Corporate Buzzwords that Need to Die.
(* With thanks to Sandie, who started this discussion…)
This is an old chestnut, but you still hear it. Typically, someone in a meeting will say “It’s all about the optics” and like a quintessential knob, they’ll insert their finger quotes.
(I personally think anyone using finger quotes should be strung up by their thumbs and flogged with a three-hole punch, but I digress here…)
When people say “optics” what they actually mean is “this is how it might appear”.
So why don’t they just say that IN THE FIRST PLACE? Why must people insist on NOT speaking ENGLISH?
What a lame-ass metaphor!
Do you know what I think about when I hear this buzzword? …Telescope mirrors and microscope lenses!
Now…THAT’s what real “optics” is! (No finger quotes required.)
Step up to the plate
Hello, this is the 1990’s calling. We’d like our buzzword back.
This one is so old, it’s lost all semblance of originality and spontaneity. Can we just all agree to put this puppy to bed?
Yet managers still ask you to step up to the plate, whenever they want you to work your keister off…usually above and beyond the level of your job description, with no compensation for your overtime.
When never I hear “step up to the plate”, I immediately see myself at a baseball diamond, holding a bat in front of the catcher.
But my mental image quickly changes to that of taking the bat and pummeling the idiot who’s asking me to step up to the plate.
I’m guessing this might not be the desired motivation the speaker had in mind…
Challenge is the Corporate Thoughtspeak way of saying “Oboy. This sucks. This is a major problem that we have absolutely NO IDEA how to solve. But we want you to solve it anyway”.
For example, it will be a challenge to get this report done when everyone is off sick and the computer system is down.
It will be a challenge to get the power plant back on-line without the new pump.
Sorry that you have to share a cubicle with a mouth-breathing psychopath. We realize this is a challenge but we’ll need you to step up to the plate until the situation can be improved.
Challenge is just a rubber-stamp word they use to make it sound like the horrible task is something you’ll WANT to do. It’s like they’re offering you the opportunity to prove yourself under stress.
No thanks, I decline.
It’s time to put “challenge” out to pasture, and find a better word to replace it.
May I suggest “Fuster Cluck?”
A couple of years ago , this was a word you hardly ever heard, except for maybe in the title of a Jane Austen book. But now this Flavor-of-the-month buzzword is everywhere, and it’s rapidly growing stale.
“The expectation is that you will come into work on time….The expectation is that you will work appropriate hours…The expectation is that you will be familiar with this procedure…”
I feel like answering: “My expectation is that you SHUT UP and stop talking to me like I’m in idiot!”
Whenever you hear “expectation”, it’s a sure sign the person is a graduate from the Chip Implant Academy.
This word bugs me because it’s constantly dangled in front of you, as in something you’re not doing.
“It’s important that we meet our commitments…the expectation is that you fulfill your commitments…”
Commitment is just another bullshit word for deadlines.
The good thing about commitment is that you can throw it right back at them.
If you’re asked to work overtime on the weekend, you can tell them “Sorry, I have other commitments“. And they can’t argue against that, can they?
Maybe your commitments involve watching TV and drinking beer.
But hey, nobody says you have to tell them that.
(Oh, no. Surely not THIS one, Jacques!)
Not the dreaded U-Bomb!
When a manager says “This is unacceptable“, it means they’re really pissed off about the situation. It’s about as close as they can come to swearing at you and still get away with it.
And once they’ve said it, this apparently gets them off the hook. Beacause now they’re transferred the responsibilty to you. Now YOU go and make it better
What gets me is that they typically tell you this long after the fact, when nobody can do anything about it. That’s what makes this word so god-dammed useless.
It’s happened. Accept it. DEAL WITH IT.
And do you ever notice the arrogant tone when you’ve been “unacceptabilized”? It’s like you’re expected to quake in our boots and beg for forgiveness.
Also, there is rarely any follow-up or constructive feedback on how you might fix things.
What’s funny (and sad) is that normal people have been starting to use this word in everyday life.
For example, if a kid is misbehaving, a parent might think they’re pulling out the big guns by telling little Damien that his behavior is “unacceptable”
Yeahhhh…..Right. Try telling that to a five-year old having a tantrum!
Let me know how that works for you, okay?