"The way we set up this competition, all of the technicians have to meet standards throughout the year," Metzger says. "So we are looking at their quality and their performance on their day-to-day job. We are not looking for somebody who is flashy and can come into a high-stakes competition and put on a good show. We are looking for a technician who is a role model, who does the best job and is a great representative to our customers."

Those less tangible points of the competition require two judges who are stationed with each participant.

"When it begins it is sort of role playing," Metzger explains. "The judge is the customer and our technicians are trained to engage the customer, shaking their hand, looking them in the eye and planning the process of how this will work, what they can expect, what's the time frame. The judges are looking at that customer interaction to make sure that follows our protocol."

Each car is inspected beforehand to assess any point-subtracting damage that might be left by the replacements.

Then the task at hand is under way, with each step of the projects assessed from a list of nearly 100 elements. "During the repair process, are they removing the little particles of glass that are left behind? During a windshield replacement, the urethane they apply has to be a certain thickness," Metzger explains.

Metzger is rooting for Rene to do well this spring in Spain, but acknowledges it will be tough to prevail.

"In the competition, there are always variances," she says. "The car that is being used, for example, as some are more difficult than others. A technician might have a great day or he might be a little but jet-lagged and have a bad day. But we have high hopes for him."

-- Written by Joe Mont in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joe Mont.

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