Saturday, October 2, 2010
Seeking truth in journalism
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” ~ Epictetus ~
Early this morning, I was visiting various news sites that I had missed during the week and came upon an article on the front page of the Huffington Post - Watch: The Funniest Employee Training Videos.
I needed a good laugh, so I surfed in and began viewing all nine of the videos, everything from industrial training at Wendy’s (on how to serve hot or cold drinks, accompanied by rapping music) to the “Casual Male’s Super Associate Video,” which is dedicated to informing sales personnel in the proper methodology for creating customer satisfaction while increasing the bottom line.
After going through all nine videos, the funniest one (IMHO) was a Chrysler Training video; however, it did not get the most hits and was not considered a contender for the top five on the page’s poll box.
I showed it to my husband at breakfast and we both laughed hysterically as it was touted (under the clip) as having too much technical jargon to effectively understand, and I have to assume people just passed over it, or watched it for less than 15 seconds because the picture was a bit fuzzy, and then moved on thinking it was probably too dry to bother watching.
I had no intention of doing a post on this, but after seeing my husband’s reaction and his comments that the video reminded him of Professor Irwin Corey delivering what sounded like real technical jargon (such as “Turbo Encabulator” and “dingle arm”) I thought I would share it with you and garner your opinion, hopefully seeking out someone with advanced technical knowledge on the subject.
When I returned to the Huffington site, the video had disappeared. Poof! Just like magic, it was gone, so I did a search on the site and nada. This piqued my interest and I began sleuthing and discovered that this video had been posted several times on YouTube and received a number of hits, upwards of 400,000.
Then I decided to meticulously review each Youtube entry for comments, and folks were voicing in as if they understood what was being said… Except for one person, who referred to the video as (expletive deleted) a joke.
Ah-ha, the smoking gun had been found, and I returned to the Huffington site to search their comments section, and lo and behold, one person, at 10:36 AM, simply known by the handle, “greenearthman” caught the spoof and weighed in saying, “Somebody got trolled on the "Chrysler" video.” O-o-ops, too late, the article had hit the Twitterverse, social network sites and moi.
As it turns out, the Chrysler video was indeed a parody and was made to show at a convention, but only as an insider joke, however, it had made its way onto the Internet.
Moral to this story: Whenever you hear, someone on film say, “You will be directed to perform a series of tests that will effectively raise the billable hours for the service department, but will perform no other useful function,” you’ve got to check your source.