Many businesses now seem to have the word express in their title. While the definition of “express” can mean precise and exact, the word is more commonly used to imply speed. (Take the “express lane” for example.) As schedules grow busier and people have less time, the idea of getting things – even difficult things – done quickly is appealing. The result of this is “express” being inserted into the names of certain businesses. But let’s stop and really ponder this idea of having services done expediently.
There is the Holiday Inn Express*. What makes this Holiday Inn different from the other Holiday Inns? Are their patrons awakened at 5 am by a Holiday Inn employee banging on their hotel room door shouting,
“Wake up! This is a Holiday Inn Express! If you wanted to sleep in you should’ve stayed in a regular Holiday Inn. Up and at ’em! Let’s move it along!”
Express Scripts is another well known business with express in its title. For the costumer, this name should evoke the idea of receiving your medicine quickly. No waiting. However, I can’t help but imagine a room full of pharmacists frantically filling little prescription bottles.
“Did you just drop Omeprilstatin?”
“No. I just dropped Methatrypophane. Why? Did you drop Omeprilstatin?”
“Crap. They look exactly the same. They’re both white and round. I can’t tell which is which. Now what?”
“I dunno. But the buzzer is about to go off any second and we need to have these boxed up. This is Express Scripts you know. ”
“Eh … what does it matter. It’s Express Scripts. NOT “You’re Getting The Right Medicine Scripts”. Let’s just pick them up off the floor, ship them out and hope for the best.”
Massage Express or Express Massage businesses have been popping up in various cities (typically in malls), which are basically poor quality massages given by individuals who have zero massage theapy training. What better way to relax, heal and unwind than to have a speedy massage given by a person who has no idea what they’re doing. But hey, it’s express!
On a local level, there is a business around here called Express Pools. I assume this is geared for people who – in the middle of August when they can not stand one more second of New York humidity – decide they want a pool and they want one now. Based on its name, I’m guessing a pool is quickly installed in your yard. However, haste makes waste, and I can’t help but picture people frolicking in their pool before pausing and saying,
“Wait. Wait just one second. Is it me, or does there seem to be less water in here?”
Express may mean fast, but it doesn’t necessarily mean quality. McDonalds or Burger King can promise you food quickly, but you’re not about to have them cater an important event. Five million tourists stare in wonder at the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling every year. Had Michelangelo been slapdash with his paintbrush, it wouldn’t be considered the magnificent work of art it is.
Certain businesses know not to use the word express in their title, despite how much business it may potentially garner. Thankfully, I have yet to see Express Cardiothoracic Surgeons. I certainly wouldn’t want to drive over a bridge constructed by Express Bridge Builders, or fly on an airplane made by Express Made Airplanes. Lastly, call me picky, but my children would never attend Express Elementary School.
*So what exactly is the difference between a Holiday Inn Express and a regular Holiday Inn? The Holiday Inn Express is geared toward business travelers and has fewer amenities, such as an in-hotel restaurant or spa. They really don’t wake guests up at 5 am because it’s an express hotel (unless, of course, you want to be woken up at 5 am with a complimentary wake-up call).