Welcome to my jaded world of work, office and the corporate world. Having spent the past 16 years working in manufacturing for a large company, I worked my way up through the ranks to the "semi-executive" plateau where the grass is not really greener (okay, the money is), but just has a whole bunch of weird shades. Everyone talks differently and eventually you get sucked into the world of Corporate-speak and think. Well, "Work Redefined" is my outlet.I find myself sitting on conference calls or in meetings and can't help but turn terms and phrases into something much more entertaining; entertaining for myself and hopefully for others who have the same reservations and/or disgust for what they hear on a daily basis. It kind of resembles thoughts from Dilbert and The Office, but my own personal twist.Yes, I'm part of the evil, but I keep pushing against it in an effort to not become fully absorbed in it all. I've put some of my thoughts on shirts, hats and things that you can see on Cafe Press under Work Redefined. I'll post some of the tantalizing tidbits on my blog for your pleasure, pain or entertainment.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Corporate Help

My thoughts around corporate phrases and how this relates and doesn't relate to the real world is really driven by those little things you hear when meeting with a group "of your own kind." When the managers or executives gather, you understand that most of them really are aware of how they come off around people that report to them - yes, those little people. But in the same breath, they just can't stop. I would never tire of hearing people say how they were just here to help. But it was like, help in one hand and an extremely large hammer in the other. It sure always felt like help or die to me. So the phrase was born, "I'm from Corporate and I'm here to help."

So, say it with subtlety or scream it from the mountain tops. Make an event out of it. I've got the "Corporate Help - Event Staff" shirts, hats and buttons or the "I'm from Corporate and I'm here to help - Event Staff", a lot of variations on the theme. Personally, I kind of like it understated. Some people get it and others don't see it at all. It's fun to watch the reactions. As always, find these and other options here - http://www.cafepress.com/workredefined.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Automatic, magical - its AUTOMAGICAL

Ever work in a computer program and wonder "how the heck did that work?" Let's get right down to the hard, cold, undeniable truth; you'll never get it, even if it were explained to you in small words. Does that mean you're dumb? Of course not. Now, I'm not saying you're not dumb, I'd leave that to Dr. Phil or someone else on TV that has been anointed as an expert. Anyway, whatever the label, let's get by that one and back to the programming stuff.

I think it would be easier to simply go with - it happens - and if you're not geek enough to want to spend the rest of your natural life trying to figure it out, just let it be. This lead us to the new term that I heard on a recent corporate IT project (by the way, if you read my acronym blog, you'll see that I simply don't have the time to write out Information Technology). That new term is Automagical.

I love it. It all happens automagically in the background, so take a few deep breaths. Its okay to not get it. If it works, don't try to beat it into submission, just be glad the damn thing works and move on to more important stuff, like multitasking; using your blackberry to text someone while you're both driving on company business to a celebration of your most impressive safety record.


I read somewhere that humans were wired to do only one thing at a time with any great degree of precision. So, if you want to do something well, don't try doing multiple things at one time. It is defeating. You know, I really love this one. I can't imagine getting my work done if I took my own advice here, but it really makes sense. Its not very often that I feel I've really done an excellent job on my tasks if I take them on more than one at a time. Anyone want to comment on that one for me? Maybe I'm just a dunce (be nice to me), but I think that multitasking is way, way overrated.

So here's my take on tasking in the plural, double-dipping so to speak. What a wonderful way to attempt to turn one person into five or six. Why would we ever feel overworked, underpaid and at the end of rope? Hey, if we multitask, do we get additional ropes? We can only hope.

Get some of these on items at Multitask. I'm working 24/7 just for you.


Now here's an interesting subject, especially if your extemely busy, like everyone else in the world and just don't have time to say a full sentence. COME ON! Make the time to say the whole thing in words that real people understand. Now, don't fight me on this and don't call me a dumb MF. By the way, MF is not an acronym, so let's take a second here to define. An acronym is, oh, how should I say it; A WORD. No, not just whatever letters you lovingly want to write down. That is an abreviation.

Okay, back to original subject matter, not having the time. Well, we (as a society) have time to watch a 30 minute game show that turns a well intentioned human into a bowl of jello from fear and humiliation, but we apparently don't have time to say "National Aeronautics and Space Administration." Wasn't a good choice you say? To hard to say or too much time? Guess what? NASA stands for 32 other organizations also. So, if you tell a Native American that you are joining NASA he or she might wonder why you think you can be part of the Native American Student Association. Herein lies a part of the problem. We likely spend 20 times longer than we save by trying to communicate correctly, be understood and educate. Okay, maybe NASA wasn't the best choice here, because we all know what it stands for - at least the first one.

In the corporate world of projects, it is just awful. First, every abbreviation is called an acronym, I think mainly because there isn't even enough creative juice (or again, time) to come up with something that you can pronounce - I'd like to buy a vowel please. Second, usually on a project there is an entire document created with the sole purpose of defining "acronyms." The list is often very long. "Why is this?" you may ask. Well you may not, but I do. Its because we're lazy, don't think we have any time (see my blog section on multitasking) and simply want to make sure that anyone following behind us has to suffer the "Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune" (SAOF - you figure out how to say it). Leading to the last paragraph . . .

Did Shakespeare use acronyms? I think not. An abbreviation, yes I know, not an acronym, but my hip-hop version: 2BRN2B, that is the question - oh looks and sounds great doesn't it. Shakespeare must have had more time than we do now. Obviously, I'm no Shakespeare. Therefore, I give you my latest tainted thoughts on cloth, pin and other product - "ACE - Acronymically Challenged Employee" and yes, it is an acronym and no, I just don't have time to say the phrase. So be an ACE along with me. Give Gary words! ACE

Just wanted to add that I was in a training meeting a few days ago on a rather large project for my company. The person giving the training used a sentence with 6 acronyms (mostly abbreviations really). I didn't even think that was possible. Well, in defiance to what I've stated earlier, it was a long meeting so good use of abbreviated English-and I'll bet that sentence alone saved us 6 seconds.