Skip to main content

Contrarianism

In continuing on my theme about culture and why it can be so hard for people to go against the grain and to do things that aren't necessary considered 'normal', consider a hypothetical twenty-something. He is a professional and works a typical 9-5 office job. He is single and likes to go out to happy hours after work. Every week, he usually goes out four times: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday and Saturday night he sits at home and watches TV shows recorded on his DVR.


Some people would suggest that this person is a bit of a social outcast because he spends his Friday and Saturday nights alone watching TV. But if you reverse the situation, and say that our hypothetical twenty-something stays at home watching TV Monday through Thursday and then goes out to bars and clubs on Friday and Saturday night, most people would think nothing of it. Few would argue that he's anything other than a typical single twenty-something.

To some extent this is a practical consideration. People have to work during the week; so if they do go out and socialize, they can't go crazy or stay out all night. Some people might also believe going out on the weekend is more fun because they are more people around. For some people, this may be true. To others, who don't like being crammed elbow to elbow every place they go, or who like inexpensive food and drink specials (there aren't many places running specials or discounts on Friday and Saturday) then weeknights are prime-time for going out.

The point is to demonstrate that, even though our hypothetical twenty-something goes out more often than the weekend partier, he is still perceived as less social. That's another example of the power of culture.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Good Advertising

The blogosphere seems to be one fire over Microsoft's new "Lauren" TV commercial. Frankly, I don't see what the commotion is about.



If the critics are correct, then "Lauren" is actually Lauren De Long, a Screen Actors Guild eligible actress; and apparently, if you look close enough, she never even enters the Apple store.

Even if all of that is true, it doesn't refute the fact that Apple's laptops are significantly more expensive than most PCs. It isn't a lie that Apple doesn't sell any 17-inch laptops for less than a grand. The advertisement doesn't make any reference to the quality of the machines (or contest any of the claims made in Apple's "I'm a PC" commercials) or provide any good reason to buy one other than price.

As far as I can tell, after years of horrible commercials and a series of flops, Microsoft seems to finally have hired an ad agency that put together a decent advertisement. It's not likely to persuad…