“You wanted to see me, boss?”
“Yes, yes, come in, my boy. I understand your Research and Development team is to be congratulated. Sales figures are in for our ATM “Cash Mashter Ten G.”
“Are they good?”
“Through the roof. And the part you played by designing the screens without using expensive daytime illumination, added untold profits to our sales.
“I went by one of our installations yesterday at noon, and when I saw a bank customer standing, squeezed tight between his car door and the ATM, all hunched over, squinting horribly as the sun’s rays obliterated the screen’s readability while he feverishly stabbed blindly at the prompt buttons, I laughed till I wet myself. Of course, that was due to partly to the humor and partly to my prostate.
“Anyway, that poor bastard was just trying to withdraw a hundred dollars from his checking account. By the time he had finished guessing, he had unknowingly taken out a second mortgage at an exorbitant rate. The President of the bank called me personally to express his gratitude.
“This was the same bank that had jumped all over our ass when they first started receiving complaints from their customers. I had done my usual hand holding and told them to ride out the storm—that they would find out what a cash cow this was. We told the President to tell their customers that everybody at the bank was as furious as they were and that it was all our fault.”
“Well it kind of was, sir.”
“First of all, ‘caveat emptor.’ Second, at the time of purchase they gloated to their stockholders over the savings incurred by going with our extremely low bid.
“Remember, All we care about are what’s the cheapest display, and what will show our potential buyers which screen will be the most visible in a dimly lit conference room so, they know that the screens will be totally readable in the dark of night.”
“Not really the best time to be alone at an ATM.”
“Not really our concern. Now, what other do-dads are your boys and girls working on?”
“Well, we’ve taken our proven success with the unreadable gas pump screens and sold that technology to makers of some of the new Smartass Phones. Lots of grins.”
“And profits. Imagine what they’re paying or what long term contracts they have to sign to get a phone with a screen they can’t read in daylight.”
“It is funny.”
“And it’s a real scream to imagine how much more they’d pay if in a couple of years if we introduce screens they can actually read in those conditions.”
“Can we do that?”
“You’re the R and D Chief. You tell me.”
“Actually we seem to be doing more D than R.”
“That’s Okay. Remember—the Sales Department’s motto—‘Research and Development,‘ follow us.’ After we make the sale we’ll handle complaints. If we get too many of them, we can address modifications.”
“So, in reality, our customers, and in turn, their customers, are really unpaid Beta Testers!”
“Winner, winner. Chicken Dinner! So, keep up the good work. I want you to continue extending the ‘More glare, more profits’ approach in screens for car radios and parking meters.”
“Yes one of our subsidiaries is already selling computerized parking meters to unsuspecting municipalities. These meters will take credit cards.”
“That should benefit the consumers.”
“You’d think so , wouldn’t you? Check out this scenario: Mr. poor soul average citizen thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he finds a numbered parking space not far from his destination. Then he walks almost a block to where the central paying station is located.
“Now, hoping he has remembered the right number of the meter he’s parked at, he can pay in advance for time on his debit card. He can’t really tell from the prompts in the sun whether or not his card was accepted.
“So, if it wasn’t, he’ll find an expensive parking ticket on his windshield when he gets back to his car. Testimonials keep pouring in from municipalities that have been able to tout the reduction in costs produced by laying off hard working single mom meter maids.”
“While neglecting to tell their taxpayers how much they had to outlay to get the system installed.”
What’s our subsidiary’s name?”
“And what should we do for customers’ complaints about a product’s glare problems?”
“Tell them to stick it where the sun don’t shine.”