Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Brother P-Touch: Organized Lying To Dodger Fans

This isn't quite a "Things I Don't Understand," as I now understand how the Brother P-Touch (a line of handheld label-printing machines) can make such an outlandish claim on its radio commercial (which has played through the Dodgers' radio broadcasts this second half of the season).

In the advert, the person being "interviewed" (as if it were a radio interview show) notes that office disorganization causes a horrific amount of lost productivity, citing some study that says vanilla points like "people don't like a disorganized workplace" and "people believe a disorganized workplace is unprofessional." But the clinching point mentioned in the ad—the point that elicits gasps of shock and awe from the "studio audience," is this one:

So let me get this straight. According to this "white paper", each worker is losing an entire work week looking for misplaced items. This is absurd. I mean, my desk is a frickin' disaster zone, with stacks of papers and half-empty coffee cups everywhere, and I sure as hell can find anything I need in two to three minutes' time--and I don't need a label machine to help me find it. I don't even know if it would take longer than a couple of hours to go through my entire office, desk drawers and file cabinets and credenzas and bookshelves included. How could one lose an entire WEEK?

What items could these workers possibly be losing such that they're spending time looking for this lost item? Their special pencil with the troll doll on the end? Their red stapler? The percentage key on their keyboard? Their religion? There simply aren't enough proprietary objects that could cause the loss of a week's worth of productivity.

But read the fine print on their website, one can quickly glean how they get to this preposterous claim (bold emphasis mine):

Formula: Census: # of people who identified themselves as a full-time management, professional sales or office professional. […]

Average minutes per day spend looking for misplaced items in the office and on the computer: 19

Aha. The "time spent looking for misplaced items" includes people looking for things on the computer. Sort of like…googling for a website. Or locating a soft copy document. In other words, things that can't be better located with a stupid laminated label-making machine.

The "cost of disorganization" is miniscule relative to the cost of shoddy "research" and advertising ridiculous, unsubstantiated claims. Go stick a label on that, Brother.

20 comments:

Fred's Brim said...

anybody seen my innocence? I know I left it around here somewhere...

Fred's Brim said...

It was right next to my self respect, but that seems to have gone missing too.
Dammit.

Fred's Brim said...

along those lines, the SOSG banner picture of the urinal toughs doesn't appear often enough

MeanieBreanie said...

Oh my god, why don't you start a blog on truth in advertising or corporate productivity or lack thereof and report related news on that.

On a serious note, I so relate. There are times my desk can look like absolute disaster and yet there is method in the madness. Those of us who operate this way know exactly where everything is. The people at Brother assume we are complete and total morons.

Fred's Brim said...

what kind of name is Brother, anyway?
I'm sticking with my Okidata...

Steve Sax said...

@FB 7:24a: if you look closely in the urinal trough banner picture, you can see SoSG Pedro sleeping in it

Fred's Brim said...

he has taking the vote pretty hard, hasn't he? maybe we should do something for him, to cheer him up

Steve Sax said...

Should we get Mr Customer to slip him the salami?

Fred's Brim said...

it's worth a try!

rbnlaw said...

I had to get rid of my Brother P-Touch. I couldn't see anything on my computer screen for all the labels.

Steve Sax said...

Thinking about how we could organize the Dodgers clubhouse with the p-touch:

Jamey Carroll should probably label his sunglasses.

Brad Ausmus should label his metamucil. Oh wait, that was GA's fiber supplement.

karina said...

Sax, the red stapler reference made my week, you rock

:)

Fred's Brim said...

I like the story that Swingline had to custom make them a red stapler as they only sold them in black before then

Spanky said...

If it wasn't for chaos and disorder,I don't know what I'd do.


@ saxy

Love the early morning surliness

Mr. Customer said...

Hey, let's not go voluteering my Salami without my expressed approval.

Steve Sax said...

@Mr C: I know I'm harping on your comment, but I have to admit I keep laughing when I think about your introduction of the term, and how it's been bastardized by sophomoric puerile minds.

Man, I love this community.

MeanieBreanie said...

Mr.C - Be grateful it's a salami and not a vienna sausage.

@FB
If your still searching for your innocence and self respect they are probably lying somewhere alongside my virginity.

(Don't know what's gotten into me today. I'm feeling rather sassy).

Mr. Customer said...

@Sax

I've gotten way more laugh mileage out of that comment than I'd hoped. Harp away

@MB

Ahahahahaha!

If you find any of your lost items, check for my dignity, por favor.

Fred's Brim said...

@MB I figured my innocence and self respect were off having fun somewhere, but I didn't realize they had found a third!

And why is dignity just watching? We should invite him in

Mr. Customer said...

Dignity - Dylan