Posted by: bkivey | 18 February 2011

Business Humor

A little while ago I posted some examples of math and engineering humor, so today I’m offering a selection of businesspeak and translations. We’ve all heard them, and on occasion some of us (cough) may have used them.

Crash Course in Management Speak 
Says: Means:
That’s very interesting. I disagree.
I don’t disagree. I disagree.
I don’t totally disagree with you. You may be right, but I don’t care.
You have to show some flexibility. You have to do it whether you want to or not.
We have an opportunity. You have a problem.
You obviously put a lot of work into this. This is awful.
In a perfect world. Just get it working and get it out the door.
Help me to understand. I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I don’t think you do either.
You just don’t understand our business. We don’t understand our business.
You need to see the big picture. My boss thinks it’s a good idea.
My mind is made up. I am adamant on the subject. There is no room for discussion. But if you do want to discuss it further, my door is always open. F%^$ you.
I appreciate your contribution. F%^$ you.
We’re going to follow a strict methodology here. We’re going to do it my way.
I didn’t understand the e-mail you said you sent. Can you give me a quick summary? I still can’t figure out how to start the e-mail program.
Cost of ownership is a significant issue. We want all of the benefits and none of the costs.
We have to leverage our resources. You’re working weekends.
Individual contributor. Employee who does real work.
Your project is on hold. We’ve put a bullet in it.
Wrong answer. You didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear.
You needed to be more proactive. You should have protected me from myself.
I’d like your buy-in on this. I want someone else to blame when this thing bombs.
We want you to be the executive champion of this project. I want to be able to blame you for my mistakes.
We need to syndicate this decision. We need to spread the blame if it backfires.
We have to put on our marketing hats. We have to put ethics aside.
It’s not possible. It’s impractical. It won’t work. I don’t know how to do it.
It’s a no-brainer. It’s a perfect decision for me to handle.
I’m glad you asked me that. Public relations has written a carefully phrased answer.
I see you involved your peers in developing your proposal. One person couldn’t possibly come up with something this stupid.
There are larger issues at stake. I’ve made up my mind so don’t bother me with the facts.
I’ll never lie to you. The truth will change frequently.
Our business is going through a paradigm shift. We have no idea what we’ve been doing, but in the future we shall do something completely different.
Value-added. Expensive.
Human Resources. A bulk commodity, like lentils or cinder blocks.
The upcoming reductions will benefit the vast majority of employees. The upcoming reductions will benefit me.


I have a few others:

“You have an opportunity to expand your horizons.”  You’re being laid off.
“We’re re-evaluating our resource allocation.”   Your staff is being cut.
 “We need to stabilize our expenditures.”    No raise this year.


Today in History

Over on the Today in History page (link on right) we learn that on this day in 1876 a direct telegraph link was established between Britain and New Zealand. Think about that. The shortest distance between London and Christchurch is nearly 12,000 miles, and that’s over the North Pole. Remember that a telegraph requires a physical connection between stations in the form of a telegraph wire, and it wasn’t routed over the Pole.

It wasn’t until 1927 on this day that the U.S. and Canada began diplomatic relations. Pretty surprising, eh?

Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto today in 1930.

It’s Always Coldest Before the Global Warming

On this day in 1979, a cold weather record was set in New York at Old Forge (-52F) and snow fell in the Sahara Desert.


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