Going to college can give you some of the skills that you'll need to get a job in today's fast-moving workplace. Getting an internship can even give you a taste of what it's like. But nothing can possibly prepare you for the business world's dirty little secret: OfficeSpeak.
When people step through the doors of an office, they are suddenly transformed from relaxed, normal-sounding individuals into some sort of robot. Direct, to-the-point sentences suddenly become convoluted and confusing. Scientists are still baffled by this process and don't totally understand it, but they have determined that one side of the brain shuts down completely. I'll let you guess which one.
To help prepare my friends who are nearing their entry into the "real world", I'm making this guide so that they can try to understand what in the world their experienced coworkers are saying.
|OfficeSpeak||Real World Translation|
|"This project is high-profile"||"Finish it ahead of schedule and under budget; if you mess it up, we'll gradually take a few zeroes off your paycheck"|
|"As per our earlier conversation, .... "||"I'm as amazed as you are that I was listening to what you said before"|
|"Our e-mail system was down"||"I was too busy playing fantasy football to read your e-mail"|
|"I'll get right on that problem"||"Good luck, and may God have mercy on your soul"|
|"Personal phone calls should be limited"||"For nine hours a day, you don't have a family or life outside your cubicle"|
|"Your department's numbers were down a little last week"||"I had nothing better to do than prepare a detailed analysis of the every move of your people"|
|"I was away from my desk"||"I was in the bathroom"|
|"I must've misunderstood what you said"||"You were wrong and won't admit it, you moron"|
|"I'm out of space on my voicemail/email box"||"I don't know how to delete messages"|
|"My keyboard is broken"||"I spilled Mountain Dew in my keyboard...I called as soon as the sparks died down"|
|"My Outlook calendar didn't remind me about our meeting"||"I fell asleep and was having a good dream"|
|ERP, RFP, CRM, TQM, KPI||Contrary to popular belief, these TLAs (three letter acronyms) don't actually mean anything. People use them in an attempt to sound smart, and they know no one will ever ask them what they stand for.|
|"customized software solution"||"buggy program"|
|"I'm a software engineer"||"I can type faster than you"|
|"Your user profile was corrupted; I have restored it from the backup "||"I deleted your account accidentally; we don't have a backup, so I've recreated it from scratch and it'll be a miracle if everything's correct"|
|"We need to have a meeting"||"You have too much free time"|