Bennett Quillen's Blog

Information and Technology Services Professional

Month: April, 2013

CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS STINK

OK, watch out: I am on a diatribe.  Yes, you may say I am simply a curmudgeon, but so be it.  I have simply had it up to my eyeballs with “business-speak” where no one knows what they are saying or why they are saying it.

 

Corporate America cannot talk or write.  It is increasingly evident that large corporations make money in spite of themselves.  People in these organizations are living in some kind of cocoon where they do not have to talk or write coherently.

 

I just hung up on a conference call in which several of the participants were awash in meaningless corporate slang, using all of the terms, multiple times, listed below; it was just simply too much for me to take.  I swear if I hear any person using the following expressions from anyone anymore, I cannot be responsible for what action I may take against that individual:

 

  • “reach out to so-and-so” – what the heck does that mean???  Oh, I know it Is supposed to be a kind of warm and comfy way of contacting someone. So, then why not say: call, write, meet, email, fax or whatever.  If someone reaches out to me, they are likely to get a sock in the jaw!

 

  • “dialogue with so-and-so” – another meaningless term.  What is wrong with simply saying talk with so-and-so or meet with that person?

 

  • “voice of the customer” – this is supposed to be where we are considering the desires and needs of the customer.  Do these corporate robots (i.e. people) realize this is a perversion of the “voice of the turtle” from Song of Solomon?  Of course not!  If you want to know about customer objectives or needs, fine.  But, call them what they are: customer survey results.

 

  • “stakeholders” – this is a real stupid one.  Companies have shareholders.  But, stakeholders are supposed to be anyone inside, or potentially outside, the organization that has some sort of specific interest in a project.  Of course, lots of people or departments in a company may have a vital interest in a particular project or service.  That makes them developers, project managers, sales people, managers, whatever – but NOT stakeholders. It is completely meaningless.  We have executives, employees, customers, and shareholders – period – end of story!

 

  • “associates” – this is a cute human resource way of saying we are all associates – baloney!  We have executives and employees.  If I am in a company, I have a boss, and he/she probably has a boss. We are not associates; we are employees — let’s get that straight.

 

  • “passion” over an issue – this is probably the worst of the lot.  Some woman on the call said: “Well, I don’t know whether anyone of you have “passion” about this task (She was speaking about a project task.), or do you have “passion” about doing something else?”  It was at the close of that question, with two “passions” in it that I hung up.  I’ll tell you all: I have “passion” over two things in my life – my religion and my family; that’s it!

 

Well, I feel a lot better having gotten that off my chest.  Thanks for being the recipients of my “reaching out” to “dialogue” having “passion” about this – arghhhhh!

 

Bennett Quillen

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Battle of the Boyne

Mary Jane and Bruce,

My Dad used to hum a tune on St Patrick’s Day, the excerpt of which was:

“The blue, the blue, the bonny, bonny blue; the red and the green were shamed to be seen

When King Orange crossed the Boyne Waters.”

I presume the “red and green” are references to the French and Irish Catholics.

Anyway, the following are apparently the lyrics to the Battle of the Boyne by an anonymous lyricist.

Love,

Dad

Battle of the Boyne.

July the first, of a morning clear, one thousand six hundred and ninety,
King William did his men prepare?of thousands he had thirty-
To fight King James and all his foes, encamped near the Boyne Water;
He little feared, though two to one, their multitude to scatter.

King William called his officers, saying: “Gentlemen, mind your station,
And let your valour here be shown before this Irish nation;
My brazen walls let no man break, and your subtle foes you?ll scatter,
Be sure you show them good English play as you go over the water.”

Both foot and horse they marched on, intending them to batter,
But the brave Duke Schomberg he was shot as he crossed over the water.
When that King William did observe the brave Duke Schomberg falling,
He reined his horse with a heavy heart, on the Enniskillenes calling:

“What will you do for me, brave boys?see yonder men retreating?
Our enemies encouraged are, and English drums are beating.”
He says, “My boys feel no dismay at the losing of one commander,
For God shall be our King this day, and I’ll be general under.”

Within four yards of our fore-front, before a shot was fired,
A sudden snuff they got that day, which little they desired;
For horse and man fell to the ground, and some hung on their saddle:
Others turned up their forked ends, which we call coup de ladle.

Prince Eugene‘s regiment was the next, on our right hand advanced
Into a field of standing wheat, where Irish horses pranced;
But the brandy ran so in their heads, their senses all did scatter,
They little thought to leave their bones that day at the Boyne Water.
Both men and horse lay on the ground, and many there lay bleeding,
I saw no sickles there that day?but, sure, there was sharp shearing.
Now, praise God, all true Protestants, and heaven’s and earth’s Creator,
For the deliverance he sent our enemies to scatter.
The Church’s foes will pine away, like churlish-hearted Nabal,
For our deliverer came this day like the great Zorobabal.

So praise God, all true Protestants, and I will say no further,
But had the Papists gained that day, there would have been open murder.
Although King James and many more were ne’er that way inclined,
It was not in their power to stop what the rabble they designed.