Alright, if there is a blog entry that is possibly going to get me fired, it is this one. I am feeling rather suicidal so here I go. I am going to reveal some of the really plain things people tell one another in meetings which when heard through the very straight and decent ear of Nikhilesh Murthy just sound plain dirty.
i) Get on top
I can’t remember the number of times people have asked me to get on top of someone else. It’s ok if they refer to some technology or a problem, but when they take people’s names, there is no way I can keep a straight face. If it were the babe in the other department (not mentioning which babe or which department….HR may be tuned in), I can somewhat keep a straight face. It does get weird when they ask you to ‘get on top’ of really old men…who are soooo not my type. It’s even worse if they tell the women in the room to get on top. Come on now, there is no way you cannot not picture Penelope Cruz from that unforgettable movie ‘Woman on Top’.
ii) You can’t be on the surface, you must go deeper
This is a no brainer. When you’ve spent a fair part of your graduation watching religious movies (defined as movies where people seem to say ‘oh my god’ a lot more than what is considered appropriate), there is no chance you can keep a straight face and nod politely to this one. It gets better when they say ,” If you can’t handle this alone, we’ll give you a resource.” ‘A resource’…is that what they’re called these days? They refer to it as 'A tricycle' in HIMYM.
iii) Touch Base
So now you want me to touch base and go deeper? Weird. I do believe I will get slapped if I go around touching base with everyone here. I know we’re all told to build intimate relationships with our co-workers, but isn’t this PDA a little too much. After all, we’re supposed to be a professional firm. It’s not like I’m one of the account managers in ‘Mad Men’ who can literally go around ‘touching base’ without being fired or thrown out by his wife.
iv) Sitting on our hands
Why would I sit on someone else’s hand? No really?!?!? This always manages to put in a lot of laptop jokes. You know stuff like, “ My secretary wanted a laptop….” No?!?!? Never heard this one. Sheesh!
v) Best in breed
Hehehehe…. Horses? Ducks? Fighter fish? What do you want to breed? And more importantly, how are you going to do it. “We must provide the ‘best in breed’ service”. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want any job that involves breeding of any sort. Speaking of breeding, did you hear about the Beckham’s fourth child?
vi) Blow by blow
While this does mean to cover all the details in the real world….oh darn. This is way too simple guys.
vii) Dead wood
Normally used in the context, “The organization has a lot of dead wood that is weighing us down. We must get rid of the dead wood”. While I’m all pro-cost cutting (even if it means my appraisal….yes HR, I love what you’ve done with it)….don’t you think we should council the dead wood. I am sure there are pills for such a thing…or maybe they’re just nervous. No need for the neutering.
I could go on and on (oh damn…there’s another phrase) but I think I’d better hold off more content until next time.
BTW: Here’s a game you corporate types can play. It’s called B.S Bingo. Create a 4x4 matrix and fill it up with jargon words or phrases used in meetings. Some examples are “in my mind”,”strategic direction”,”Synergy of strategy”,”push the envelope”,”call to action”, etc and hand them out to the non-participating members (yeah right, I’m sure HR have told you that you are all very important to them in every meeting) and cross out words as the participating members say them. The first one to get all the words struck out wins a free coffee from the vending machine.