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Guest Blog by Dale Shaw
Is there anything more irritating than business jargon? Stock phrases that are fired at you by clueless people in an office setting? New baffling ones seem to get piled onto the old classic ones, so entire meetings can be completely constructed from meaningless management speak, without a tangible item being discussed. It’s a good indicator that you’re in the wrong job or your boss is a dummy if they choose to spout endless, mindless garbage. So if any of the following phrases provoke you to run screaming from the executive boardroom, you might want to consider a change of career…
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
DEFINED AS: Don’t be constricted by conventional thinking. Try to take a leap of imagination.
REALLY MEANS: Have a good idea. Don’t have bad ideas. Or if you do have a bad idea, make it sound like a new idea. In other words, do your job.
DEFINED AS: We can’t lose! Whatever we do, there’s bound to be a favourable outcome for us.
REALLY MEANS: We are deluded and setting ourselves up for a horrible, unseen eventuality. I’ll start looking for a new role immediately.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
DEFINED AS: Go above and beyond perceived expectations and truly innovate.
REALLY MEANS: For God’s sake, think of some way to improve things around here before the bailiffs arrive and those large man apply that baseball bat to my kneecaps as they promised.
DROP THE BALL
DEFINED AS: To make a mistake or lose focus resulting in an unfortunate situation.
REALLY MEANS: I’m desperately looking around for a scapegoat and I think it’s going to be you. You might want to brush up your resume.
FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
DEFINED AS: We must use every effort to ensure this project is a success.
REALLY MEANS: Please come to work every day and do the thing that we pay you for. Don’t fail to come to work and do things that are bad.
DEFINED AS: Making contact with a colleague or client in a casual manner.
REALLY MEANS: Using human language and speech to communicate with fellow mammals in the way you are paid to do.
DEFINED AS: Pushing yourself just a little bit further to achieve a particular goal.
REALLY MEANS: Absolutely nothing, as 100% is the most you can definably, mathematically give in any situation.
DEFINED AS: The change in basic understanding of an established concept or defined opinion.
REALLY MEANS: I just realised I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, so I’m going to blame it on everything else. The entire world has suddenly changed, which is why I can no longer sell these lawnmowers.
DEFINED AS: Using unconventional methods, usually web-based, to advertise or increase recognition of a product or project.
REALLY MEANS: Let’s get that intern kid to do this on the cheap.
DEFINED AS: Assessing the situation as this project progresses.
REALLY MEANS: Please fire platitudes at me and tell me this is going to work and then get out of my office.
DEFINED AS: Working together to achieve a goal that could not be achieved working apart.
REALLY MEANS: Having a job where other people are employed. Not working alone in a cave making shoes out of twigs and mud.
LOW HANGING FRUIT
DEFINED AS: Results that are easily achievable and readily available.
REALLY MEANS: We’ve given up, let’s just take all the office furniture out into the car park and try to sell it to passers-by and then possibly eat each other.