Theone Groover says his colleagues at Garber are like 6 o’clock.
“They’re straight up and down, like the hands on a clock,” he laughed. “Legit. Good people. They’re straight up.”
Theone, or “T”, as he often goes by, has worked as a sales consultant at Garber-owned Hilton Head for 10 years.
He spends his days on the sales floor, but T doesn’t say it’s stressful. In fact, it’s fun. The hours aren’t bad, either.
“It’s not stressful, and the hours are great,” he said. “I once worked in Atlanta and we had to work real late; I’d get home at 10:45 p.m. It’s not like that here at Garber. This is the sweet end of the deal. Most places are open until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m., but we close at 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It’s great that we can go home and be with our families. I remember when I used to have to work on the Fourth of July. At Garber, it was the first time I had it off. That was so nice. I was like, ‘Wow. I have a life.’”
Whether it’s being around his “6’oclock” colleagues or putting in hours on the job, the time is always right for Theone at Garber.
Stumbling into a Future
In college, Theone’s dream was to play in the NBA. But he was no stranger to the automotive world.
“My dad got into the car business when I was 14 or 15,” he said. “But as for me, I stumbled into it.”
In 1979, Theone was playing basketball and studying computers at Sacramento State College. But when his girlfriend got pregnant, Theone knew he needed to save money to help support his family.
Theone and his girlfriend got married, and he got a part-time job detailing cars while also working at the local hospital. He had plans to go into nursing…but the dealership General Manager had another idea.
“I was working part-time detailing cars and the General Manager took a liking to me and asked about coming up front and giving sales a shot,” Theone said. “Forty-one years later, and here I am.”
For the next several decades, Theone worked at a total of eight different dealerships selling cars. He was hooked.
But when he found Garber, he was cemented. He found a company where he thrived.
‘We Don’t Put a Band-Aid on a Gun Wound Here’
Just like stumbling into the automotive industry, Theone said working at Garber wasn’t intentional at first, either.
“I stumbled into working for Garber too,” he said. “I worked for a Cadillac dealership until ‘09 when they closed it. I came over here in October 2011, and then Garber acquired the dealership. I was here when Garber took it over and I stayed with them.”
Once Garber began leading the charge, Theone said he could notice the difference. Suddenly, he had more time to live a full life.
“At Garber, I have more ‘me time,’” he said. “I can go to the gym. I can see my family. I have more of a life.”
He said the culture at Garber is much less stressful.
“It’s a great vibe at Garber,” he said. “If it was stressful here, I’d have gone a long time ago. The vibe is real laid back. Management is more than fair. They go above and beyond to help with the customer and close deals and take care of the customer after the sale.”
Along with doing what he loves to do, Theone he feels supported and encouraged.
“I feel very supported here; I like the management here,” he said. “They don’t dodge a bullet or pass it; they confront it and try to get a resolution. We don’t put a Band-Aid on a gun wound here.”
It’s that honest, supportive leadership at Garber that encourages Theone and deepens his belief in the company.
“I’ve worked for eight dealerships, and what sets Garber apart is the management staff,” he said. “The people I work with are enthusiastic and have more energy than the other places. People are honest here. You don’t have to lie, cheat, or steal to sell a car here.”
At the end of the day, employees and customers alike can expect fairness and honesty with Garber.
“I’ve learned how Garber shows fairness with employees and shows concern for their employees,” he added. “They try to keep a good vibe with employees…not just the sales staff, but the entire dealership. Here, everyone cares: from the shop to the technicians. I’ve been here 10 years and there isn’t a high turnover. People are still here that were here when I started. It’s a good place to be.”
First concert? James Brown at the Civic Center
First car? ‘69 Buick Skylark. Canary yellow with a black top
Favorite meal? Shrimp is my favorite, or BBQ chicken, cream style corn, garden peas with rice
Describe your personality? Fantastic. Same mood all the time.
Favorite animal? Buzzard or vulture