Anyone who works in an office environment has suffered at the hands of jargon. At least one colleague or manager will sacrifices simplicity in the hope of coming across as more professional or even knowledgeable.
But when you stop making sense and start bleating out buzzwords, it can be hard even following what you’re trying to say. You also run the risk of sounding like David Brent – never an act you want to follow.
So to keep you laughing(!) through our wet and windy summer, here’s a few of the worst jargon-infused sayings currently flying around Britain’s board rooms and office cubicles.
You need to hit the ground running
A personal bugbear, my university lecturer used to say this one all the time. What’s the alternative? Going through the pavement like a cannonball? In general people tend to hit the ground with their feet. Where are they running to? Do they even know why they’re running?
We need to think out of the box.
When a manager says this they’re desperate for ANY good idea. It usually means the team has tried everything and is still getting nowhere fast. This is no garauntee however that the next idea is any good. They might just roll with it to stop their brain hurting.
Delegation pure and simple. When the topic comes up again, people will be looking to you for an update or at least an explanation. Usually a task that the boss can’t be bothered with.
Let’s run it up the flagpole and see if it flies.
I’ve been in a meeting where this was used. The ensuing silence was anything but golden. Instead all the speaker got was stiffled sniggering. Just saying ‘ Let’s try it out’ would have been so much simpler and kinder to his ego.
I’ll touch base with you later in the week.
This must have originated in America where touching bases seems to be much more common. Still, the real meaning here is that you shouldn’t forget about the task at hand. Someone is going to be asking about it soon. Get on with things quick before the boss comes back to hover at your desk when you least expect it.
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