Tourist Crap

There’s a radio ad I hear every now and again for North Carolina tourism that really pisses me off. Granted, most radio advertising pisses me off but this one does for several reasons. I’ll recap and paraphrase and see if you can join my ire.

The premise is simple: four co-workers are on a conference call but all are revealed to be playing hooky and enjoying one of the Tar Heel state’s many tourist destinations. Not a bad idea, as radio goes, but nothing is ever as straightforward as that. See, it starts out with some guy on this conference call and a co-worker commending him on his work ethic, noting how it’s just like him to be at the office on such a nice day or something. “Ah, you caught me,” the guy says. “I’m really at the beach, enjoying the Outer Banks!” The second co-worker is commended on her devotion to the job, along the lines of the first. “Oops,” she says. “I’m up in the mountains, enjoying the scenic vistas.” The third co-worker – but of course he’s the paragon of virtue and is in the office, right? Nope, turns out he’s playing golf somewhere, probably one of Pinehurst’s many world-class courses. And, so it falls to the fourth, another wondrous co-worker who must, of course, be the only person in the office. Hell, no. “You got me,” she says. “I’m in a blues club in Durham.” Ah, yes, what merriment. The four co-workers all have a great laugh at the coincidence (or is it irony) of everyone on the conference call not actually being at work but out enjoying North Carolina’s varied vacation locales and tourist havens.

And I’m pissed again. Why? Oh, let me count the ways…

1) The idea that each successive employee lets loose their secret after the first one might be understandable (although I would wager that in the real world the fourth co-worker, upon learning that everyone else is out of the office, would have continued to lie her ass off since no one could have proven otherwise) but why did the first guy fess up after not even the slightest prompting. No one suspected a damn thing! “Of course, you’re in the office, you wage slave, you – you incredible cog in the business machine, you – you virtuous working stiff, you …” “Oh, crap! I’m a lying bastard! I’m not in the office!” Why? What possible reason does he have to reveal his transgression without anyone even asking? None. I hate him. I hate him with all my being.

2) Who’s running the conference call? Normally, from my own experience (although technology is vast and beautiful and who knows what options are out there for use) a conference call is initiated from the business site. So, with all four co-workers shirking their duties, who the heck is manning the conference call at the work site? Based on the ad, someone not taking full advantage of the office’s extremely liberal personal day policy.

3) All these jokers should be fired immediately. If their collective attitude is to be believed, no one is supposed to not be in the office, slaving away. So each individual admission of slackitude is another bullet in the arsenal of the HR gun that’s gonna pink slip these suckers into the harsh reality of a state with a 9.2% unemployment rate.

4) All of the above are reasons enough to despise the ad but the one that I choose to cling to is the glaring error that paints North Carolina tourism in an extremely negative light (or at the very least calls into question the sanity of the character embroiled in this particular area of Old North State entertainment). Basically, it’s this: If you’re at a blues club during the day, then it’s a crappy blues club! Trust me – a decent blues club doesn’t open until long after the sun has set and closes a little before the sun comes up, so if the blues club you’re in is open during normal 9 to 5 business hours then either it’s not a blues club or the quality of music is just above kazoo and just below that guy who runs the demo beat at mall’s organ store.

All in all, North Carolina is a pretty cool place with loads of spots to visit and things to do and see. I just wish someone in the bloody state was creative enough to make an ad that didn’t want to make me pull a Lost Colony and disappear from NC soil without a trace.

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