Tuesday, November 10, 2009
just in case you took it literally
A few things I’ve picked up from an office environment over the past 6 years:
‘I’m losing my patience’ means ‘I’ve already lost it.’ Also applicable to ‘I’m losing my sense of humour’ and ‘I’m losing the will to live.’
We need to ensure client has been notified.. Ah the Royal We. Which essentially means ‘I’m giving you the task.’ No, I have to ensure client has been notified.
We need to order more stationery. This is slightly different to the Royal We, because it’s not so much a command as it is a suggestion. The statement-giver usually announces ‘We need to order more stationery’ in the hope that someone will jump up and declare, ‘Yes! We do! I’ll order it, don’t worry.’
Traffic was terrible means ‘I overslept because I got some last night/was drinking kamakazi’s until 3:00am/I forgot about the meeting’
We need to remember to keep all the channels of communication open during this busy time.
This means ‘You fucking forgot to tell me about that fucking important proposal I needed to have ready by today and this is the first I have heard about it.’
I think we need to be more structured in our approach. This is a double entendre. ‘I think’ always means ‘I’m deadly fucking certain and don’t even try to argue with me’, and more structured in our approach means ‘You are a bunch of disorganised c&nts and nobody takes you seriously.’
Who was responsible for ensuring the presentation was sent on time? The definition of this is twofold: Who can I blame; and ‘Oh fuck, I think this might’ve been me.’
And in the journo world/news room (of years yonder) before I changed careers:
Deadline is 5:00pm This means you can start writing your story then and hand it in the following day.
I’ve tweaked your story slightly = ‘I’ve slashed it to pieces/re-written it/you won’t be able to recognise it in print.’
‘I didn’t quote that!’ Wild panic, as words are whacked into your mouth, stuffed into your pen and miraculously make their way onto a printed page.
Let’s talk about your first feature. ‘Let’s’ is a metaphor for The Royal We. Because only one person will do the talking. Remember this well, on one of my first stories ever, where I wrote in a headline ‘Pubic Transport’ instead of Public Transport. It wasn’t the story he wanted to discuss as a whole, just the title. And it wasn’t a great conversation.
No comment. Means a multitude of things. Mostly ‘I have so much to comment on it’s frightening’ to ‘They pay me the big bucks to shut up’ to ‘If only you fucking knew’ to ‘If you give me a blowjob, I’ll tell ya.’