Published: 12:00 AM, Sun Oct 02, 2011

It's My Job: Amy Bass, customer service at Black's Tire & Auto

 Each Sunday, we profile a worker on the job in the Cape Fear region. Today, it's Amy Bass, a customer service representative at Black's Tire & Auto.

Age: 33

Employer: Black's Tire & Auto Service

What are your duties working the front desk of a tire and auto service business? "I do everything. I sell tires, give service, give estimates on vehicle needs, phone orders, pull tires. I do not change a tire, but I can change oil."

What do you like about it? "It's something new every day. It's different. I enjoy working with the public. They're a lot of fun."

Have you always been into cars? "Yes, I have. My dad and my brother and my ex-husband were all mechanics. I've been in this business. I worked for Briggs and Sons (Tire) 10 years ago at this same location. I left and worked in accounting. I just came back to Black's Tire about two months ago. I actually missed it. The job I had in accounting was behind a desk in an office, and I didn't have that exposure with the public. I missed dealing with people."

Is being friendly and helpful part of your nature? "I think so. When I go to a grocery store, I always say, 'Thank you' to the cashier. I make people smile. I try to treat others the way I want to be treated."

What's probably the biggest misconception that people have about auto repair shops? "Well, I think a lot of times they think we're out to get them. That we want to sell them something they don't need. If there's anything we can do to fix the vehicle the least expensive way possible, we'll do it the least expensive way possible. We want customers to come back happy."

What's it like being the only female working at the business? "The gentlemen I work with are like my brothers. They're not sexist at all. It's better for me to work here in an environment of all males. One female is perfect. Sometimes customers don't really trust the men. They're more relaxed with me."

Do you ever encounter male customers who seem to have a problem dealing with a woman behind the counter? "I do, but once they learn, it's OK. I talk to them and explain that I am knowledgeable. I ask questions and prove I'm knowledgeable."

Growing up, what did you want to do with your life? "I wanted to be a nurse."

- Michael Futch