Thursday, February 21, 2013

What do you do?

It's par for the course at some of the bigger meetings were charged with attending that someone suggests we all "go around the table and introduce ourselves."

This is a nauseating process for many reasons, not the least of which is its pro-forma unctuousness. Usually however, I learn something about the people I'm sharing the table with.

There are those, for instance, who say their whole titles, they utter things like "I'm a group executive associate creative director." That "description" of course leaves you with no idea what these people actually do all day. I much prefer the people in the room who say something simpler, like "I'm a copywriter."

In any event last night I took Whiskey, my ten-month-old golden retriever, into the dog run that is not far from my apartment house. I was standing next to a young lady who promptly let out an old lady's sigh.

"Tough day at work?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said.

"I recognize the sigh." I responded. "What do you do?"

"I'm a marketing strategist for the MTA."

Hearing that, I wondered what does a marketing strategist for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority do?

Do you strategize about the circled numbers and letters that indicate train lines? Maybe the IRT should be blue and the BMT red?

Do you do double-blind studies that conclude that trains should run on time and actually be well-lit?

We have "double-speaked" our business and our lives to the point of oblivion.

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