Thursday, July 02, 2009


So do the guys at the VW dealer read 1) their email and/or the trade journals?

Currently more than 65 percent of customers who take their vehicles to a repair shop for service and repair are women. Some repair industry experts estimate that the average may actually be closer to 80 percent.

If this is the case (and my vast experience reflects this -- of the four customers waiting on repairs yesterday, three of us were women), why does the table look like this?


Yes, I am sure there are many, many women who want to read about sports and hunting and mechanics and wood shops and thank goodness there is the old standby Highlights! Of course there is Newsweek and they have made some attempt to appeal to the 17-year-old customer with a shopping magazine, InStyle, but how about something like, oh, I don't know, the trash I would never buy because I am too cheap but would be thrilled to read in a place where nobody knows me, like People or Us Weekly? Heck, I would settle for Oprah. What about Gourmet? Or Bon Appetit? You can get these magazines very inexpensively at the cheap magazine site.

I asked if they read their email because I was in this exact waiting room last winter after a treacherous journey there on snow-covered roads without snow tires, even having to roll through a red light leaning on the horn at one point because I could not stop in time (fortunately, drivers here are very understanding when they are sober) and had noticed the same problem. I had emailed the GM asking him why no women's mags? It was the same situation: almost exclusively women in the waiting room and almost exclusively men's magazines.

It's not really a problem for me, because I always take my own reading material wherever I go, but what about the poor woman who was there when I arrived? I commented loudly and longly about the situation and she nodded in agreement. I sat to read my book, happy in our solidarity, and then realized when the service manager came to get her that she spoke almost no English. Oh. Maybe that's why she wasn't reading anything. But if she were an English speaker, she would have been just as annoyed as I was. I'm sure of it.

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