Stop Eating My Low Hanging Fruit

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.


About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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17 Responses to Stop Eating My Low Hanging Fruit

  1. andy says:

    There’s a good chance this entry will create An Organic Moment.

  2. shobavish says:

    Discovered you thanks to FP and have enjoyed reading some of your posts! This one is my favorite – the different dialects of our life! Among words that have no place in personal life, may I add, monetize and opportunity cost?

  3. sonicleese says:

    haha.. i keep the terms “acuity” and “skill mix” and “skill set” far far far away from the cozy walls of my home…

    more good writing : )

  4. Outstanding ~ I found yet another writer with a sharp sense of humor. Far and few between in what can often be a staggeringly dull environment.

  5. linzfrentrop says:

    Bahaha! I can relate! I hate corporate jabber … but there I am at work, spewing it out unintentionally just so the convos contain all the same “verbage”. Because if it doesn’t you have to have the even worse conversation of trying to explain yourself, then you just end up using the corporate words anyway. At my job they’ve even given acronyms to the more popular ones — subject matter experts are just called “sme’s”. Which I can’t say with a straight face! Because I always picture Cap’t Hook’s sidekick (full circle to your Disney references). 😉

  6. Great observation! Also, your blog as a whole is interesting and entertaining. Thanks for sharing, and please keep it up. As panovision101 said up there, we need good writers in the blogosphere…

  7. Jean says:

    I found it wildly upsetting that I was not “up to date” on the corporate lingo when I closed my consulting firm and went back to a “real job”. I couldn’t believe people were using words and phrases like “stellar”, “tactical and strategic” (always said together), “laser-focused” and the like. When I now say them on occasion, I wince at the loss of little bits of my soul. Perhaps I’m just being too dramatic, but I hate giving into “the man”. (Dear God, help me.)

  8. Pingback: How to be Brilliantly Vague: Corporate Jargon Part 2 | White Elephant in the Room

  9. blowingoffsteamandmore says:

    I have been out of the corporate world for almost 5 years and have pretty much lost all of that language, but my husband often attempts to have conversations with me during a workday and ends up giving me a presentation instead of talking to me like a normal person! In his defense, I have been caught asking him if he has to go potty before we leave.

  10. lucywills3 says:

    I almost spit my coffee when I read your second corporate musings, so looked for more. Describes my Boss perfectly. I have long suspected that I have been having the same staff “working session” meetings for months, and you have proven it. Funny stuff.

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