Monday, June 02, 2008

#404 Tailored to Fit Your Needs

#404 Tailored to Fit Your Needs

Ever notice this in the newspaper? When they have no ads to put in the ad space, they put in a little box that says "Sell Your Stuff -- Quick! Advertise in the Daily Bugle" or "Read Walter Winchell each Weekday in the Daily Bugle?" These are called "house ads," and they're there to make the paper look busier than it is.

But newspapers aren't the only places for these. You see them in magazines -- even big magazines. "Clip this coupon and get 97.3% off the cover price."

Now, comes the phone book. Not the REAL phone book, the one that tries to look just like it. And it's loaded with house ads. Here's a favorite. "Tailored to fit your needs."

Brilliant.

Somehow, the publisher has discovered my needs and "tailored" its book just to little old me. This raises suspicion. So, time to borrow my next door neighbor's copy, to determine the differences. He's a good guy. Totally different in age, geography, skills, taste in clothing, taste in music and probably taste in food.

Guess what. His book is page for page the same as mine.

Someone goofed.

If his book is tailored to suit his needs, and mine is tailored to fit mine, and his needs are different, the books should be different, right?

Maybe it's the word "tailored" I don't fully understand.

Grandfather was a tailor. He made men's' suits in Europe at the turn of the last century. Never met the guy. But I'm told his customers thought his suits properly fit. This is what comes to mind when hearing the word "tailor."

There is a blank spot on the first shelf of the book shelf in my office. And the book fits there perfectly, maybe because I threw out last year's in the middle of the publishing cycle, because while it fit my shelf, it didn't fit my needs.

Maybe I should take the book to the local tailor here and he can fix it up by cutting out stuff I don't want and putting in stuff that I do, but which isn't there.

Seems like a lot of trouble to go through to change a phone book. Plus, then they'd have to say "CUSTOM tailored to fit your needs."

No advantage to that, except maybe custom tailored snob appeal.

Shrapnel:

--Times have changed in the banking business. Wasn't long ago, you'd ask the teller to change a single for the meter and you'd leave with four quarters and a mortgage. Now you leave with three quarters and the fourth is deducted as a service fee.

--Some banks are open on Sundays, now. A real service. Let's you cash a check to spend at the liquor store, which also is open Sundays, now.

--The Federal Reserve keeps lowering interest rates. The banks get the memo and cut the return on your certificate of deposit. But they don't read it all the way down to where it says cut the interest on your credit card.


I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them. (r)
(c)2008 WJR

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