APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

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We’d like to be open seven days a week again, but we’re just to slow to hire someone, but just to busy in the back frame-building to have me sitting up front all day in case someone comes in.  But, we are slow enough to do some skill sharing, training, and lots of theory talking!

We’re offering an opportunity/apprenticeship, or three. Are you a self-motivated person that wants to learn about frame building and custom bikes? Already have some serious bike skills? Maybe even already completed the UBI frame building course? Already making ends meat, but have a decent amount of free time? Good at problem solving and thinking on your feet, and don’t need to interrupt and ask questions every five seconds? (because the whole point of this is so I don’t get interrupted by every little thing that pops up). You might be one of the people we’re looking for!

Applicants need to have at least two years of bike shop experience and be competent and capable of minor repairs, basic tune ups on all types of bikes and components systems; such as diagnosing and solving problems with index shifting, wheel truing and disk brakes. And have basic retail/people skills. References are required.

This is not a real paid position, (maybe some tips, commission, and snacks here and there, and all the privileges that come with working in a shop like employee pricing and use of the shop). What it is is an education and experience gaining opportunity. If we get really busy we might be able to turn this into a full time or paid position, but don’t hold your breath.

We’d still like to do most of the customer interactions and builds/repairs for our custom customers, but would like someone hanging out up front to help with simple sales and repairs. As much as I like all the great people that walk in the shop, I just can’t have my concentration broken over and over again throughout the day and get all the time consuming behind the scenes work done that has to get done to keep us hanging on; at lease not without a premature stress related death.

Duties would include showing people how to use the pump, answering basic questions from walk in customers, ringing people up for lights and locks ect., fixing flats and basic small repairs and occasional tune ups (entertaining/dealing with phone calls and window shoppers). If it actually gets busy with several people that need repair estimates or choosing components/accessories I’ll be there to hop up and help out with the complicated stuff, or if anyone has questions or needs info on custom bikes I’ll take over. You’ll never be at the shop alone, or responsible for running the whole place or opening/closing.

We also have Stoic Wheels in house, so all things wheel related get pushed of to him, most of the time. He’ll probably be willing to show you stuff too when he’s not busy.

What we’re thinking is it could work something like this: you’d make a commitment for whatever hours/days you can be in the shop every week, and stick to them just like a real job. That could be Tue and Thursday from noon to 4, or Mon-Friday 5-8, or just all day Wednesday; whatever as long as it’s consistent and we can plan around them.

It’s pretty slow most of the time so you could do homework, read books or our extensive back stock of Bicycle Quarterly, or work on line, or any other sort of little work you can do while in the shop, (We have room, so you can bring in your sewing machine if you make bike hats or bags, ect). Yes, you can sell your products and use part of the store front as your own if you’re making stuff and organized!

We’re not going to ask you to do any busy work and don’t believe in the “if you have time to lean you have time to clean” traditional employer employee sort of thing, because it isn’t a job. If you feel like sweeping up or cleaning/organizing all the better and totally appreciated, but not required. It’s an opportunity to learn and gain experience, not a real job job. Some walking around money maybe, but not enough to pay the rent. Really best for someone with a part time job that pays their bills or students with financial aid income/independent income.

And we will sneak in education-based activities, such as advanced bike mechanic theory, custom bike theory and planning, introduction and some practice and experience frame building, polishing, and pretty much whatever else it is we do around here that you’re interested in learning about. And some compensation through a commission/percentage of billable labor and parts/accessories sales.

We think this would be perfect for a former full-time bike mechanic going back to school but looking for something to do and wanting to learn about frame building and custom bikes. I know I would have killed for an opportunity like this while in school, and especially after completing UBI’s frame building course.

We don’t discriminate based or age, race, gender or any other characteristics, but we do have requirements on experience/interest in learning/meeting our needs and people’s attitudes (don’t be an entitled tool, full of excuses or be an egotistical know it all bike bro). No dress code, but clothes must be reasonable for a retail/shop business, and basic hygiene is required. Sorry no flakes, slobs and procrastinators. This is not an entry level no experience required position. Applicants need to be self-motivated and really want to learn and know all this stuff and be planning on doing what we do!

Please email me a one to two-page essay/letter explaining why you would be perfect for one of these apprenticeship positions, references are required, resumes couldn’t hurt.

 

Starmichael@northercycles.com