A recent Gallup pool found that a full 78% of Americans, upon hearing
someone use the phrase "Let's Touch Base", are overcome by a nearly
uncontrollable urge to grit their teeth, wrap their fingers around the
speaker's neck, and squeeze until they hear the wet, satisfying pop
which signifies a crushed trachea.
And who can blame them? The absurd language of "business" has no place
within a civilized society such as ours. In fact, I might even go so
far as to say that a brutal, fully-conscious strangulation may even be too
merciful a punishment for those who willingly use terms like "Team
Player" and "Think Outside The Box" without hint of shame or sarcasm.
But anyway, if you want to ensure you're not gonna be throttled to
death by some guy who doesn't like you talking like a corporate tool,
you should probably go ahead and check out this list of awful business
terms which fill me with an impotent rage.
1. SIX SIGMA
I've heard the phrase Six Sigma a whole lot in various places I've
worked, but I've never had even the faintest idea what it meant. I
attempted to do a bit of research online, but every definition I found
appeared to be more meaningless and confounding than the last. Finally,
in a desperate rage, I ended up searching for "six sigma" on Wikipedia.
This was similarly worthless, as The Page For It
is simply 15 paragraphs of nearly meaningless business jargon and a
couple of graphs I didn't even bother to attempt to understand.
In case you don't feel like clicking, I have taken the liberty of
translating the introductory paragraph of said article for you using a
Businessspeak-To-Actual-English translator. As is the case with most
online translators it came out a little wonky, but I think you'll
probably get the general idea:
All the people on the deck! Six Sigma is a collection of
stool invented in 1986. Six Sigma is to improve the outside of the box
thinking. Six Sigma is to minimize the changes in production. Six
Sigma, it uses the series of the quality control and knock the ball out
of the ball park!
Names for the staff members as follow: black belt, green belt, belt
belt, he felt that circumcision belt. Each Six Sigma organizations in
the following sequence of steps to determine the financial targets
(cost or revenue validity conglomeration increase) quantified.
Word comes from the long-term short-term Six Sigma
manufacturing-related issue. In yield to maturity expressed as a
percentage standard deviation of the survival rate of defective created
or destroyed within a period of time which is 99.99966% defect-free and
free of products or standard deviations from.
Add value. Tackling the palace. Six counties of the load. Do not expect
any chickens. Do not rock the boat for us. Heuristics! Please to
bringing skeptical. Dead horse beaten to death. Drag the lake. Turtles
all the way down.
All in all, I'm pleased with the way this translation came out. And I
can assure you that you
won't find a better overview of what Six Sigma is all about
anywhere else on the internet. But I suppose that isn't saying
As I'm sure you can figure out, "blamestorming" is simply an
insufferably cutesy bastardization of "brainstorming". As it was
explained to me, a "blamestorm" often occurs in meetings which have
been called to discuss why a particular project or idea has failed. For
obvious reasons, nobody in the meeting believes (or wants to admit)
that they are responsible for the failure, resulting in a "storm" of
"blame", as desperate accusations fly.
While I will grant that this word technically makes sense, this
not make its use any less offensive or unnecessary. I don't know how it
is in the rest of the world, but here in The United America there are
some lines you just don't cross, and saying 'blamestorm" aloud is
almost certainly one of them. It's right there in the first five
articles of the US Constitution:
- Article I: Show respect for Lady Liberty
- Article II: Keep your voices down, and refrain from using
- Article III: No black soled shoes on the nation's floors
- Article IV: Freedom of The Press
- Article V: When entering the country, shut the door tight
behind you to
make sure no Mexicans get in.
I would direct your attention to Article I: Show respect for Lady
Liberty. You might not see what this has to do with saying
"blamestorming", but you must understand that when you use this word
(even in jest), it makes Americans look like even bigger morons than
they actually are, which encourage (if not requires) other countries to
make fun of us.
Just imagine what the British must say when they hear an American using
ridiculous made-up words like these:
"Oi! Didja catch a blundersnog 'o
the yip-yips those bloody Yank tossers 'ave been slogging off wif'?
Disrespecful to the ol' Queen's English it is it is! I've 'aff a mind
to gollyfap me bloody chuzwallas out across the pond and slog their
kippers to a lovelyjovely, an' I would too, 'cept me mum's got a
thousand-stone growth in her slogswailer. But if those Yanks ain't
cruddlerin' the hornsbyfinch, I'll be a snookered skiffa!"
So in summary: Use of the phrase "blamestorming" is tantamount to
allowing a goggle-eyed, fish-smelling, inbred British drunkard to bend
the statue of liberty over a ferryboat and rail her till she bleeds
rust. And in case you hadn't heard, we don't abide that sort of
behavior here in the land of the free.
3. GOING FORWARD
Example: "It essential that, going forward, we satisfy the
Translation: "Ladies and gentlemen, while I realize that up
point we have been focusing on satisfying our customer's needs by
slipping backwards through time, quickly performing the services we
know they will request in the future, and then returning to the present
mere moments after we had left, but in the long run, we have discovered
that this is not a sustainable way to do business.
That is why, my friends, I propose a "forward going" business model, as
opposed to the regressive model we have relied so heavily on in the
past. The benefits are many: For one thing, we will no longer have to
worry about "Negation". Negation, you will remember, is what occurs
when we travel back and fix the root cause of a problem for a customer
before it even occurred, preventing them from ever coming and asking us
about it in the first place, causing a tear in the space-time continuum
and destroying that particular layer of the multiverse (along with the
warpgate through with the jump was originally made) forever, forcing us
to start from square one each time we receive a contract. This has
proven to be both time-consuming and fiscally untenable.
But no more!
We shall now strive to satisfy our customer's needs in the present, as
well as in the near future, but not in the past.
To long have we gone backwards. So now, my friends, we shall go
forward. And in going forward we will have hypothetically succeeded in
the future which we did our best to ensure would be fruitful in the
past (which is currently the present), and will no longer be shackled
by the chains of the past's past, or indeed, even the future's past.
Good luck to us all, and may Chronos, the incorporeal serpent god of
time, have mercy upon our collective souls.
4. HUMAN RESOURCES/HUMAN CAPITAL
Alright, corporations, we get it: You only see your employees as
faceless, replaceable cogs to be utilized in your tireless march
towards wealth and world domination, but is it entirely
refer to them as a resource? Talk about twisting the knife. At the very
least you could try to dress it up a little, you know?
But hmm...come to think of it, maybe being a resource isn't such a bad
thing after all. At least by calling you a resource, your employer is
valuing you at least as much as petroleum, bauxite, or olives. I mean
come on, olives! I can only assume that those are pretty rare.
about it: When's the last time you saw an olive? That's right, never.
You never saw an olive, and that's because they're the rarest
vegetable. What do you mean "Actually, Olives are fruits, they're also
one of the most extensively cultivated crops in the world, and I just
ate one yesterday"? Are you calling me a liar? Huh? Are you? I don't
see anyone else here talking about olives, so you MUST be! How dare you
speak to me like that in my own home!? No. No! You shut up! You shut
the hell up! SHUT THE HELL UP YOU SON OF A BITCH! GET OUT! DO YOU
ME? GET OUT!!!!
In conclusion: Olives.
Grassroots was originally a term which was meant to describe small
groups of like-minded individuals working together on a project on a
local or community level. Some examples of true grassroots movements
- A Neighborhood Watch Programme
- Free Yearly Dance Festival Featuring Only Shitty Jam/Reggae Bands
- Distributing Anti-McDonald's Fliers While Sporting Unwashed
- Local Vegetable Garden Co-Op
- The KKK
- Group Of Concerned Parents Getting Together To Spraypaint "RAPERS
HOME" [sic] On The Garage Door Of That Sex Offender Who Just Moved In
Down The Street
A perfect counterexample of a grassroots movement would be ANY
BEGUN BY A CORPORATION OR ANY SUBSIDIARY OF A CORPORATION. For
instance, when worked for
Walmart in the early 00's, they decided to begin (or at least step-up),
what they called (and apparently still call) "The Grass Roots
Process". The idea behind The Grass
Roots Process is that even "the little people" (meaning the hourly
employees) can make a difference within the Walmart corporate
I don't think I have to tell you that the Grass Roots Process changed
the way I looked at life. I couldn't believe that I was finally a true
member of The Walmart family! Sure, I might not have gotten a pay raise
or anything, and my benefits were still shit (luckily I couldn't afford
them), and every day I was on pins and needles wondering if I would get
fired (which I eventually did), but hell, there were GREEN SIGNS
up on the wall in the breakroom that said the word "grassroots" on
them. Also they made us watch a new training video.
I don't remember much the video itself, but I do remember that they
tried to prove that they respected the ideas of us grunts by giving a
bunch of examples of all the awesome ideas hourly employees had come up
with in the past. Mostly though, these were just depressing things like
"Joe in store #2229 came up with the idea to stack the canned goods in
his store to create a haunted house for Halloween. The children loved
it and storewide grocery profits increased by 16%!"
Of course they failed to add that even after Joe's amazingly profitable
idea, he continued to be a widower who made $7.25 an hour and Still
Had To Rely On Medicaid And Foodstamps to support his two young
children, and that Joe was fired a few months
later for paging through a magazine he had not paid for, fell into a
deep depression, drowned both his kids in a bathtub full of Dr.
Thunder, and then blew his brains all over the wood paneling of his
foreclosed upon trailer home.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some gentle grassroots weeping for
the future of humanity to catch up on.