Saturday, January 8, 2011

Stats Class Helps Us All

Interior- A modernly designed business conference room.  A large oak table is surrounded by business chairs, each filled by a smartly dressed employee. One man, the Boss, sits at the head of the table, looking down at Johnson, who is giving a presentation.

Johnson- (As if finishing a long report)… And that’s why I believe, sir, that this product is not ready to release to market. The reports we got from our marketing sector show that profits would be outweighed by the costs of production and distribution.

Boss- Thank you, Johnson.

Johnson- Yes sir. Marketing sent over some transcripts from the focus groups we conducted concerning our proposed ad campaigns.

Boss- Yes? What did these focus groups recommend?

Johnson- More rape.

Boss- (Incredulous) Excuse me? Did you just say-

Johnson- Yes sir. More rape. The focus groups believe our ad campaigns did not contain enough rape subtext.

Boss- I’m afraid I don’t understand.

Johnson- Here, let me read you a recommendation- (reading) “In your commercial for decorative china, I believe more product would be moved if the television watcher were present with a clear message- buy the china or get raped.”

Boss- Uh…

Johnson- Oh no, it continues. (reading) “Frankly I found myself uninterested and was thinking of something else other than the commercial even before it was over. To keep my attention, I think a reasonable technique would be to include some rape.”

Boss- Is that all?

Johnson- (Looks at sheet) Yes sir, it seems to be.

Boss- Frankly-

Johnson- I know sir but he includes a disclaimer. (Reading from bottom of page) “The rape doesn’t have to be overt, and can instead be implied.” (Squinting as if reading very fine print) “Also, everyone should be in wheelchairs.”

Boss- (Turning to Blocker, an employee to his left) Blocker. Does this seem to be the consensus in our focus groups?

Blocker- Yes sir. It was unanimous.

Boss- Unanimous? That’s extremely hard to believe. Where did we collect these participants?

Blocker- (Checking documents) The 7th street bus terminal, sir.

Boss- We got all these people from the bus terminal?

Johnson- Actually sir, we picked up only one man from the bus stop, as he was the only one who was willing to participate.

Boss- I see. Well Johnson, you’re fired.

Johnson- Sir?

Boss- It's time I taught you a lesson about sample sizes. Get your things and get out. Now. (Johnson picks up papers and briefcase, straightens tie, and leaves room.) (Boss turns to Blocker, who looks afraid.) Blocker, you’re in charge of this project now.

Blocker- (Blocker visibly relaxes, no longer afraid of being fired) Yes sir, thank you sir. Where should we go from here?

Boss- Well call Creative and get them working on this (air quotes) “rape” angle.

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