Remember how you felt watching Miss South Carolina answer the geography question at the Miss Teen USA Pageant? That embarrassing, sickly feeling you get watching someone confidently string together words that have no real meaning or practical use. This is how I feel when someone has a corporate jargon explosion in the workplace.
In the office, I try to make an effort to communicate in every-day vocabulary. Every time I tell a coworker I will ‘circle back’ or ‘review the best practices’ I feel like a fraud. Not everything in life deserves a best practice. And sometimes the best way to communicate with someone is not to ‘circle back’ or ‘touch base’, but to walk right up to their desk in a very straight and direct line. I thought that there was no way I could be the only one who felt this way, so I finally brought it up to my friend Nik one day as we were driving.
“There should be a point system,” he said as we went down the list of worst offenders. “Once you’ve reached negative 10 you should have to buy everyone in the office a beer for being such an asshole.”
And in the spirit of that statement, I introduce to you, the Corporate Jargon Drinking Game. Listed in order of severity.
Shotgun a cheap beer, preferably something you would drink at a baseball game.
Glass of red wine. You classy thing.
Shot of Vodka. Unchilled.
Irish car bomb.
Bacardi 151 shot. Bonus points if you set it on fire first.
“We don’t have the bandwidth for that.”
Ice luge. To determine exactly what the bandwidth of your mouth is.
“Is it on your radar?”
“This project has lots of moving parts.”
3 Tequila shots in a row. You must dance in between shots, representing the moving parts of said project.
“Let’s take it offline.”
THE WORST OFFENDER. Mix a shot of tequila, a shot of vodka, orange juice and a hefty spoonful of horseradish. Drink fast, before someone tells you the name of this cocktail.
“We’ve decided to move in a different direction.”
If you are saying this to a coworker, Jager Bomb all over the office. If a coworker is saying this to you, free pass this round… Because you’re probably getting fired.