Wednesday, August 20, 2008

BS isn’t always at work.

I am so lucky to have spent the last 9 years at home with the kids. Really, I do feel lucky. Sometimes, however, I do lament my former days as a bank VP, dressing up in great suits and hopping into my BMW to go off to work. (Btw – the BMW was the first thing to go when I quit.) While it seems like I only remember the good days, I think I romanticize those days to an extent. Today, when I got my Urban Dictionary word of the day, I started remembering some of the crappy things about working in the corporate world.

Word of the day:

August 20: bullshit bingo

A game that can be played in large meetings. The players write down management-nonsense word like "Out-of-the-box-thinking", "Synergy", "Content streamlining" etc. in a 5 by 5 square bingo card.
If a word or phrase is used during the meeting you check the box. When you get a five box line (horizontally, vertically or diagonally ) you shout "BULLSHIT!" and win.

Company bigshot fancypants: "And that is why this merger is going to benefit shareholder value by creating value driven content.


Company bigshot fancypants: "You're fired!"

We had a ton of BS jargon at the bank. Some of my favorites were:

  1. Value added
  2. "Convenience" Fee
  3. Success is Confidence, We Can Help You Get There. (I know, I don't get it either)
  4. Star Power (internal sales jargon)
  5. Solution oriented products

Then I settled back, feeling happy that once again I was reminded that being an executive wasn't all it was cracked up to be. BUT, then it dawned on me, that even now, in the life that I live, there are still bullshit phrases that are used. A lot. Things like:

  1. "Yes, Sean, I do agree we should watch the budget. I'm so glad you brought that up."
  2. "I'm sorry you feel that way honey, but I still love you." (in response to a kid that has just gone ballistic on you about something that is SO not your fault)"
  3. "We'll see." (When you have no intentions of saying yes)
  4. "Yes, I would be glad to volunteer for my millionth time this years PTA fund drive."
  5. "We don't eat sugar cereal, because it isn't healthy." (Meanwhile, I have my own private stash)
  6. "Yes, we should have your parents over. We haven't seen them in a while."

I could go on and on here. But, then I wouldn't be able to hear some of your bullshit bingo life phrases. Who wants to play?


Natalie said...

HA! I am all too familiar with that "convenience fee". I use that term a lot.

Guilty of "we'll see" as well.

KSK said...

Hey, I did something similar - ditched a fancy pants advertising career, did a corporate marketing gig for a while then FT mom. GREAT tradeoff!!! Now I am a special ed teacher so I am off in the summer when the kids are...

Do I sometimes miss the nice clothes and SHOES? yeah, but I have way more fun now and NO bullshit bingo! ;)

Sue London said...

One of my personal BS filler phrases is, "Well, that's arguable." I discovered this is the perfect vague, non-committal, I might be agreeing with you/I might be arguing with you phrase to use even when I'm not listening to what someone is saying. Because they then feel the need to rephrase what they just said in the hopes of convincing me of their point.

The BS Bingo phrase I hate the most is "silver bullet." Every time I hear it I want to use one on the person who said it.