I confess to being one of those people who’d rather keep switching channels than watch TV adverts. If I do leave them on though, there are some that are so annoying that as soon as they come on I have to hit the mute button.
Along with that crazy ‘bet you’ve seen these before’ blinds lady, Martin Grelis and his ‘Easy Off Bam’ is probably my current bete noir. From the first ‘H’ in ‘Hi I’m Martin Grelis’ I will be leaping across the room Starsky and Hutch style in a desparate grab for the remote. My partner thinks it’s very amusing and takes great delight in turning the volume up, forcing me to take refuge in the bathroom (oh the fun we have in our house!).
The point though is this: I’ve never met Martin Grelis. Almost certainly never will. I have no idea whether he genuinely is the most annoying man on earth, or simply delivering the product of a crappy ad agency. Or perhaps he’s supposed to be annoying so that you’ll remember the product.
Doesn’t matter either way. All I’ve done is mentally flick the Grelis switch. Do you ever do this prematurely with people you meet in real-life? Do you ever dismiss someone as a Grelis based on nothing more than one example? I know I do. Sometimes I’m right and they really are a Grelis. Other times .. well I’m not so sure that mentally muting them is doing me any favours. Maybe I should take another look and stop going around them.
Jim McCarthy called it flipping the ‘bozo’ bit. McCarthy’s advice was that everyone has something to contribute–it’s easy and tempting, when someone ticks you off or is mistaken (or both), to simply disregard all their input in future by setting the “bozo flag” to TRUE for that person. But by taking that lazy way out, you poison team interactions and cannot avail yourself of help from the “bozo” ever again [from wikipedia].
I’m not sure whether I’ll let Grelis come on my TV and speak anytime soon, but next time I find an equivalent in real-life, I should at least try and keep this in mind. Would you do the same?