Many years ago, Pete Kolb and Tim Chase knew each other because they were both in the electronics business in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
And Sioux Falls is not a huge town.
Pete got a job at Best Buy and, a few years later, Tim joined him there. They’ve been Autotechs together ever since — more than 26 years.
“They’re two peas in a pod,” said Alexandra LeBlanc, the store’s general manager. “There’s a lot of teamwork going on between those two.”
After working together for more than a quarter century, you get used to personalities, Pete said. “You learn what works and what doesn’t,” he said. “It’s kind of like a marriage in a way.”
Pete and Tim don’t work together all the time. They have different days off, but they are in the install bay together three days a week, helping customers hit the road with the latest technology.
“We used to do a lot of cassette players and pullout decks,” Tim said. “Now it’s remote starts and a lot of backup cameras and in-dash screens.”
“I remember my first remote start,” said Pete. “It was basically, ‘Here’s a remote start, and here’s a car. Go figure it out.’”
The pair says the key to happiness after all these years side-by-side in the install bay is working together while giving the other guy space.
“We have a lot of respect for each other,” Pete says. “We bounce ideas off each other and challenge each other.”
And they’re perfectly happy behind the scenes. Their boss found that out when she tried to get them to pose for an updated picture re-creating one from years ago.
“They didn’t want to do it,” Alexandra laughs. “They’re kind of stubborn, but they finally did it.”