Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Out Of The Mouths Of Clients...

Part 1 in a probably very limited series.

"The blame culture here at MegaCorp* - it's all the sales director's fault."

* Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And me. Mainly me.


Stef the engineer said...

At our Director's team building event last week we decided it was his fault too! We've never hired you have we?

(Did you know if you're using a German computer blogger will throw in umlauted characters to the word verification. Very stränge!)

occasional poster of comments said...

Are you sure you didn't wander into a Dilbert cartoon?

First Nations said...

...and that, my dear, is why i garden.
it was that or take a flamethrower to work and get everyone straightened out once and for all.
gaaaaah, buzzwords! gaaaaah offices!

Annie Rhiannon said...

Client: How come it took you four hours to design a half-page ad but only three hours to design a whole page?

Me: Arrrrfghhh

Billy said...

"Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And me. Mainly me."

Did you say that then?

Rob7534 said...

It's always difficult to blog about work while trying to maintain the secret identidy.

Oh well, I suppose I should go and "drain the weazel" about now anyway! :)

patroclus said...

Stef: Eeek. Not to my knowledge, but you can never tell with the tricksy semi-anonymous World of The Blog.

OPC: My entire career has been like one long Dilbert cartoon. Oh, the stories I could tell...about interminable conference calls, and, er, product launches, and press interviews, and, well, perhaps not, eh?

FN: Flamethrower. Like it.

Annie: The customer is always right. Except on those occasions when they are both Wrong and Stupid.

Billy: No, but I have no doubt that I have said many equally idiotic things in my time. Although it wasn't me who said: "I'll fax it over to you, but I'll just make a photocopy of it for myself first".

Rob: Welcome! And, er, please don't let me stop you going about your ablutions.

Liz said...

When wearing my copy-editing hat, I've variously been told that:

1) The capital 'E' in 'English' is optional.

2) I may not change words in the copy produced by one writer, whose style is lumpen and whose vocabulary is confused and tragically small, because 'if I write a word, it's there for a reason'.

3) That 'gnome' starts with a 'k'.

4) That the people reading the products will not be clever enough to understand semi-colons, so they MUST NOT, on pain of death, be used.

I resigned last month, largely because three years' putting up this sort of idiocy is making me want to take my shoes off and throw them at people. I have only another month to go here, during which time I intend to hide as many They Might Be Giants lyrics in their grotty copy as possible. I've already managed to fit 'The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace' into a textbook. Go me.

patroclus said...

Squeezeweasel, you rock. That is exactly the kind of NONSENSE I have to put up with every day. I've never tried to get a Nick Cave lyric into a brochure about (say) invoice scanning software, but from this day forth that will be my mission.

Any other copy writers/copy editors, please feel free to share your woes here.

frangelita said...

I like the idea of cramming lyrics into copy (in my case, news stories, but hey, it's all words)

*rushes off to look at Cd covers for inspiration*

Chuffy! said...

Several years ago, on a stint writing the news bulletins for a major and respected broadcaster, I was also told not to use semi-colons and to stick to dashes as one particular newspeader would get thrown by the former.

I was also told to limit the use of the letter/phonetic 's' in any copy as it "might make her head pop".

How I longed for the day that President Pervaz Musharraf would be sent to Dar-Es-Salaam to solve the Sub-Saharan soil crisis. Or an Oscar for Sissy Spacek.

occasional poster of comments said...

>>I've never tried to get a Nick Cave lyric into a brochure about (say) invoice scanning software, but from this day forth that will be my mission.<<

Imagine a picture...

Background: office types crying in front of their computers.

Foreground: Nick Cave and small boy.

Small boy: Father, why are all the men there weeping?

NC: They are merely crying, son.

SB: O, are they merely crying, father?

NC: Yes, true weeping is yet to come...

...when they see all the great new features in Invoice-Scan 2006. Don't even look at the rest, until you've tried the best - Invoice Scan 2006*.

*Recommended by rock stars.


Well, it's more of an advert, but I couldn't resist giving it a try.

patroclus said...

New InvoiceScan 2006 comes with all of these AMAZING NEW FEATURES:

- Cellophane-wrapped box with writing and pictures on it!

- A CD-ROM installation guide that you will never use!

- Hundreds of buttons and menus that you will never use!

- Lynch mobs!

- Death squads!

- Babies being born without brains!

- User-friendly interface for maximum invoice scanning enjoyment!

Place your orders now to avoid the Christmas rush!

occasional poster of comments said...

I began to warm and chill
To objects and their fields...

...then I switched to KE Texpress and all my database management worries were over!

KE Texpress: as recommended by Nick Cave.

patroclus said...

OPC, you are *far* too good at this game. Would you like my job?

occasional poster of comments said...

Only if it involves horribly misappropriating the lyrics of spidery-limbed rockstars. And not much else. Otherwise, I might have problems.