Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm smarter than you look.

I know more than you.

I know you don't want to believe it. I know it makes your already shy testicles shrink even further into your abdominal cavity. It's time to face facts though, boys: I know more than you do about cars.

Well, maybe not ALL of you, I'll give you that. But I'd say a good 19 out of 20 of you who try to show off by asking ridiculous questions then arguing with me about the answers are doing nothing more than trying to compensate for other shortcomings.

Let's break this down. You drive a minivan or an Unnecessary Truck. (I'll get to the Unnecessary Trucks later. I have much to say on that subject.) You occasionally read Motor Trend, but the last time you did anything even remotely close to being considered engine work was in high school shop class. You use the terms "all-wheel drive" and "four-wheel drive" interchangeably.

I, on the other hand, while not purporting to be the end-all be-all of automotive knowledge, am trained directly by the very engineers who design the vehicles I'm paid to discuss. I have piles upon piles of confidential technical industry information that I study for months before ever stepping on the auto show floor, including competitor info. It is my job to know this stuff, and I take that very seriously.

In short, I know more than you.

Please don't try to show off your "knowledge" when you see me on the auto show floor. Please don't try to look like a big man in front of your buddies or girlfriend. If you do, one of two things will happen: I will totally emasculate you by shutting down your stupidity in front of hundreds of people, or I will simply smile and turn on my heels while you're in the middle of your diatribe and ignore you for the rest of your visit, advising my coworkers to do the same.

We are paid to educate, not be belittled.

PS - Congrats to Ford for their double win today: 2010 NAIAS Car of the Year and Truck of the Year for the Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect.


  1. Actually, there was a time when most of the women working car shows were strictly eye candy and not product spokespeople, so while trying to show up a car show model about technology is both lame, old, and very, very cliched, you can understand why some guys do it. Not every car show model is Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny. Not that it's very noble to make someone look stupid (unless they're the Sec'y of Transportation spouting nonsense about Chrysler's innovative and exciting new products). But some guys like to do it. FWIW, they probably do the same to the men who work as product spokespeople too.

    I've been working the media previews for the Detroit, Chicago and Toronto auto shows for the past decade or so. I used to cover them for sites I published myself and now I contribute to PajamasMedia, The Truth About Cars, and I recently started working with BigJournalism.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but the truth is that while many of the models and product spokespeople are smart, some of them are indeed airheads, just pretty faces. Even many of the ones who aren't dumb, are provided with limited information. For example, if I have a question, let's say, "At the press conference they announced that all Cadillac models will have V or Platinum packages. Does that mean there will be a V version of the CTS wagon?" I know better than to ask someone working the info booth, and look for a GM/Cadillac exec or manager. BTW, the answer was a sly smile and no comment just yet.

    Obviously, not all pretty women are stupid and nor are all handsome men, but you have to admit that many of the show models, particularly the ones who are literally just standing around, weren't hired for their brains.

    You work in a crazy business that has unreasonable expectations. I was talking with one of the ladies who's working over in the Electric Avenue section, I think for an EV charging station company. She told me how the dresses with the metal plates the models were wearing over at the Chrysler/Fiat/Ferrari/Lambo stand were actually sewn on. She also said that she's considered "too fat" to get gigs like that.

    Now this is a woman that most men (except black guys who like phat butts) would think they hit the jackpot, and in your biz, she has to worry about her weight. She's 5'8 and I guessed 115-120 (tip to guys: always guess on the low side) and she told me 130.

    It's a tough gig. I'd go nuts just standing around, and while it's nice to know that people think you are nice looking, getting stared at is kind of a stressful job.

    There's a woman who's been working for Audi these past two years. Last year I remembered her face (she's exceptionally pretty, even by booth babe standards, and always ends up in the blog galleries) and asked if she'd worked for another company and she said yes it was Nissan. At Nissan she worked the information booth but at Audi she was one of the pure models. I asked her which job she liked better. She said the straight modeling job paid much better but that it was not nearly as interesting as talking to people about the cars.

    At the media previews there is no shortage of pretty women. It's not just booth babes. There are the model agency managers, most of whom are former models. There are women working in marketing and marketing is a lot like pharma sales - the job attracts beautiful people. Also, among the thousands of journalists are on-air talent from tv stations and networks. I've noticed that the foreign language stations employ really hot looking women. Finally, some of the plain old journalists are nice looking. There's a blond photographer from France that has to be close to my age (55) and is fabulous looking and always has a smile when I wish her bienvenue to Detroit. Maybe one year I'll invite her to photograph the submarine races from Belle Isle.

  2. I dunno, it sounds to me that you're progressively getting more anti-Y chromosome in your posts, which is understandable given the crude nature of most men(women can be just as bad, but men don't seem to mind as much or they're not just as vocal about it). About your rant about of knowing more about cars than most. To tell you the truth I personally am OK with that, as a matter of fact I'd expect you know what you're presenting at least and collaboration with engineers is a good thing, it's your job.

    But will also say this; my testicles haven't shrunk a millimeter into my abdominal cavity while accepting the fact you posses such engineering knowledge, I'm pretty comfortable in where my kowledge base stands. I also fear too that you've lost hope in the respectful gentleman, or at least it seems. So, I'd like to take this opportunity apologize for the misbehaviors of most men,I too strongly feel some deserve NO pardon. That said, please don't bunch us all up as selfish monsters.

  3. Ex Hummer Product Specialist

    She's right we were paid to have deep and everflowing knowledge on our 'new' product and its 'direct' competitors. But it has its limits. I was not paid to diagnose why your timing chain it knocking constantly. Why yes hummer is a bit upscale, but i have no idea we you would think is closest competitor would be an Acura MDX. No I do not know why YOU THOUGHT you could go through a mountain trail w/ 22" aftermarket rims that where not purchased through Goodwrench. So while i am soo sorry for your ignorance on the go-everywhereness of this vehicle, I do have a Yes for you. 'Yes, you voided your warranty'

  4. Nothing like a website from yet another conceited model who thinks they are better than everyone else. Glad you found time to speak your peace.

  5. Reading through a couple of your posts, thanks to another blog, I have to say: I like you! You have some frustrations, but all considering, I think you're doing a marvelous job in writing this blog. Keep up the good work!

  6. I wish there were more women that were enthusiastic/knowledgeable about cars. It's an interesting social question. Perhaps track days would become much less of a sausage fest.

  7. The tesla guy is an asshole and needs to be castrated. Not just because he is driving an all electric car that goes "pussss eeeee" as it takes off on the green light, but because he hits on everything that moves. Total loser with hair plugs.

  8. You don't much seem to like men. I wonder if there was some past trauma? While you're ostensibly writing about cars, this business about testicles and shortcomings just comes across as a wicked case of jealousy.


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