Who cares?

Have you noticed those stickers? They are proudly displayed on cars – mostly on the back and often on vehicles like the KIA Carens and the Peugeot 807. Very rarely or not at all on a Mercedes Benz SLK or an Audi TT. You may think: “Oha! The latter vehicles are well-endowed with horsepower, while the former are in need of it.” With this I counter with the Opel Tigra Twin Top, which even with the largest engine produces a modest 125 bhp. Now you might think: “Eureka, I‘ve got it. The latter are made by German carmakers and the former are from countries less skilled in car making.” I counter such a foolish assessment with a dry “Citroën C3 Pluriel”, a convertible like SLK and TT, which is built in a country that stands for French bread and overpriced red wine, and in terms of power potential still lags behind the above-mentioned Opel.

The former often sport small screens at the back fastened to the headrests, which is never the case for the latter. To all those who now think: “The latter can only accommodate two people, while the former can accommodate six to seven”, we can only shout “Brilliant!”

The said stickers show drawings of young and infant people who know only two sexes, either smiling or with a pacifier – or both – in an unambitious manner. Among them is always a lettering that often consists of only one word, such as Cheyenne, Shanaia, Celine, Leroy, Alarich or Leon(which can be easily confused with the model of the same name from the Spanish company SEAT). This can be clarified by the addition of “on board”. The owners often delight in combining such ghastly drawings with the suffix.

You could question the sense and purpose of such daring exhibitionism. Since it is mounted outside and at the back, the message cannot be addressed to the people inside, because first of all, it can be assumed that the passengers in front already have the information and the passengers draped over the back seat are glued to the screens, as long as they are not complaining about one of the others at the back. We can therefore safely assume that the information is addressed to third parties outside the vehicle. But what is the purpose of the information?

It seems rather unlikely that it is intended as a potentially simplified identification in case of an accident, since most names are subject to certain fads and therefore do not seem suitable for this purpose. In addition, the number of pictures does not always correspond to the number of persons in the rear, nor does the correct order (from left to right?) does not seem to be guaranteed. So why bother with a report that is not useful to the reporting person and leaves the recipient helpless?

Which inevitably brings us back to the topic of project management.

How little attention is paid to the subject of reporting! Whereas in earlier times (i.e. much earlier) it was possible to make a living by telling stories and sending mighty heralds to the countries to spread important news like tax increases, for example, reporting in our times is often treated as an unpopular and bureaucratic act. Methods such as “elevator pitch” or “story-telling” are en vogue, but why are these exciting approaches used so little? I maintain it’s especially because the reporters don’t give enough thought to what interests the addressees, and the formalized templates provided give little room for stories.

Imagine that the people in the front seats in the above-mentioned vehicles could use everyday objects as motifs instead of stupid children’s cartoons and would have more freedom in the choice of to the text (i.e. the template would not be so restrictive). We would all have much more fun at red traffic lights if you saw the name Jamie together with a crossed out light bulb. The combination of relevant hazard symbols and name would also be possible. The names could be replaced by other designations, which facilitate the recognition (curly, the blonde, the cross-eyed/hook-nosed one, scream (though not too good if unconscious) etc.). The persons in the vehicle would also benefit. Those in the back would get more attention and those in the front real and demonstrated compassion, maybe even lifelong friendships.

But this presupposes the will to deal with the interests of third parties – and the possibility to express this individually.

In this sense: Who actually reads my burble?

Original text: RGE
English translation: BCO

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