as much as possible, but there's just too many now who wont' have anyone else wait on them. And being at the same location four years, I'm starting to pick up a crowd, too. It doesn't hurt to have a Bachelors in Mgt Tech, Asc in Auto Tech. But, note carefully - I'm still on the front counter. Knowledge of car tech means nothing in store management or corporate politics, those are something else entirely. But management does know how to keep employees in a productive position - simply do not promote them, keep their nose to the grindstone.
So, be prepared - as a chain gets bigger in size, they get a different corporate culture, and it becomes a lot like all the others. For someone to get into a better position, they have to move off the counter, and there are no skilled experienced workers to replace them. As the career field itself ages, there is less incentive to enter it - and the people getting hired into it are selected for their sales skills in getting another item on the ticket - NOT in diagnosing or understanding automotive drive trains.
It's not going to get any better, so if you do find a competent counterman, don't abuse him, he has less incentive every day to stay on as it is. With a 25 cent a year raise not even matching inflation, the average counterman earns less than a new PFC in the Army. So, don't expect things to get better, because simple economics shows it can't. Corporations aren't hiring the people YOU want to have to wait on you - because they want profit, and you want the Low Price Guaranteed.
So, you are getting exactly what you pay for.