Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Deciphering Corporatespeak

Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow. Then again, maybe I won't. If it weren't for little nagging worries like food and shelter, I can't imagine why anyone would subject themselves to the indignities of corporate America. God knows it's been obvious for a long while now that American business is based on the fundamental principle that the worker is entitled to the same rights and privileges as the cockroach.

Nevertheless, it occurs to me that some of you out there may be entering the job market for the first time, and may not have encountered the peculiar ways in which corporations communicate. Commonly used terms have their own very special meanings in corporate America, and it's to your advantage to understand precisely what you're encountering. So here's a little primer for your benefit.

Corporate term: One-year contract
Translation: Whatever we want it to mean. Could be one month. Could be one day. It doesn't really matter, because there will be a one in there somewhere, and people always work during some portion of a year.

Corporate term: Teamwork
Translation: You do the work, and we'll take the credit for it. Also known as "Work Smarter."

Corporate term: Employee morale
Translation: You'll learn inspiring, life-affirming slogans and possible company chants during the one-day to one-month interim you'll be employed.

Corporate term: Continuous feedback
Translation: You'll be told that you're doing a great job each day during your one- to twenty-day stay.

Corporate term: Consultant
Translation: Cockroach

Corporate term: Integrity
Translation: Bullshit


weeling said...

Take heart that you are not alone. I too am suffering the indignities of the corporate world. Seek salvation in music....that's the best advice I can offer. : )

nancy (aka moneycoach) said...

you can perhaps take some comfort in this: if the US is anything like Canada (presumably it is), the babyboomer cohort will be retiring and there will be a labour shortage the likes of which hasn't been seen in decades. The companies that figure out how to respect their employees will survive; those that don't, wont. a) I realize this may be too late for you and b) BBoomers will likely work later, but not all of them, so you can pretty much count on this becoming very real and visible by about 2015 (my day job - I work for Corp HR for Gov't)

nancy (aka moneycoach) said...

ps: and if there were a Donate button on your blog, I'd click it periodically!