Monica Thompson is currently Junior Web Producer for the custom truck sites of Primedia’s digital Truck Group. She focuses on Sport Truck Magazine and Mini Truckin’ Magazine, as well as Truckin’ Magazine
when needed. During the day, she works on original content, putting
magazine articles online, posting show coverage, forums, newsletters,
blogs, and anything else that viewers will hopefully enjoy.
ASK PATTY: What are the challenges for you as a women working in the automotive industry?
Monica: Primarily, there is just so much to know, so I am realizing that there is no way to know everything. I have to re-align my expectations of myself, and take it one day at a time. A second challenge is that the automotive industry is primarily guys, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. While most of the time they think a girl in the industry is a good thing, I do come across some who are completely opposed to the idea and really don’t dig it at all. So really it can be hot and cold – just because you’re a girl they’ll like you, or just because you’re a girl they won’t like you. It can be hard sometimes to completely ignore gender differences and just focus on the job, because when it comes down to it, I don’t want to be treated like “just anther guy.” I am a woman, and I want to be respected and treated like a woman. But at the same time, I don’t want the extra attention, pressure, and expectations of “being a girl.” So when guys look at me like a “dude” or “bro,” I think, “hello, I’m a girl.” But when they make any reference to anything sexual, I think, “Eww, you sicko.” I see how ironic this is, and really, I’ve just learned to recognize it and just keep a sense of humor. Speaking of humor, there is a joke that I got a kick out of: “Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” -Charlotte Whitton. Along these same lines, I get disgusted by the exploitation of girls in the automotive industry, and how receptive guys are to this. It’s frustrating when you could have an “automotive” magazine, with no cars and all girls, and it would probably be a bigger hit. I don’t want to see girls everywhere, because I don’t think it’s good for guys. That’s just my belief.
ASK PATTY: Can you tell me a little bit about your job working with the Truck magazines at Primedia?
Monica: The bottom line is that it’s a dream come true. Years ago, I used to think it over in my head, but always came to the conclusion that something like that could never happen to someone like me. I guess I was at the right place at the right time, and I’m excited to see where it takes me. There is so much I want to do, but only so many hours in a day, and I really don’t want to get burned out. My main concern working with the Truck Group is that I don’t want my passion, my hobby, to turn into “just a job,” or become burdensome. I want to always stay enthusiastic and passionate. I have no background in “Web Stuff.” I went to school for Criminology and Social Ecology. However, I am really enjoying this fresh experience in the fun, energetic world of website production. I like that at the end of the day, work becomes visible in the form of a website, which others can then enjoy (or at least give me feedback on). The ability to make changes that I think viewers would like is really exciting. Sometimes a task will be tedious, but knowing that the viewers are going to dig it really makes a difference. How do I know if they’ll dig it? Because I am truly just an average, regular mini trucker, who loves shows and hanging out, and who tries not to get busted by cops for vehicle modifications. My truck breaks down just like the others, and my adventure with trucks started when I was 16, just like many others. I’ve looked at these Primedia publications for years, just like everyone else. To be on the “other side” is truly an amazing experience that I certainly do not take for granted.
ASK PATTY: What, if any, are the big changes you are seeing today in how vehicles are being marketed to women?
Monica: That’s a good question, and no big changes stand out to me. Perhaps in a sporty, stylish, adventurous, high horsepower, yet sexy and feminine type of way.
ASK PATTY: Tell me about your most recent personal experience buying a vehicle. What vehicle did you buy, and why did you buy?
Monica: My most recent,
and only, personal experience buying a vehicle was my 1999 Chevy S-10
in 2000. Understand that I still have this truck today, and my family
doesn’t exactly go through cars – we keep them for way too long. I knew
I wanted a truck, a cheap truck, and that was about it. I saw this
particular truck on the lot, and for whatever reason, knew it was the
one. No joke. It was dirty and off in a corner by itself, and somehow I
knew it was reasonably priced before I even asked. We returned the next
day and bought it. I remember biting my tongue in anticipation as my
dad got an offer, only for him to immediately shake his head and say,
“Not a chance. No way.” Well it looked good to me! Little did I know
then that dad was playing the game, just like I would now.
ASK PATTY: What is one piece of “good” advice you would you give women before they buy a new vehicle?
Monica: This first thing that came to mind this: Don’t go to the grocery store hungry, and don’t go buy a new vehicle hungry. We all know that when you go grocery shopping hungry, everything looks irresistible, and your will power to say no vanishes. You get home with all this “stuff” that looked darn good, but that you didn’t intend on buying. Well, for buying a new vehicle, don’t have your heart so set on one particular vehicle that you’d give anything to have it; don’t be so hungry for it you can’t walk away and say no. Set boundaries before hand; do your homework beforehand, and don’t settle for an impulsive “deal” because you didn’t have boundaries to go by. Say no, and mean no, no matter how hungry you are, until you get exactly what you want. Of course you don’t want to say no, but you have to.
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