I should start off by saying that this is in no means meant to degrade or flame auto techs in any way. It's just that I have had the recent an unique experience of being employed as both an A&P and most recently and Automotive Technician. Both positions equally challenging in their own right.
I got laid off earlier this year by a defunct regional airline. Due to the recession and lack of jobs in my preferred field of aviation, I was forced to consider a job in automotive maintenance until something in my preferred field came along. As an A&P of approximately six years, I was in for an unanticipated culture shock entering into this unfarmiliar field. The transfer from what was a skilled A&P mechanic to an inexperienced Auto mechanic has been a rather difficult experience.
Getting told that "I don't know anything", being called a "D maybe C mechanic" among other things, has been a tough pill to swallow, especially with my accomplishments and experience level in aviation.
However, I have come to realize that both jobs require similar skill levels in different areas, not all of which are very transferrable. I have found it nearly impossible to communicate or find common ground with my co-workers because of this. They are all cool guys to work with...but there is definetly a disconnect somewhere.
For example: When aan auto tech works on a car, he has both online and paper manuals that detail step-by-step troubleshooting trees for EVERY concivable system on that particular automobile. I would have KILLED for that kind of reference material when working on Beech 1900D's. While there were troubleshooting guides for some systems, the vast majority of troubleshooting involved maticulously tracing individual wires, armed with nothing more than an multimeter, pages from the WDM and some hilighters.
Anyway, this is merely a reflection from someone who has now been on both sides of the fence. Any input or comments from people who have been in a simliar situation are welcome.