It’s one thing for a roadside technician to come fix your car and get you on your way, it’s another for that technician to help ensure your vehicle doesn’t fail you again. But that’s precisely what AAA’s battery technician Jeff Waterman does, imparting the automotive knowledge he’s acquired over his 12 years of experience to each and every member he comes across.
“The most rewarding part of being a battery tech is being able to help our members by troubleshooting and providing a solution to a stressful situation,” Jeff says. “I enjoy saving our members money and giving them a crash course on their battery needs.”
And it’s been a lot of crash courses. Since starting with AAA in 2008 as a flatbed tech then a wrecker, Jeff now repairs or replaces roughly 120 batteries each year.
Why so many? Surprisingly, Jeff says the most common battery issue he sees on a daily basis is people simply not driving their car enough, a problem exacerbated by the pandemic. “I advise my members that they should make an effort to start their car at least every two to three days and letting it run for 15-20 minutes each time. Although this isn’t ideal, something is better than nothing.”
Jeff loves helping members and seeing their genuine appreciation for a tech that will go the extra mile. And you never know how far a good deed will take you. For Jeff, it took him to a local golf course. “One of my most memorable stories was on a service call from a gentleman with a battery situation on his Lexus. I discovered the key fob he was trying to use had a dead battery and when we tried using his spare key the car started! He was genuinely thankful for my help and knowledge, which was enough gratitude for me. But after chatting for a few minutes, he asked me if I like to golf, which I did, and we chatted about some local courses I played in my area. He then revealed to me that he was the owner of the Ballymeade golf course and would like to treat me and buddies to a round of golf. I had just bought my house and I owed my friends for all their help, so this was the perfect way to repay them.”
Golf isn’t the only game Jeff is familiar with – he’s also a skilled pool player. You can often find him participating in various pool leagues throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island…and sometimes Las Vegas. “In May of 2019 I went to Vegas for a doubles tournament and won the whole thing!”
The games will soon be taking a backseat for Jeff, however. “I am expecting my second child, a boy, at the end of July and can’t wait! My daughter, who is two, born on Valentine’s Day, has brought me a new kind of joy in life and I love every second of it.”
Do you know when to replace your car battery? Members can make an appointment to have their batteries tested for free, and if necessary, purchase a new one on the spot. Visit AAA.com/Battery to find out more.