Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Action That!

First of all, if you haven't read the comments on my last post you absolutely should because while they are all excellent (like always), Elizabeth has singlehandedly filled in the rest of the Christchurch Testicle and it is hilarious.

Anyway, today at work I had a run-in with the pants-crappingly awful world of corporatespeak (read: meeting) and I made a useful and informative list about words that came up in the meeting.

Ten Most Douchebaggy Corporatespeak Phrases

10. Touch Base

"Let's touch base on this in a week or so."
I have an innate resistance to saying 'touch base' because in my (perhaps somewhat puerile) mind it makes me think of 'getting past first base' and now every time someone says, "Let's touch base!" I get all excited then remember they just mean "discuss this again in a bit." Such a let-down.
Better: "Let's catch up in a week or so."
Way better: "Let's touch boob in a week or so."

9. Stable
"It's one of the publications in our stable."
If newspapers were horses, saying 'stable' would make sense. Also if newspapers were horses beggars would wrap themselves in old ones for warmth. But they are not, so I'm not sure why we talk about them like they are.
Better: "It's one of the publications in our group."
Way better: "It's one of the publications in our coop."

8. FTE
"We were down an FTE on Thursday, Max was sick."
Quick! What's the ETA on the FTE for the OOS seminar? And the USP for the MMP? And the GST on the RRP? OMG OMG LOL! Fuck off, work acronyms. FTE is representing all of the work acronyms on this list because it is the most annoying and also far fewer people know what it means than management assume. (Full time employee.)
Better: "We were down a person on Thursday. Max was sick."
Way better: "We were down a WTF on Thursday. Max was sick." (WTF, here, stands for Works Totally Fulltime.)

7. Action
"Can you action this?"
I know I've whinged about this before, but action is not a verb. It just isn't. Nothing is going to change that. Just because you are important businessman does not mean you can verb words.
Better: "Can you do this?"
Way better: "Can you job this?"

6. Moving Forward
"Moving forward, we aim to increase sales by 50%."
See also 'going forward.' I know that saying 'in the future' is boring, but can we at least make the replacement something super-motivational? Something like 'charging valiantly into the second financial quarter,' or 'zooming into the March sales period.' Then I would be more excited moving forward.
Better: "In the future, we aim to increase sales by 50%."
Way better: "Taking it to the street, we aim to increase sales by 50%."

5. Buy-in and take-out
"The main take-out is that we need more buy-in."
I think that it is fine to say buy-in when someone is actually buying in with actual real cold hard dollar$. I think it is fine to say take-out when you are contemplating getting Chinese. I do not think it is appropriate to say these things in the quarterly advertising meeting, unless we are getting Chinese and you are going to give me some money.
Better: "The main point is that we need more market support."
Way better: "The main takeaway is that we need to eat here."

4. Prospecting
"I have been out prospecting."
This is probably a sales thing, but when people call on a business and try to sell them shit product then that business becomes a 'prospect,' as in prospective client (I think.) Therefore, they have been prospected. Therefore, you have been prospecting them. What the fuck, people? It's not a damn Gold Rush.
Better: "I have been out selling."
Way better: "I have been out clienting."

3. Cascade
"Managers, please cascade."
Are we are a workplace or a fountain of champagne glasses? Oh please. A cascade should be a word reserved for something magnificent, like a waterfall or a Rapunzel's hair or perhaps a shower of diamonds. It should not be used to refer to the single, lonely click of your managerial mouse on the 'forward' button. One click does not make a cascade.
Better: "Managers, please pass on to your teams."
Way better: "Managers, please champagne fountain this."

2. Onboarding
"This customer has been recently onboarded."
Let's trace this back to its disgusting grammatical roots: when you bring a customer on board you are onboarding them, and they have been onboarded from whichever company they previously worked with. Extend this, and you get sentences like "I walked across the tarmac and the plane onboarded me." I can't believe this heinous phrase has been onboarded.
Better: "This customer has recently come across to the company."
Way better: "This customer has been recently hijacked."

1. Diarise
"I've diarised it."
Because heaven forbid I could write it in my diary! Don't be ridiculous. I am a business person. I don't put things in my diary, I diarise them. I don't put petrol in my car, I gaserise. I don't make love. I sexerise.
Better: "I've put it in my diary."
Way better: "I've schedulerised Tuesday's ten o'clock."

So here's the most douchebaggy corporatespeak sentence ever. You're welcome.

I hope you diarised a touch-base to action the onboarding of more FTEs, because it has been cascaded that the main take-out from recent prospecting is that our stable needs more market buy-in moving forward.

And now I am now going to pyjamarise and snoozerise.


cerebral e said...

"Moving forward" is the catch-phrase of our current Prime Minister (the red-haired lady who recently came into power) leading up to the Australian federal election next month. After she called the election the other day she gave a speech in which she used the phrase "moving forward" 36 times in thirty minutes (or so I hear. I didn't watch/count personally).

Anonymous said...

Freaking hilarious. Send the memo to Julia Gillard....ask her to AGENDA it as a yesterday FLAG. Hopefully she can give us a ETA on the BLUEPRINT for her new haircut. She could always BONE her partner like she did KRudd and move forward with a new stylist!

Ella said...

All of our meetings are seriously dumbed down.

I almost wish they would use corporatespeak.

Anonymous said...

You missed 'best practice' = make the the same mistakes as everyone else. When you hear that you know you're pretty mush doomed.

Phil said...

Diarise always sounds to me like an accident in your undies.
"Unfortunately I diarised before I got to the dunny."

PurpleLily said...

Haha "onboarding" it sounds like you work on a pirate ship.

WV: sominti - someones breath after brushing their teeth

Anonymous said...

This post has satisfied all the metrics that make it a key deliverable.

You should forward it to your boss, you'd probably get "moved forward". Or promoted. Or a warning. Either way, at least you got to "air it out", "major player" styles.

Anonymous said...

"Team player" is a term that annoys the hell out of me, and I refuse to use it.

Tooting Squared said...

We have a lot of "blue sky thinking" here.

In my mind, it's what happens when you lie on your back in a park with your sunglasses on, gazing at the sky and not really thinking about anything.

Actually it's meant to mean that you think about things in an up-beat and positive way.

But surely that would be "up-thinking". I might try and introduce that word starting now ...

slommler said...

Ha! Good corporate speak!!! And I know it can go on and on. Two years ago you heard "paradigm" 100's of times. It just never changes...they always like to hang on catch phrases and they use them and use them and use them!! Mostly they abuse them.

chris.dadness said...

I like "solutioneering". I learned a lot of good wankspeak from You Look Nice Today

When you are in a meeting like the one you described, what would be great would be for the Supreme Boss of the organisation to walk in. Everyone defers to him - he is the money. He is dressed in a frock coat and he has a periwig. He speaks in Dickensian English, and takes forever to finish his sentences. Every now and then he takes snuff.

Whenever someone says "action that!" or "cascade to FTEs" - he says something like "Damn your eyes Mr Frampton, what the DEVIL DOES THAT MEAN?" And then he transfers them to the coal-picking division.

Amy said...

I can't stop laughing. Stop being so funny, my fiance is shooting me funny looks.

Juicebox said...

I laughed... much laughter... and then I realised that I used EVERY SINGLE ONE of those phrases yesterday. Also 'Action point' and 'across' (are you across this? I need get you across it). Oh god. I'm ONE OF THEM.

AnaDrea said...

The big one at my old job was "At the end of the day..."

umm.. I go to bed? I'll have a cold beer? One thing is certain, I will not be thinking about whether or not this deal closed!

IT IS ALLY said...

cE - That's a pretty impressive statistic. I'm not sure I could use "moving forward" once a minute, but I might try next week at work.

Jaded - Hahaha I have never heard BONE used in a corporate sense before.

Ella - Start using it! They will follow.

Anon - ewww. Have never come across that one, will avoid.

Phil - Hahahah! Totally does. I might start using it in that context. "Back in five, I have to diarise."

Lily - I am going to start using SOMINTI whenever describing a 'fresh' idea.

jadeluxe - hahahaha! I forgot 'key deliverable.' You are very au fait with the corporatespeak. Congratulations but also you should be ashamed of yourself.

Anon - Yes! Team Leader annoys me too. I call my TL "boss" and "glorious leader" and sometimes "big dog" because I hate TL so much.

Tooting - Yes! Upthinking is the new buzzword. I will also start using it. I've never heard of blue sky thinking :(

SueAnn - Oh man, I remember paradigm. Glad that's subsided a bit!

chris - Oooh! Solutioneering! I'm going to use that. Sometimes I go into mega-corporatespeak to annoy my boss.

Amy - apologies to your fiance :)

Juicebox - :O You've changed, man. You used to be cool. I do love "get across it" though.

AnaDrea - Hahaha! I'll remember that next time that phrase comes up.

AnaDrea said...

I just found this site and I had to RUN over there and share because it reminded me of this post (which cracked me up)...


It's a translator to "un-suck" business jargon! Finally!