Silly but True

I never understood why there was so much jockeying for completely irrelevant position when companies came together to respond to an RFP.

I’m thrilled to see the first Pfizer vaccine being administered in Ontario.
It’s time to put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tweet by Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
(for American readers, a premier is akin to a governor)

I mean, I understood the effort to grab work: Work meant revenue. But other activities seemed senseless, like the effort each company put into having the name of their company come first in proposal text, when all were listed.

Nova Scotia receives first doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
Headline in Halifax Today

“Why not just go with the alphabetical order?” I wondered.

Reassuring Data for Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine
Title for article on the McGill University,
Office for Science and Society website

I mean, who cares? Pick an order and enforce it consistently. That’s it, right?

Watch as the first person in BC receives Pfizer’s COVID vaccine.
News feed from CTV

Well, maybe not. Although most official sites use the whole name — the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine — most commentators and the general public abbreviate that to Pfizer.

If BioNTech had gotten their name first, this would now be its vaccine.

Think about that the next time you’re tempted to do the sensible or cooperative thing and give up that “pole position” for no corresponding benefit. As silly as it seems, and especially in our abbreviation-happy culture, being first can matter.

 

2 Comments

  1. Jim Taylor

    It reveals a certain mindset that of the thousands of free envelope labels we’ve received over the years, an estimated 95% of them say “Jim and Joan” Taylor, rather than “Joan and Jim”…

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim – Indeed. When I taught at the University of Saskatchewan, our invitation to some college Christmas party came to Professor & Mr. Gibson (well, the equivalent back then). It was jarring, but appropriate given the source of the connection.

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