10 Things You Should Never Say at the Office

Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
I once encountered a SOB (son of boss) executive at a company my investment bank was targeting for a takeover and was absolutely stunned when he started talking in what he imagined was "cutting edge" business speak. (Remember, this was more than thirty years ago!)

He asked, "What is your "incent?"
I replied, "I have no idea what an "incent" is. Do you mean "incentive" and if so, incentive for what?"

He then said, "Well, in your telecom you apprised you were in acquisitions."

At that point, I asked, "Could I talk with your dad, please? We don't seem to be on the same wavelength."

With that, the dad, who had been listening at an open door, came in and summarily dismissed the 40 something son. "You see why I'm looking to sell. My idiot son couldn't run a pushcart, let alone a manufacturing business. Let's talk turkey. Are your buyers solid? What do you need to see and know besides our books?"
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
I once encountered a SOB (son of boss) executive at a company my investment bank was targeting for a takeover and was absolutely stunned when he started talking in what he imagined was "cutting edge" business speak. (Remember, this was more than thirty years ago!)

He asked, "What is your "incent?"
I replied, "I have no idea what an "incent" is. Do you mean "incentive" and if so, incentive for what?"

He then said, "Well, in your telecom you apprised you were in acquisitions."

At that point, I asked, "Could I talk with your dad, please? We don't seem to be on the same wavelength."

With that, the dad, who had been listening at an open door, came in and summarily dismissed the 40 something son. "You see why I'm looking to sell. My idiot son couldn't run a pushcart, let alone a manufacturing business. Let's talk turkey. Are your buyers solid? What do you need to see and know besides our books?"
:topic: I think he said "intent", and wanted to know what your intentions were. May be you heard it wrong.
Thirty years back ... hmm its all so cloudy.... :notme:
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#7
:topic: I think he said "intent", and wanted to know what your intentions were. May be you heard it wrong.
Thirty years back ... hmm its all so cloudy.... :notme:
No! I "edited" the conversation - He was quite clear he meant "incent" not intent. He also used the term "incentivize" in a conversation weeks later when he said something about how my firm should "incentivize" the accountant auditing the target's books.

There's a time and place for polysyllabic words and business jargon, but it is not when folks want to be crystal clear in their communication with folks who are not familiar with the jargon and who may not be fully aware of the meaning of some words.

My scorn is particularly aimed at folks who try to appear educated and intelligent by using "big" words, but expose themselves to ridicule when they use those words wrongly or mispronounce them to the point of provoking snickers and laughter from the audience.

I recall one hapless soul giving a presentation to an audience of 25 higher ranking officers in his company who meant to use the term "rapport,"
rap?port /raˈp?r/
Noun
A close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well.)
which was the entire theme of his presentation and printed correctly in the handout, but mispronounced it "ree port." By the third time he used it in a presentation on establishing rapport with suppliers, nearly half the audience let out a loud guffaw with each subsequent use.

Overeducated folks such as I have many peer groups where we are expected to use our "big words" to lend an air of exactitude to our discourse. Subsequently, we sometimes neglect to "take the temperature" of our audiences and don't use "plain speak" appropriate to our audiences - resulting in bewildered or angry audiences and completely failed communication. It is just as insulting to an audience of PhDs to talk in "baby words" when they are expecting discourse on a much higher intellectual level. I once had the terrible experience of being in an audience of fellow college graduates when a "woman of a certain age" addressed us using a second grade vocabulary on a topic concerning groundwater pollution from an industrial site, using terms like "bad liquids" instead of "cyanide," "cadmium," "chromium sulfate," or "mercury."

There is a difference, of course, between toning down an oral presentation versus a written one. Often folks are familiar with a written word, but have never heard it spoken and may not recognize the disconnect between written and spoken words. I was ten before I connected the written "rendezvous" with the oral
(ren?dez?vous (r?n
d
-v
, -d
-)n.pl.ren?dez?vous(-v
z
)

1. A meeting at a prearranged time and place. See Synonyms at engagement.)
and was completely thrown by the fact both singular and plural were spelled the same, but pronounced differently. My ten year old experience up to that time processed the written word to be pronounced as "wren dez vuss" and I had inferred from context in the reading that it meant a type of meeting between spies in particular and that it was used both as noun and verb.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
P Implementing ISO 9001 - What are the first things that should be done? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 22
H Operational planning and product and service provision when things happen so fast ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 11
K Things to learn during lockdown.... Safety-related books/articles/threads Book, Video, Blog and Web Site Reviews and Recommendations 2
D What are the important things to keep track of in product audit checklist? Software Quality Assurance 3
M Informational Some things the EU MDR 2017/745 does not tell you, but you may need to know to comply with it effectively – Part 1 Medical Device and FDA Regulations and Standards News 0
M Informational EU-U.S. COOPERATION Exploring trade opportunities, from medical devices to the Internet of Things Medical Device and FDA Regulations and Standards News 3
Jim Wynne Some things never change Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 2
E Layouts : Can you "verify" things that are not visible (such as loctite present, internal dimensions) in a layout ? APQP and PPAP 2
R 8.1.3 Management of change - Evidence of HIRA and related things Occupational Health & Safety Management Standards 3
Sidney Vianna What do these things have in common? Surge in new ISO Committees & Standards Other ISO and International Standards and European Regulations 7
Marc Things that will Change or Go Away - 20180916 Forum News and General Information 7
K Dueling Metrology Labs - Two different labs telling you two different things General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 5
P Specification Subscription Services - Eg: Things like MSDS AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 1
B Procedures necessary for things such as the floor cleaner or weigh scale ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 9
Marc DOD, DHS and NASA Are Driving Adoption of Internet of Things Sensors IEC 27001 - Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) 1
Ajit Basrur 10 Things Extraordinary People Say Every Day Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 5
Sidney Vianna ISO Online Browsing Platform (OBP) - Search Resource for "all things ISO" Other ISO and International Standards and European Regulations 2
LRE67 What things do you look for when promoting from within an organization? Career and Occupation Discussions 3
N Change Order Problem - Want to change things "on the fly" ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
somashekar Good things coming back to you ... Imported Legacy Blogs 1
Jim Wynne APQP, or Why Things Always Go Wrong APQP and PPAP 0
AnaMariaVR2 How to Make Things Well: Genichi Taguchi, 1924-2012 Philosophy, Gurus, Innovation and Evolution 1
R Outsourcing of a Semi-Finished Product - Which major things to address in the QMS ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 2
Stijloor 101 Things to do in Holland... Funny Stuff - Jokes and Humour 17
J Are these things really required in a document control procedure? Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 17
Ajit Basrur How people in different professions see things differently :) Funny Stuff - Jokes and Humour 0
J What things go in Design Control Documentation for a 510k of Class II Medical Device 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 4
Ajit Basrur How Engineers view things differently :) Funny Stuff - Jokes and Humour 10
B ISO 9001 Application to my Business for the Production side of things only ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 5
B 15 Things Worth Remembering Funny Stuff - Jokes and Humour 1
H Getting Things Started ? QM, Tactics, Strategy, Acceptance vs. Gridlock, Enthusiasm Quality Manager and Management Related Issues 3
P Magic with Microsoft (things that could not be explained) Funny Stuff - Jokes and Humour 8
S 97% Predictability in all things? Dr. Deming's statement Inspection, Prints (Drawings), Testing, Sampling and Related Topics 7
S Things we learn Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 0
somashekar Some things just would not change with age - BOROLINE Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 6
Marc 12 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade - 2000 - 2010 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 13
J Tequila: 5 Things You Didn't Know Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 17
Jim Wynne Breaking News: Concentric Circles Threaten Oddly-Shaped Green Things! Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 7
Claes Gefvenberg Weekly picture: The little things... Imported Legacy Blogs 1
Stijloor Fixing things.. Funny Stuff - Jokes and Humour 7
R They do things a little different on Southwest Airlines! Travel - Hotels, Motels, Planes and Trains 1
D Toronto Trip - Any suggestions from the locals for things to do? Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 25
bobdoering You know things are gettting bad: US anti-kidnapping expert kidnapped in Mexico Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 2
M Starting a quality Department - What are the things I need to initiate it? Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 5
B Tips on Technical Things the Auditors might ask during an Audit General Auditing Discussions 15
K Culture Shock and Things Need to Change - Implementing ISO 9001 ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 19
SteelMaiden Animals that take things Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 16
S Getting the Right Things Done - A useful way to apply Pareto analysis The Reading Room 1
P First ISO13485 accreditation audit: What are things that can go wrong? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 4
Marc 100 things we didn't know last year Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 6

Similar threads

Top Bottom