Join Now
International Automotive Technicians Network
Posted to Emissions Forum on 6/9/2012 6 Replies

Amen, Kelly!

Danny told me that I stole your 'longest PDF' trophy with my post last week, but I didn't do it on purpose! I just couldn't help myself!

Heriberto makes many logical points, as do you. I believe that my situation more closely matches yours; I'm not the boss of my shop. I have little-to-no control over the flow of repair orders coming through my bay, and the worn-out, improperly-maintained, shoe-string-budget clunkers associated with them. I could (and do from time to time) refuse to work on or inspect the worst of the worst, but that has risks of which you are no doubt aware. These risks have taken on a new significance this year, since I am CLEARLY unemployable at ANY self-respecting shop, should I suddenly find myself hunting for work in my chosen profession.

That being said, I don't have any serious problems with my boss. He is a business man, and turning customers away (even most of the crappy ones) is bad business, especially in these hard times. I don't have access to his books, but I am 100% sure that my shop has teetered on the brink several times in the last few years; I can see it in his face and his attitude.

So, aside from feeling sorry for myself, what do I have a serious problem with? You eloquently stated most of it in the last part of your post, so I won't repeat that here. What I would like to add is a paragraph from page 9 of my PDF, and I will paste it here so you don't have to look it up again:

As an aside, is the FPR scoring formula a linear function directly based on the pass/(pass+fail) ratio of the future performances of vehicles passed by a given inspector? If it is, does that mean that to receive an FPR score of ZERO, less than 1% of the vehicles that I passed were able to pass a future inspection? Even when I consider the frequency of the occurrences of scenarios similar to the above, I become puzzled; there must be an undisclosed variable, harsh non-linearity or discontinuity in the FPR scoring function. Otherwise, my score would most certainly be non-zero.

I pride myself in being a logical person (Mr. Spock from the original Star Trek was a hero and role model during my formative years). I know my inspection situation better than anyone else on this planet, and I can state unequivocally that it is NOT logically possible for me to have a score of ZERO, based on the publicly available information provided by STAR. If this is correct, then the only logical conclusion I can see is that there is a "ZERO this scumbag out" button at STAR, and somebody clicked on it, not because my REAL FPR was semi-crappy (which I would sadly acknowlege), but because they saw something in my records that they didn't like!

So, I agree with you and Heriberto on the reasons that an FPR score can be low and how it can be improved. What pushed my anger past it's limit was the ZERO! I know that from a STAR application standpoint, ZERO and .39 aren't much different, but they are quite different to me! A .39 would tell me "You can do it, just be a little bit more hard-assed when that used car dealer or C.R.A.P. program customer comes around wth a D- specimen". A ZERO tells me "You are an incompetent, dishonest piece of s**t. Don't even waste everyone's time by trying to improve, because you obviously don't know how to properly inspect a vehicle". If the FPR scoring algorithm was a real person, I would have knocked him straight the f**k out for that!

But, since the FPR scoring algorithm isn't a real person, just God's gift to statistics directly based on a faulty premise, I will have to purSUE other less violent methods, in an attempt to get to the bottom of this ridiculous hole in which I find myself. Who knows, maybe I'll find a magic lamp down here ...

More later,

Michael Barry
Quick Stop Smog & More
Sacramento, California, USA

6 Replies Received (View Replies)