june 6th: focus group

Hello everyone, Thank you for coming out today. I'm Yan, and I'm the head of product testing at Mountain Valley. As you probably read in your invites we sent out, today, you guys are going to be taste testing water. So if we could go around the table and introduce ourselves, and uh... what we do, that'd be great.

Hello, I'm Elliot, and I work as a tower controller at South Newgle International.

I'm Rose, I'm a reporter for Local 4 News.

I'm Amanda. I'm the manager at the Local Coffee Shop.

I'm Joseph, I'm the principle at South High School.

Hello all! I'm Grover, a reactor operator at the power plant.

A few seconds of silence go by.

Oh me? Oh. I'm Michael. I work as security at SuperMart.

Great! I'm going to get the samples. I hope y'all are thirsty.

Yan steps out the door. Some silence goes by.

So uh... Elliot, how's the airport.

It's stressful at times. But it's fun.

Yan opens the door with his back, pushing his way into the room with a platter of cups.

Let's get started shall we?

He circles the table, passing three cups of water to everyone at the table.

So I want everyone to pickup the cup labeled. one. And take a small sip of it.

Everyone hesitantly raises the cup to their mouths, until Amanda downs her entire cup.

Taste's like water.

Now that we've heard from Grover... let's see what everyone else has to say. Feel free to jump in.

Yeah... it kinda tasted like water.

Honestly tastes like the type of water you'd get out of a soft drink machine.

I don't know what to say really... it's water. It's for sure better than the unfiltered water at the schools. Don't tell the students that. Or actually do. Spread the word! I gotta save on my water bill anyways.

Yeah, pretty standard water.

Taste's like some cheap water.

So what I'm getting is, it tastes like your normal water you'd drink on an everyday basis right? So let's clear out any aftertaste you might of had, and pickup the 2nd water cup, and let's taste that.

Everyone takes the second cup and starts to drink it.

Cheers to water.

Amanda, again, downs the entire cup in one motion. Soon after, Joseph spits out the water.

Something wrong Joseph?

Something wrong? Yeah there's something wrong. Tastes like some seagull took a dump in the ocean and you guys scooped it up in this cup.

A concerned look grows on Yan's face.

Uhm... okay. Anyone else?

Yeah, way worse than the first one.

So... who else thought this water was worse from the first one?

Everyone's hands go up.

Elliot... Rose... Amanda... Joseph... Grover... and Michael. So what I'm getting at is that this was way worse than the first one. Yes?

Everyone nods their heads.

fuck.Alright let's move on to our third and final sample. When you're ready, take a sip.

Everyone starts to take a sip.

Amanda... are you sure you're taking enough time to evaluate the water that is being presented... I mean you're taking it all so quickly...

I just want my $50 dollars. By the way, this was the best water yet...

Agreed. This is some fancy water. It's almost like this is the water you'd get at a five star restaurant.

Honestly it's just water. But it does have a little more taste if you know what I mean. Better than the other two by far.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

You like it Michael?

YES! Where can I buy this.

I'm afraid I can't disclose that information.

BUT I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE

Oh! Best water ever. I tastes like water, but it's taste is so... unique... I've never tasted it anything else like it before. This would defiantly be something I'd buy in the future.

Tastes like water that's been carefully designed... it's just so savory.

Uhm... well... I think that concludes our focus group... And—

So when do I get my $50.

It'll be on your way out... er... I think we have one last sample. Sorry about that. Let me go fetch it.

Yan steps out the door.

uuugggghhhhh.

What was up with the second sample? That tasted like shit. Like literal shit. Not that I've tasted shit before... I'd just imagine that would be what is tasted like.

Yeah, is that how the airplane water is? I'd imagine airplane water is bad as well.

Airplane water isn't that bad. But still isn't good. Not as bad as whatever poison that second sample was.



Aannnnd... I'm back! Here's the last and final sample.

He passes around the cups, and everyone takes sips, with the exception of Amanda.

Is this even water? It tastes like orange juice.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that is it water. Just colored.

I'm pretty sure this is orange juice.

Yeah... this is oran—

Wellllllll, I want to thank all of you for coming to the focus group today, your $50 will be given to you on the way out the door, by one of our reps. Just tell them you were here for the water taste testing focus group. Thank you for your participation and I hope we can count on you for another round of tests.

Everyone says their goodbyes, and heads our the door. After they are gone, Yan walks up to the one way mirror on the wall.

Did you fucking see that? They absolutely hated our water. I need EVERY chemist and EVERY scientist in the building to figure out why the third one was the best for them.


During the test there were four total samples: Regular tap, their own water, the competing brand, and some almost-expiring orange juice. Mountain Valley wanted to see how their processes compared to how the other company does it, and a control being the untreated tap. The orange juice was a joke from one of the employees, and no one else knew why it was put into the actual focus group experiment.