Sunday, September 04, 2011

Managers, mails and metaphors - an overview of the overused

Apologies for not writing for the last five months. There was a serious dearth of topics to write on. I had half-a-dozen unfinished articles conveniently hibernating in my laptop, waiting for some trojan/virus to devour them, for none of them qualified enough to see the light of the day. To add to the pack were two social issues that were to be sent to the papers. The government beat me to it, by resolving them!

This major hiatus was on, till the above thought struck. Three years of corporate life, beyond all learning, leaves you with assaulted words and/or phrases. By assault, I mean their overuse. I have handpicked the oft used and hence the top ten. The aim is to convey to my readers, that the overused phrases are but metaphors that mostly imply the opposite of their innocent, obvious selves.

1) Keeping you “in the loop” – “In the noose” would have been a more apt term, for all this phrase does is signal the arrival of a distant storm. Someone elsewhere blew the conch for the battle, and the battalion is fast approaching you. The noose will soon tighten around you. Choose to fight, flee or laugh...

2) Deep dive – In all probability, you are positioned to dive into a bottomless abyss. Whenever a new idea demands a deep-dive, “not doable” is the writing on the wall.

3) Process rationalization – The process is anything but useless, and your task is to convert it to “non-useless”, in the least. Your job description, though, will assume a rationalized process even before you sign your offer letter.

4) In the same page – Keep others in the “same page” at your own risk. Your supervisor’s being in the “same page” can only result in a “torn book”. This usage implies “monitoring you beyond what’s at tolerable levels”.

5) Sacrosanct – Adjective – Often confused with “too important or valuable to be interfered with”. Business intent – non-negotiable, beyond human possibility, non-achievable, "not in my hands"...

6) Huddle – Often ends up being a “muddle”, for there are ten people, ten suggestions, ten negative reactions to the same, and all attendees convincing themselves and others, that there was a lot of learning involved.

7) Innovate – Often follows the above muddle. The challenge here is to find out the acceptable eleventh idea, beyond the ten rejected above.

8) Out-of-the-box – Can someone tell me more about the box and what’s within it, so that I can figure out what’s without?!

9) Hygiene variable – The big brother of “sacrosanct”. The business intent resembles that of the latter, only higher in degree/severity.

10) Brainstorming – It almost always doesn’t need the brain, and the storm goes only thus far as to suggest the mood in the conference room. A successor of “chronic shortage of ideas”, this term is a disguise for “finding out the last straw to hang on”!


Ashwini said...

What an apt interpretation :D

Paritosh Anand said...

Especially the first one! Noose and Loop!:D

Loved the post.