The World of ‘Jargon’ia!

What can you bring to the table?

That sounded like a bolt from the blue for a greenhorn like me couple of years ago – which was when I first stepped into the corporate world. Especially, if this question is asked early in the morning, I almost replied ‘Why, How about Samosas and Tea’ – but refrained.

Just then, my boss popped into the meeting. He said ‘Kiran, just make sure you jot down all the points, keep me in the loop and let’s discuss about this product by close of play today’. I immediately had two questions for him ‘Will the noose made of barbed wire the size of your neck makeup for a loop’ and ‘Close of Play…dammnn…I seemed to have missed some communication…so… Are we playing some game today?’ – again I somehow felt I had missed a point and refrained from questioning him.

Bosses have a strange way of dealing with their sub-ordinates. Meetings for me are time well-spent – sleeping! The other day, during one such meeting involving lot of technical details, where I was heavily into my afternoon siesta – hearing terms like WSDL, integration, interface communication, RTM, ODS etc etc of which I had no clue of, my boss interrupts the meeting and asks me ‘So, Kiran, what do you think about the game-changer here? Do you think we can win the game with this alternative?!’ For a moment, I wondered if I missed most part of a India-Pakistan cricket match. However, auto-control took over and I replied ‘Honestly, unless this WSDL works with RTM and ODS efficiently and we are able to provide more bang-for-the-buck for the business – I think we are merely wasting time discussing alternatives’. My boss said ‘That’s an interesting point’. Ah! My moral teacher always used to teach ‘Honesty is the best policy’ – and following it today has lead to fruitful results….muahahahhaha!!!

Jargons fly during office hours and it is frustrating if you are continuously barraged with it. The other day – after a long presentation which involved me scribbling a lot on the whiteboard, my boss asks me ‘So, say we start on a clean slate – What then would be the implications of this change?’ Whatttt??? What did he think I was doing on the whiteboard? Doodling!! I guess after the clean slate is filled to every inch – he might ask ‘How about trying the blue sky approach?!’  He goes on to say ‘So are we on the same page now?’ – I mean what?!! No dude, we are not – actually, we are just on different planets!

Another meeting – and as interested I am in such meetings (heavy slumber that is), I ask a harmless question ‘Don’t you think we need an audittrail for such an application?’ and my technical colleague shoots back ‘Why don’t I touchbase with you offline on this?’. I shot back to him on Gtalk (yes, we were chatting parallely too!) Dudeee…you are not touching my base ONLINE or OFFLINE.’ Last heard, he was heavily reprimanded by his boss for laughter in a very serious meeting 😉

But this one takes the cake. Happened quite a while ago when one of the Vice-Presidents in my previous company heard my presentation – At the end of the presentation he asked me ‘So, kiran – are we maximizing synergies here? I want you to run up some numbers on this because as an organization we are switching gears which might result in a paradigm shift in the way we work. Also, we might create some payroll orphans due to this. After you send me the results of the analysis, let me bounce off this idea with my superior – we’ll just raise the flag up the flagpole to see which way the wind blows it! What do you think?’

I just mumbled Sure, will do. But to understand the fuzzy language of this above statement took me two full days – breaking every phrase, every word in the phrase, analyzing it, losing sleep over it and in the end understanding it as ‘Can we generate profit out of this idea? We run a risk of firing some people due to this. Let me check with my superior about the validity’ Ufff…what a way with jargon!!

Next time I met him, I told him ‘Anil, I feel we need to think out of the box for such a problem – keeping other things on radar along with this. Currently, my plate is full but given sufficient time I can ramp up and will have sufficient bandwidth to deal with the proposed solution’. He smiled smugly (a satisfaction of seeing your own reflection in others) and said ‘Good job. I appreciate your thought process and way of communication – Keep it up’. Saying this, he tapped me on my shoulder. I was anointed into the ‘Jargonian’ league.

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3 comments so far

  1. M on

    ROTFLOL!! How do you come up with such ideas??!! 🙂

  2. Kiran on

    @M – heyy!! don’t accuse me of such a cardinal sin! I didn’t come up with those – THEY made me like this 😉 !!

  3. Shrikanth on

    Wow…. you are quite right; i guess to some extent world of jargons, originated, apparently to impress the onlookers and listeners…Then it became a fashion/fad….Unfortunately not only the organization is suffering because of these useless meetings, it leaves the poor listeners confused and sometimes paralyzed for a couple of minutes.


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