On the Rise: Matthew McAllister
Service Advisor | Plantation Tire Pros | Age: 32
What was your first job in the industry?
My first job in the industry was when I was 14; I stocked oil filters at NAPA in my small hometown of Chauvin, La.
What attracted you to the industry?
I love the process of diagnosing and repairing a vehicle! I love relaying and translating the issues to the customer from the mechanic.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
The biggest challenge I have faced was when I worked for a big box chain. It was low pay and hard to keep employees. I had to do everything from work as a technician in the shop, to working as a salesperson, parts stocker, as well as accounting for security and money.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My current boss Mark has had an enormous influence on me. He is infamous in the greater Baton Rouge area and I feel very lucky to work and learn from him.
What is your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
I applied and was accepted as a member of the SAE Committee for Light Duty Vehicle Standards recently. I am overjoyed to be part of that group of great minds.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
As a service advisor I have many responsibilities throughout the day. I work at an independent shop so I wear a lot of hats here. I do fleet billing, ticket writing, help customers work within their budget, as well as help out occasionally in the shop. I also keep the coffee bar set up nicely, the best coffee in Baton Rouge, in my humble opinion.
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
“Don’t take things personally!” Working with the public for 10-plus hours a day can be draining, and if you internalize all of the complaints it can make for a bad day!
Tell us about your family.
I am my mother’s only child, but I have a sister and a brother on my father’s side. I grew up as a typical Cajun kid “Down the Bayou” as we say. Lots of fishing, hunting and general outdoor activity is typical in my family. I’m the only “city boy” because I live in Baton Rouge now.
What did you learn about yourself in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I learned patience, patience and more patience. The past year and a half has been brutal on everyone equally. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know about myself, such as how much I love going to the movies. You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.
Name a talent you wish you had.
I wish I could play the French horn, I don’t know why, but I do.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
I usually just either paint or watch YouTube videos. I like painting acrylics mostly, but I do watercolors as well.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
“ The Atrocity Exhibition” by JG Ballard
What’s your favorite, can’t-miss podcast?
I really enjoy the “Your Mom’s House” podcast by Tom Segura and Christina P.
If you won an Olympic gold medal, how would you have earned it? (You can make up a sport.)
I would win gold in waiting. I can wait for things or in lines forever. Nerves of steel, baby.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
Currently our biggest issue is getting parts and supplies needed to do our work. Precious metals and rubber are scarce, along with the fact that freight shipping raw materials has nearly tripled in price.
What advice would you give to tire dealers who are desperate to find good employees?
Pay them well, know things about them, and be selective.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
I would very much like to still be here at Plantation Tire. It is a family-owned company and my boss, Mark Tricou is a legend around Baton Rouge. He treats us fantastically as employees.