When you enter the planet of the corporate animal, normal conversational rules do not apply. It’s about survival. You duck high fives and look away when they wink at you, ignore private messages from the creepy team stalker, hide in the conference room to avoid the tedium and take frequent trips up and down in the lift to wile away the time.
Simple requests become lost among words like ‘synergy’, ‘innovate’, ‘granular’, ‘crystal ball’. Meetings become ‘sit downs’, chats become ‘having a catch up’, making coffee becomes a simple release from the corporate fuckwittery that pervades the environment.
In my first week, I started an acronym dictionary. In my second week a style dictionary. In the third week I collated a library, but no matter how much I corrected or proof read, the bullshit bingo (very funny book by Graham Edmonds by the way) just spread.
Here is a quick list of some of the most redundant, cringe-worthy, nipple-shrinkingly awful phrases I’ve been subjected to in the last six month.
1: I’m going to take five and chow down. Translation: I am going to eat lunch.
2: You need to find out who is going to support this activity ASAP. Translation: How can we get this parcel posted?
3: Who loves ya baby? Translation: I am a creepy, crawly, bum licker.
4: This is some low hanging fruit. Translation: This is an easy deal and/or I am an anus.
5: That’s some great USP my friend! Translation: That is a good idea but if I use the word ‘idea’ people may realise how limited my vocabulary is.
6: I mean there’s a lot of real estate on this. Translation: There is lots of space on an A3 page, I am not intelligent enough to fill it.
7: So, what’s the blue sky vision? Translation: This is such a ridiculous phrase it does not merit any form of translation.
8: We need to keep this on track. Translation: You need to do all my work and then I will present it to the director and tell him I did it all myself.
9: All I’m looking for is some team love. Translation: I am unable to do my job without the junior members of staff propping me up and doing my work for me.
10: The commercials don’t add up, lets come together and look at this again. Translation: I don’t understand this excel spreadsheet and am hoping you will come and explain it all to me again for the twentieth time.
It has been a long and bumpy journey and I am ashamed to admit I now actually understand what the numpties are saying when they spout this horrendous nonsense. So, the lesson? Going forward, we need to take a helicopter view before we sweat the assets and aggressively dress down the low hanging fruit. In short: Wtf?