Monday, February 18, 2013

Show and Tel

Have you ever met that person who always tells you how in love they are with their boyfriend or girlfriend?

“Ooooh… we’re so glad we met each other. Every day together is a moment we cherish. Nobody, ever, in the entire history of the world, been in love as much as we are.”

Have you ever met that company that always tells you how great their customer service is?

“Ooooh… we value you so much as a customer. Every customer is a beautiful gem that we cherish. Nobody, ever, in the entire history of the world, has cared about their customers as much as we do.”

Those sound similar? It’s because they’re basically the same person. For instance:

You only hear it from one side of the relationship.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m sitting there listening to someone yammer about how bountiful the love is between them and their partner, I can be pretty sure that when the other person walks into the room they’re more likely to start a conversation about Corn Nuts than about their relationship. Ditto with corporations. If I use a company who advertises their excellent customer service there’s a much better chance that mentioning their name will cause me to verbally illustrate some innovative ways they can pleasure themselves in a barnyard than there is that I’ll start singing their virtues. I’m looking at you Comcast.

The person is under the delusion that saying something is the same as having something.
Look, I can tell you I have a pony. I can tell you how I ride her to work, and how I brush her hair every morning, and feed her fresh oats by hand, and how it’s the best way to get to work ever. But that’s not the same as physically having a pony. It's a mental construct, which is not the same thing as actual stuff. To get "stuff", you need to work hard and acquire it. No shortcuts. Telling me about your fantastic customer service is going to fix your broken company at about the same rate that imaginary pony will get me to work. But you know what will fix your customer service? Actually trying to reduce my wait time on that 45 minute phone call to Bangalore. As for your relationship, well, if you’re busy telling me everything’s perfect there's a damn good chance you’re ignoring things things that do need work.

Ex marks the spot.
A 5 minute conversation with anyone who’s ever been in a relationship with them in the past is probably going to react the same way: "Yeaaahhhhh... not sure I'm buying it."

Ever watched the show “How I Met Your Mother”? AKA, “The Creepiest Show Ever”? Seriously… what is wrong with this Ted guy? Hey, I enjoy the show. It’s funny, entertaining, and they make good Canada jokes. Nobody laughs at Canada jokes more than Canadians. But let’s think about this analytically: The premise of this show is that he’s telling these stories to his son and daughter! What??? Can you imagine your dad telling you this stuff?

“Oh man, did I ever bang your aunt silly…”
“Did I ever tell you about the time I nailed two girls at once?”
“Your Uncle Barney… honestly, I don’t know how he isn’t dead of syphilis. Here, let me tell you about 247 of his one-night-stands…”
“Robyn Robyn Robyn Robyn Robyn. Robyn Robyn, Robyn Robyn Robyn. Robyn…”

Seriously, they should have named this show “How I Settled For Your Mother”.

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