Taking the Bait

Like most of you, I am often besieged while browsing the web by those click-bait article titles that I know are misleading, yet I can’t help clicking. You know, you’re minding your own business, trying to figure out exactly what Jennifer Aniston’s teeth whitening routine consists of, and in the margins you see something along the lines of,

“We are shocked at the list of celebrities who have died this year!” next to a picture of, say, Tom Hanks.

“No!” you exclaim.  “Not Forrest! Say it ain’t so, Woody! We barely knew ye, Larry Crowne.”

<CLICK> . . . Humph, I say!

Tom Hanks is nowhere on this list!  Neither is anyone you have ever heard of (not to detract from the weight of any celebrity death, whether they are A-list or, as far as you know, non-existent.)

While this this can be frustrating, I have decided it might also be useful.  As someone who often writes and distributes technical reports that few people actually want to read, I need to use this strategy at work.  

Say I’m getting ready to send out a report, I’ll just use a subject line like:

“You’ll never believe the things that have been found in the break room fridge. (#4 will change the way you look at lunch meat forever!)”

“Is there a large stack of cash hidden somewhere in the warehouse??  Click here to find out.”

“We pay tribute to the colleagues who have contracted athletes’ foot from the work showers (#7 is just heartbreaking)”

“The folks who wrote the 1976 milestone report are unrecognizable today.”

“Jim from logistics shares some behind-the-scenes drama from the fiscal year crunch”

“Vending machine hacks we can’t get enough of.”

“Over 100 office supplies are getting the axe in 2021.  Is your favorite on the list?!”

“Remember Retiree Tim Johnson from the 2007 Holiday Party?  Try not to gasp when you see him now.”

Yeah – this is gonna work!

Previously on Click-baity things . . .

18 thoughts on “Taking the Bait

  1. Alright, I admit I clicked on your blog thinking we might get to talk about how to stay far away from teenage drama and how not to get pulled into the vortex of meaningless conversations which always end up making me feel like I am the crazy person. … However, I am glad I took your bait and read … I’d definitely be reading your reports 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Heidi! Wow, I didn’t even consider the click-bait aspect of my own title! And I can’t tell you how nice it always is to hear that we are not alone in the craziness that is parenting teenagers. Prayer and Google have become two of my best friends recently, as I ask God for strength and wisdom, and as I ask Google if other kids act like mine do sometimes 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Featured Blogger this week is Phillip Mullins of The Second Rate Scientist. Phillip is a first-rate humorist trapped in the body of a second-rate scientist (his term, not mine). By his own description, he’s “just a guy with a degree in Chemistry and a spotty Wi-fi connection, writing about ‘stuff’. (Sound familiar?).” On the plus-side, Phillips admits he loves “God and the things He made, including my family, good words, and pie — good pie (or any pie, really). “And,” he brags, “I don’t like to brag, but it should be noted that I was recently voted #6 on the list of Most Influential People in My House!” See what I mean?
    So read Phillip’s latest and wind up the year with a laugh. Lord knows we need it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Your reports may require straightforward titles by necessity, but I’ll bet your colleagues love having you around, what with that fun sense of humor! Thanks for sharing your clever ideas with us!


  4. I just followed you, thanks to Mitch Teemley’s recommendation. Then I read your About page and followed you on Twitter.

    At the top of your Twitter profile, it says that you have tweeted 666 times. You need to tweet more! Like, right now. The only number worse than 666 is 2020!!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. 2020’s Top 100 list of catastrophically unprecedented global human disasters!!! SEE what events did NOT make the list!

    Thanks for escorting us to the end of 2020 with a reality-based chortle, Phillip. Salud!

    Liked by 1 person

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