Friday, June 17, 2011

Business Geek-Speak

I have seldom used this blog for peevish rants but today I make an exception. I just returned from a business meeting in Pittsburg where I endured 8 hours of what I like to call “business geek-speak." Men and women in suits who work for home offices somewhere all seem trapped inside a language cocoon of their own making. They all seem to somehow have developed a distinct language unlike any spoken anywhere else in the world. I don’t know exactly where this language came from but I suspect that it probably has something to do with the dreadful business periodicals they all read. You’ve seen them on planes and trains when everyone else is reading the sports page or the Sky-Cab magazine. There they are, their noses firmly implanted in the latest copy of the Economist or Forbes. Whatever the source this new language, it's at the top of the list of things that piss me off.   So, just because I can, I present to you a short list of the most inane and annoying. For your enlightenment I have also provided a translation of this idiocy into understandable English:

1.Paradigm Shift.   Whenever I hear this I think of that great song by The Who…"meet the new paradigm, same as the old paradigm."  Whenever a home office stooge starts throwing out “new paradigm” what he really means is..."We’re hemorrhaging money so we’re going to cut your commissions."  But when they say “new paradigm” it makes them sound a bit smarter and not so overwhelmed by events.

2. Value Proposition or Value Added.  Whenever nervous home office guys keep saying things like this what they are practically screaming at you is…"We do very little to help you and consequently are having one hell of a time justifying our existence”

3. Seamless Transition.…"This new thing we want you guys to do has more trap doors and moving
parts than a Paris whorehouse and if you make it two weeks without your computer exploding it will
be a miracle."

4. At The End of The Day.  OK, if I heard this expression once I heard it a hundred times, to the point where if everything that they said was gonna happen at the end of the day actually DID happen at the end of the day, then the end of the day would implode in on itself and the universe would disappear.  How about something simple and elegant like..."ultimately?"

5 Cutting Edge Technology.....the stuff we don’t have yet

6. Broad Based Consensus….we’re all wrong

I could go on but maintaining “sustainable” blood pressure readings are a “stage one priority” for me.