Saturday, April 14, 2007

Biz bleach

I've decided I don't like business terms. "Bottom line," "focus group," "market space," all of those. They take the edge off things. While still in college, I asked a friend what she was doing for her internship:

"I serve as a liaison between the agency and the community, offering strategic solutions for clients to help realize their full potential. What do you do?"

"Uh...I'm a reporter for the newspaper. So, really, what do you do?"

It's not that I have anything against these jobs; I just wish I knew what the hell they were doing. After all, I don't tell people I facilitate content transition between concept engineers and the public by constructing attention-grabbing innovations. I write headlines. Simple and to the point. Why can't everyone else do the same thing?

Of course, the opposite is also just as annoying. For example, I have a cousin in the military. He's cool. But just try even casually asking him what he does, and he'll squint his eyes and say, "Oh, I can't tell you."

"At all?"
"At all."
"Chilling. Hey, want to play hide-and-seek?"
"Sure. But you'll never find me. And if you do, you'll know too much!"

Okay, so that last bit's a silly exaggeration. But if he's going to walk around in a military uniform, shouldn't he at least come up with a stock answer to fall back on? He must get asked about 300 times a day! He could simply say, "I create innovative solutions for realizing the full deployment potential of the vast resources of my company." That would satisfy most people, I think.

On the other hand, a veneer of secrecy is much cooler. And "cool" is the demographic that every market covets.

Parting thought: TV executives often talk about the significance of the 18-to-49 age market. I don't understand that. When I was 18, my dad was 49. That's not a demographic. That's a generation gap!

1 comment:

Hathor said...

Speaking like that definitely helps you get a job. Managers are impressed.