I was chatting with a friend the other day about skiing when I caught myself say “black diamonds are just not in my wheelhouse.” Like a good friend, she immediately called me on bringing corporate jargon into my personal life, but not five minutes later she says, “I guess we can just circle back on that.” So while it’s bittersweet that none of my friends have ever referred to me as a “subject matter expert” out in the real world, corporate jargon is creeping into our personal lives far too frequently.
Now to clarify, when I’m in the zone at work I spit out corporate jargon like the proverbial sailor spits obscenities. From the moment I sit down in the morning I’m knee deep in the weeds shifting paradigms outside the box. But shopping for a new outfit is not “managing from the top down” and talking to me on the phone while giving your dog a bath is not “multitasking” and no I will not let you “utilize” my Top Gun DVD but I’m happy to let you use it.
We all have several languages at our disposal that we whip out in their associated setting. Plain old English works well in most settings, but there’s a need for corp speak at work, lovey dovey jibberish that’s only cute to you and your significant other, retro chat that is best translated by your BFF from high school, baby talk which is only appropriate when addressing your pet, and countless other dialects. Crossover is inevitable, but should be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid annoyed husbands, uncomfortable coworkers, and that adorable blank-stare-cocked-head response from your confused dog.
So if we’re hanging at the beach this weekend, please don’t call your Frisbee a “value add” or call me “proactive” for bringing SPF 45. Your blanket does not “cover the bases” and the lifeguard is not giving you “pushback.” But if we’re in the office and you want to go grab some low hanging fruit or kill two birds with one stone or even reinvent the wheel, I’ll be right at your side – just ping me.