On the very odd occasion that I write about work in The Blog it’s usually to slag off some poor unsuspecting (and most likely loser-ish) colleague who has had the audacity to irritate me (woe-betides them, every time). Thus, generally, you all remain none the wiser about my day-to-day job…
However, today I make an exception by allowing a fleeting glance into the fascinating world I inhabit within the traditional (37.5 – often more, never less) office hours each week. The reason? Well, today I observed some of the most impressively unintelligible public sector jargon I have experienced since working where I work. It was like something out of The Office but far far worse. (When I’m Prime Minister I’m going to outlaw the use of management speak, with capital punishment for anyone who dares to ‘run it up the flag pole’ or tries to ‘facilitate’ or ‘action’ anything. Same for anyone suggesting ‘user empowerment’.
This morning saw me sitting in a meeting where the sky (in some grey suited cock’s opinionated thinking) couldn’t have been more blue. This chap even suggested the need for ‘clear blue water between aligned policies’ to ensure that ‘affected camps didn’t appear to be trespassing on each other’s territory’. Quoi? Anyone would think these policy people were a pack of feral cats with an unmanageable urge to piss up walls…
So, once we’d all ‘squared circles’ and ‘locked down key points’ I headed back to my relatively plain English speaking area of the ‘Office. Only to be met by a telephone call from a journalist who, and I quote, honestly, informed me that she “wanted to top and tail it pdq.” Well, congratulations to her for making me sound like vegetable supplier (I believe they’re known as grocers…) Last time I checked the only things that got topped and tailed were carrots and small children at sleepovers (and the latter only in poorer families where there isn’t a spare bed). Believe it or not she was actually referring to an interview she wanted to carry out – I hope for the interviewees sake she doesn’t have access to sharp knives.
Ah yes, the ‘policy wheel’ was spinning today, as we ‘crunched through segment by segment’ and debated whether there was a need for ‘wet towels to be wrapped around collective heads’ while ‘sweating through the details’. Yes, really – I visibly gagged at the thought of being in a room full of sweating suits. Does anyone know what a dovetail or a silo looks like, by the way? And just so you know, this is a fully engaged scenario, so feel free to feedback your input – it will be actioned accordingly.
The highlight was at the end of my second meeting of the day, when the very important chair of affairs (rhymes so it must be true…) mused (aloud), “‘I wonder why we don’t have anything intelligent to say about this?” No idea, mate. But if I have to ‘bottom out another robust response after fleshing out the facts’ I may have to laugh madly (and very loudly) in the grey people’s faces.
FYI: Tomorrow I have a very important interview and as I’m sure you are aware, even the faintest scent of nerves/stress/anxiety causes compulsive blogging.