Having the name John Baker seems like it should be rather simple for people to get it right. I despise standing in a crowded room (usually at a doctors office) and having a receptionist yell out, Don Baxter, Ron Becker, or even worse.
Advertisers are no better than the receptionists as they too seem to be notorious for working with skewed data. Some time ago I served an Appalachian hospital as a dietary director. The first few years all correspondence addressed to me stated, John A. Baker, Dietary. However like the characters in the movie ‘Multiplicity’, the more the information was shared, the worse my name got butchered. By the third year I was receiving mail addressed to John A Baker, Dictary. Just before I departed that job, I was actually getting mail addressed to Joan B. Dictary. Even now as an inside joke my wife calls me Joan.
Today it appears all marketing firms conduct business from the same play book. Don’t any of these firms research their target recipient? Anybody who knows me can bet that I am not a candidate who likes heights. In fact I hate them so much, I married a woman who is only five feet tall. If my mailbox gets a flyer for a hot air balloon ride, zip-line adventure, or bungee jumping event, you can be sure the brochure will find itself lining the first gerbil cage I can find.
I learned the hard way, don’t buy your wife a gift of hand lotion or perfume from a store that also sells woman’s intimates; the store will mess up your information then share their skewed data. The store must have sold my name to other catalog companies because within weeks, I was inundated and scratching my head. Some of these catalogs were as misguided as a Ham of the Month Club being sent to the Goldstein Family. The new catalogs reminded me of going into a computer store and being overwhelmed with all the gadgets, jargon, and accessories. I’m a simple man and I want to keep it that way. If the catalog model on the product cover looks like Cat Woman and the Orkin Man had a child, I’d recommend staying away from it.
I’m not interested in political t-shirts unless they come bullet proof, I certainty don’t need a Tractor and Farm Supply catalog since I don’t own a ranch and my wife hasn’t doubled her weight since we got married. And last but not least I really don’t need AARP, a Whisper 2000 hearing aid or a “Granny Launcher” (the electric arm chair that pops up in your living room).
Wouldn’t you want to receive a catalog on how to purchase a gadget that remotely shuts off blaring car radios next to you at the stoplight? Or a catalog that sells lie detectors that you can point at someone and know if they are trying to pull one over on you? Now that’s the kind of stuff I’d like to buy. I did receive two items on the same day this week that did offer me hope. It seemed very logical. I received a Victoria Secret catalog with a flyer for Globe Life Insurance. Now this makes sense! At the age of 53 if I dared open the first one, I’d most likely need the latter.