I am often amazed at how people can react so differently to the same situation.
In order to study this phenomenon further, we put together focus groups and presented the exact same situations to different people in order to see how they would react.
Today’s study (which is part one if this goes over well), involves presenting a Christmas gift to these different individuals and then studying their reactions. We are listing each individual and quoting their reactions:
Politician- I am truly honored to receive this gift and can honestly say that it is the finest gift that I have ever been given. I humbly accept your nomination for this gift and will promise you that I will use it in order to improve our city, country and world. This gift is a symbol of the true American spirit and you can be sure that I will use it to the best of my abilities. Now then, how would you like me to vote?
Teenage Boy – It’s fine.
Television Sports Commentator – I am all but shocked to see this tremendous present, which looks nothing short of amazing. If you are asking me to predict if the gift is either a race car or an action figure, I can definitely say this will be a race car. At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is an action figure. I love the form involved in carrying the package over here, but the pass was a little sloppy and nearly led to a turnover. I am impressed with your present presence, tenacity and bow awareness.
Shopping Channel Host – Thank you for this wonderful gift! Wow, the wrapping is exquisite and let’s take a look at this card. Oh my, I believe it an original handmade card, using ink taken directly from northern hemisphere squids. And this wrapping paper, how much do you think this sells for? $100? $200? I will sell this wrapping paper back to you for just three simple payments of $19.99.
U.S. President – This is the most wonderful and hugest gift ever. I want to thank myself for being so deserving of this tremendous honor, as I am the first person to ever receive such a gift.
Coach of Any Sport – I thank you for this gift, but we can’t look ahead to Christmas. It is just another day to this team, and we focus 110 percent on taking each day one day at a time, really it’s more like each hour at a time. Gifts and accolades are fine, and I am sure I will appreciate this gift when I retire and look back at my career. For now, though, I will look at this gift just as I look at every other gift and we will work together to prepare the best thank you notes that we can. We will also focus on capitalizing on our mistakes so that we do not have any additional capitalization errors. Next question.
Soap opera character – (Stares at you for a minute before saying anything) This gift (long pause again) is the same gift that I gave to my late wife’s long lost twin sister when she was working as a spy for my business rival, who turned out to be my wife. How did you get it? (Turns to pour himself a drink and then holds the drink in his hands while staring at you silently for another few minutes.)
Executive Manager In Charge of Administration – I hope that this thank you response finds you well. It is with great sincerity, truthfulness and genuineness that I humbly accept this considerate, thoughtful and hospitable gesture of your altruistic and generous nature. Peer tested research has shown and exemplified that synergistic outreach practices such as this most recent example lead to outcomes that are valued and cherished by cross sections of our community and society, as well as societies around the world and the globe, and enable us all to avoid elevator shafting while we strive together so that we can all act as gifts to each other that we will all accept with thankfulness, gratefulness and contentment.
Bad Poet – I thank you for this treat, I really think it’s neat. I open the box, and pull out some socks. I hope they fit my feet.
News Announcer – We are live here with some breaking news. Someone is walking toward me with what appears to be some sort of package. Some sources are claiming it is a gift, but that has not been confirmed yet. In addition, no group has yet claimed responsibility for the alleged gift. Hold on, something is being handed to me, and it is a gift. I can confirm that it is a present. At this time, we have no way of knowing what is inside this gift but our special guests are here to debate what may or may not be inside. Is it a White Elephant gift? And if so, what does that mean anyway? Coming up at 11, we’ll have a story on a young man from Athens, Illinois who recently tried to actually wrap an entire elephant for gift.