"Yes," says salesman #1, "but I bet you can't guess which one of us sells used cars and which one sells overrated expensive drugs. If you can't guess, we get free drinks. OK?"
"Sure," says the agreeable bartender. "But you'll have to answer one question."
"Ask away," says salesman #1.
"What do you call it when you are trying to tell someone about the benefits of your product?"
"I call that a pitch," says salesman #1.
"I call it a discussion," says salesman #2.
Pointing to salesman #2, the bartender exclaims "Not only are you the pharmaceutical salesman, but you probably work for Merck!"
The two salesmen order their drinks and sadly open their wallets to pay for them.
How did the bartender guess correctly? He read this document from Merck in which the author objected to the term "pitch." "Pitching is what used care salesmen do. I'd like to think we are different."
[Read the backstory on PharmaLot: Key Vioxx Study Was Really A ‘Seeding Study’]
I admit that this is not a very good "guy walks into a bar" joke. So I challenge readers to come up with a better one.
Meanwhile, enjoy these other Merck jokes gleaned from CafePharma:
The devil visited a Merck rep's home office and made him an offer. "I can arrange some things for you, " the devil said. "I'll increase your income five-fold. Your cluster mates will love you; your docs will respect you; you'll have four months of vacation each year and live to be a hundred. All I require in return is that your wife's soul, your children's souls, and their children's souls rot in hell for eternity."
The Merck rep thought for a moment. "What's the catch?" he asked.
A grade school teacher was asking students what their parents did for a living. "Tim, you be first," she said. "What does your mother do all day?"
Tim stood up and proudly said, "She's a doctor."
"That's wonderful. How about you, Amie?"
Amie shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, "My father is a mailman."
"Thank you, Amie," said the teacher. "What about your father, Billy?"
Billy proudly stood up and announced, "My daddy murders people, steals from them, and drinks."
The teacher was aghast and promptly changed the subject to geography. Later that day she went to Billy's house and rang the bell. Billy's father answered the door. The teacher explained what his son had said and asked if there might be some logical explanation.
Billy's father said, "I'm actually a Merck rep. But how can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?"
A man sat down at a bar, looked into his shirt pocket, and ordered a double scotch.
A few minutes later, the man again peeked into his pocket and ordered another double. This routine was followed for some time, until after looking into his pocket, he told the bartender that he's had enough.
The bartender said, "I've got to ask you - what's with the pocket business?"
The man replied, "I have my Vytorin's rep picture in there. When he starts to look honest, I've had enough."
A Merck rep knew he had it made when the old brass bottle he found in the back yard turned out to have a genie in it. Any three wishes he had would be granted, the genie informed him.
"I wanna be rich," said the Merck rep. The back yard filled up with chests of gold coins and jewels in the blink of an eye.
"I'm no fool," said the Merck Rep. "I wanna be a medical device rep" And there he stood with an Armani suit, custom Italian shoes and a Mercedes for a company car.
"Thirdly, I never want to work another day in my life." And he was a Merck rep again.
What's the difference between a Merck rep and a UPS man in Wisconsin?
The UPS man has better access...
What's the difference between Merck and a greedy, selfish company who pretends that its ALL about patients?
I can't figure it out either!
Recently, Merck hired several cannibals to increase their diversity, 'You are all part of our team now,' said the Human Resources Rep. during the welcoming briefing. 'You get all the usual benefits and you can go to the cafeteria for something to eat, but please don't eat any employees.'
The cannibals promised they would not. Four weeks later their boss remarked, 'You're all working very hard and I'm satisfied with your work. We have noticed a marked increase in the whole company's performance. However, one of our secretaries has disappeared. Do any of you know what happened to her?'
The cannibals all shook their heads, 'No.'
After the boss had left, the leader of the cannibals said to the others, 'Which one of you idiots ate the secretary?' A hand rose hesitantly.
'You fool!' the leader said. 'For four weeks we've been eating managers and no one noticed anything. But NOOOooo, you had to go and eat someone who actually does something.'