The Intellectuals

Misguided Promotions

I received this unpleasant-looking object in the mail at work a few days ago.  It's supposed to make me want to buy stuff from HP (Hewlett-Packard). In fact I do buy stuff from them, and have always respected their engineering, but this certainly did nothing to encourage me. It's about the size of a large egg, and it arrived in a little box containing either nothing else or a very small piece of paper with a bit of advertising on it (I can't remember for sure).  The color in this picture is not accurate--the thing is actually a very plain grey, and made of a sort of foamy plastic. The orange lettering is the address of a web site.


This wouldn't be at all remarkable, except that it could only have happened with the work and cooperation of a number of people, most of whom must have thought it was a good idea. I know! We'll send them this plastic brain, and it'll be like "Now that you have a brain, buy HP!" It'll be huge!" And it probably represents an investment of many thousands of dollars.  Someone had to design it. Someone had to find a manufacturer (probably in China--so picture the cargo hold of a plane stuffed with boxes of these)...etc.

Well, my cat really loves it. I brought it home from work to show it to my wife, and left it on my desk. The cat immediately started playing with it and when I got home the next evening it was two rooms away. Come to think of it, maybe the cat is trying to tell me to get rid of it...



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I think I've actually seen one of these before. It's gross. There's just something about brains that makes me not want to look at them.


It's a "stress ball" -- you're supposed to squeeze it when you're stressed, or when your carpal tunnel is acting up. Basically, it's feel-good corporate crapola.

We got this equivalent a couple years ago from the company I work for:

Yeah, it's a part of my job to order junk to give away. I used to have to go to a trade fair where they were showing all the different junk you can buy to give to prospective customers, or in our case, students. I was the worst person to go because I could never pick anything out because I couldn't imagine wanting any of the junk--especially the junk we could afford. I wouldn't have minded a golf umbrella or a stainless steel thermos, but you can't get those for $1.00 each.

There used to be a man here who collected those squeezy things, so I would come back with a bag full of all the different kinds they were giving away.

I have to admit, though, that I do like these:


A smiley face stress reliever, ok. But a brain?! Who wants to squeeze a brain?

Although now that you mention it maybe it would be good for my arthritis...

You could wile away the hours, conferring with the flowers ...


In my ivory tower(s)

Ah, modern life! So much mass-produced crap!

The title of this post made me think you were discussing people being promoted to positions that perhaps they should not have been. :-)

Nah, I wouldn't know anything about that sort of thing.;-)

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