The Corporate Jargon Drinking Game

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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.

“Touch Base”

Shotgun a cheap beer, preferably something you would drink at a baseball game.

“Reach Out”

Glass of red wine. You classy thing.

“Ping”

Shot of Vodka. Unchilled.

“Circle Back”

Irish car bomb.

“Hard Stop”

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?”

Funnel something.

“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.

Why Are You Wearing My Pants?

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I named the blog in honor of my sister, whose primary joy in life is watching me embarrass myself in front of strangers. One of the happiest moments of her life was when I rolled out of a camping cot, down a small hill, strangled in a sleeping bag, in front of 20 strangers on a heinously awkward Colorado camping trip after being forced to sing a song called “Sandwiches Are Beautiful” by the light of the campfire.  Wherever and whenever I am embarrassing myself in life, she is somewhere lurking in the background, laughing.

Senior year of college, I ran the university’s club tennis team. The position involved organizing a number of tournaments, which mainly took place on Saturday mornings, which I was mainly hungover for.

The morning of the spring tournament everything was already going poorly. I got to the courts, late. Kids were already warming up. I dragged my bag of prizes to the center and began to present them.

“And for our 3rd place winner, we have this pack of pink tennis balls. They are pink because they support breast cancer… Actually, no… They are in fact anti-breast… cancer.”

Durr.

After announcing the breast-supporting prizes I retreated to the grass to watch the matches. My sister was somewhere out on the courts, I strained my tired eyes and found her, sitting against a fence.

She was wearing my pants.

My black, Adidas, white-stripe-down-the-side, pants.

How did she get my pants?

She stole them.

SHE WAS WEARING MY PANTS.

I marched right over to her.

“ARE YOU WEARING MY PANTS?!?!?!?! YOU BEAST!!”

“…….Uh….. um… no? I don’t think so?””

I looked again. This was not my sister. This was a small, freshman girl who I had never seen before. It was probably her first event with the club, and here I was, barking at her face to stop wearing my pants.

“Oh. You aren’t my sister.”

I turned abruptly and walked out of the courts. My real sister stood on the other side of the fence, snickering.

And the girl who was not wearing my pants, she never came back… But the story of the pants of which she was not wearing lives on.

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The Skorva Midbeam Scam: And What My IKEA Bed Taught Me About Life

When I moved apartments, my box spring would not fit up the stairs. Because I am stubborn and moderately stingy, I couldn’t bring myself to buy a new bed. I slept on the floor for three months. I drank an occasional beer in ‘bed’, I slept with a pile of clean clothes that I had no reason to hang up, and a number of Apple devices which would alarm madly whenever someone wrote on my Facebook wall. This was all okay because my bed was the floor, and the floor has always been home to many things. I had regressed from 26-year-old woman to 19-year-old boy in a matter of weeks.

Then, the company I worked for was bought out. I found out my new job would eventually entail me working from my apartment – or “home office” as it was politely described to me. It was time to grow up. And when you are forced into a domestically adult situation before you are ready for it, there is really only one place to go. That place is IKEA.

Lesson 1:

Never go to IKEA with a mild hangover.

Not really a life lesson, just a thought. An addendum to that would be: Never go to IKEA with a mild hangover with your mother who is really into interior decorating.

Pregnant women, yelling at their spouses for picking the wrong color SVJEKA HARMESIKASHASHA… Couples, hands intertwined in a death grip, blocking your path… The open-faced prawn sandwich in the cafeteria… These things would make you want to vomit on a good day.

Lesson 2:

Scams come in inexpensive packages.

People trust IKEA because their furniture is cheap, looks decent, and you put it together yourself. You feel empowered in all sorts of grown-up ways.

ENTER THE SKORVA MIDBEAM SCAM:

For a number of bed frames, you need this magical $10 piece in which to balance your box spring/bed slats. While this is mentioned upstairs in the showroom, it is not however, posted below in the warehouse. Only two items on the shelf are listed as needed to be picked up, you forget all about what you saw upstairs. You proceed home. You build your entire bed, impressed with yourself. You reach step 29. The bubble man in the instructions calls for a long, metallic object which you’ve never seen before in your life.

IKEA does not sell this piece online, so you must sleep in your glorified litter box until you can arrange a date to drive back to the store, pick up the piece, buy more crap you do not need, eat more Swedish meatballs, and generally be miserable with life.

See also, “SKORVA: Swëdish for “Go back to the store

Lesson 3:

Talents are not necessarily hereditary.

My entire family is in the construction business. My mother drives a backhoe better than most women drive a car. My younger sister received a tool belt for her 5th birthday. People in my family seem to be innately skilled at putting things together and taking them apart. Which is why I thought I’d be fine to construct the rest of my bed alone.

The directions called for pieces that were unrecognizable to me. The slats did not slat. THE SLATS DID NOT SLAT. I got so frustrated that I just sat and stared at the nuts and bolts in my hand and thought about the purpose of washers for half an hour. And then I got up and Googled “the purpose of washers”, wasting another ten minutes before I…

Lesson 4:

Self-deception is the most effective form of self-comfort.

…threw my mattress on top of the poorly constructed bed. I heard several cracks. 25% of the slats had fallen off the frame, one appeared to have snapped. But I had laundered my sheets for this event — the bed was coming together, even at the risk of my health. Not being a particularly heavy person, I figured all would be fine.

And when duvet and throw pillows had been applied, it looked like the bed of a girl who owns a day-planner and gets her car inspected two weeks before the sticker expires.

But what lied beneath told a different story.

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Superbowl Survival: How to Cope With Sports A.D.D.

I was born without the sports-watching gene. Without a father figure or brothers around during my teenage years to nurture a passion for football, baseball, or anything in between, something in me failed to thrive. I’ve always played sports, but I can’t sit down and watch them, or keep track of what is going on.

Boston is a die-hard sports town. There’s no room for people like me; we either buy a bunch of Red Sox apparel and try to blend in to the screaming crowds, or keep our mouths shut, for fear that some sober person at the game will notice we really have no idea what we are doing. I truly want the Celtics/Sox/Patriots/Bruins to win. I feel the love, but I just… can’t… care.

I’ve tried to educate myself. Most of my attempts revolved around the guys I was dating at the time and what sports they were into. When I was dating an American, it was baseball. A Canadian, hockey. A Mexican, soccer. I learned terms, favorite players, and which teams to despise. I promptly forgot all of these things within several weeks of the relationship ending. Nothing sticks.

After many years of feigning interest, I’m finally comfortable admitting to friends that I have Sports ADD. The Patriots are going to the Superbowl next week. I will watch. I will try to find space in my brain to understand what a blitz is. If you share my affliction, and I hope someone out there does, this might help get you through Superbowl Sunday:

The Food: 

Invest yourself in the food. Offer to make something. Offer to make TWO somethings. People will be so in love with your 27-layer dip they won’t even notice that you asked what team Tebow plays on, in your quiet I-don’t-know-anything-about-football-but-I’ve-just-had-three-beers voice. You can hover over the food table as long as you want cause you don’t care if you miss a few plays. You’ll hear the outcome eventually. That guacamole is not going to eat itself.

Find a Friend:

If you are watching with a group of 5 or more, chances are there is someone else in the room that is on your level. Find this person. Move closer. You can share what limited knowledge you have of the sport with each other. Once that runs dry, you can laugh together at how funny the players look in slow motion re-runs, with their muscles jiggling all over the world. No one else is laughing about that.

Commericals:

Don’t need to say much about this, they are always the best. Most of my passwords in high school and college were based off of quotes from Superbowl commercials. If there was a Superbowl Commercial Bee I would be so into it.

Loss-Management:

If your team loses, heaven forbid, your friends and family are going to be pretty broken up. You may feel a tinge of sadness, but these feelings will dissipate once you realize you may have to spend another hour or more in a room full of depressed people. Put your expendable energy to good use and be the party pep squad. Have a great game on hand, I recommend Telestrations. Or have the next rendition of “Shit Girls Say” buffered and ready to go.

And remember, when you are cheering for an interception two seconds behind everyone else, you aren’t alone.

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Awkward Discoveries: The Everclear T-Shirt

 

I went to their concert when I was 15. It felt very badass, which I clearly was not. Their songs were about drugs and depression and California. I took one look at Art’s white hair and heroin-chic face and thought, I want to marry a musician………..……….

WHAT. LADY, NO.

I’m also pretty sure I wore this shirt to school, which makes me shudder to think about.

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5 Best Things About Being Born in a Third-World Country

The official sociological term for us is “Third-Culture Kids,” people raised in a country and culture that is different from that of their parents.  According to Wikipedia, 90% of us feel out of sync with our peers, our divorce rates are historically lower, we get married later in life, and 80% of us feel like we can get along with anyone.  While I don’t know much about this, here are a few things I do know about being raised overseas:

1. I learned valuable life skills long before I should have.

I’m fairly sure I learned to drive around age 7. And the dietary needs of scorpions in captivity soon after.

2. The TB arm scar is both disgusting and awesome.

A dime-sized dent in my shoulder, makes me recognizable as someone born 3rd-world style. In America, it’s kind of like a calling card to a secret club.  I’ve been approached by two people in my time here, and asked where I grew up after noticing my ugly arm hole. I have to imagine that people with bigger, nastier, even more noticeable scars get asked this question more often. Also, people like to poke it and it’s a fun conversation piece.

3. I don’t have to [probably shouldn’t] give blood.

The list of Mad Cow-infested countries is long and boring. I just assume I have been to one of them and/or had a childhood friend from one that might have infected me.

4. My “rough” stories might top yours.

Your dog ran away when you were 5? During the Gulf War my dad used to send my terrier, Rocky, outside after Iraqi air strikes to test for chemical weapons.

5. I can never be President. Thank God.

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What Your Bartender Really Thinks of You

For the last seven years, I’ve supplemented my income as a bartender. Despite having a full-time job in publishing, I don’t see myself tossing in the towel anytime soon. The cash is too easy, I get to wear hoop earrings, and it’s the safest way to judge drunk people. I’ll continue until I’m too old and ugly to work in the service industry, which gives me about another five years.

When you order a drink, I judge you. Here is a list of common personality traits and characteristics I’ve observed based off of drink orders:

Stella: You are foreign.. or are trying to appear to be.

Heineken: You are black.. or are trying to appear to be.

Malibu & Coke: You vomit easily.

Vodka Cran: You don’t know what you want in life, or at this bar.

Patron: Danger. I am adding gratuity to your check.

Margarita: Anyone who drinks sour mix from a spray gun is an amateur, or underage.

Gin & Tonic: $$$

Vodka & Tonic: We could be friends.

Long Island Ice Tea: You just broke up with your boyfriend and have chosen tonight as the night you will “move on”.

Foreign Beer: You are on a 2nd or 3rd date, trying to impress the girl with your cultured taste for Turkish pilsner.

Cosmo: For the love of God, hurry up and finish the 6th season of Sex & The City.

Red Bull & Vodka: You are an asshole.

Pino Grigio: You are approaching menopause faster than you think.

Pino Noir: You don’t really go to bars.

Moscato: You listen to too much rap.

Gran Marnier: What are you doing here?

Scotch: You will probably tip me well and tell me I remind me of your daughter after you check out my bum.

Vodka Martini: You had a serious day at work, or you are a functional alcoholic.

Whiskey: You are cool. If you try to get my number I won’t be too offended.

Bud Light: You are driving.

Budweiser: You are driving drunk.

 

Also seen on The Gloss and CNBC.

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Hello

Blogging for Peace and Law & Order SVU Reruns

Welcome to my blog.

I’ve felt the shame of being a blogless “creative person” for too long, so today I introduce, AreYouWearingMyPants?

Realizing that no one wants to hear my stupid opinions on film, Middle East politics, LOST’s unanswered questions, Marxist feminism or anything else intelligent, I decided to just do what I do – tell stories. My stories stem from a moderately colorful childhood — I was raised in country where public beheadings are still a casual Friday morning activity (Saudi Arabia), then moved to a tiny desert island that less than 1% of all Americans have heard of (Bahrain), then to my real “home” where I was kicked in the back of the knees every day in gym class by a boy who later went on to play in the NFL, and somewhere along the line transitioned into a fairly normal adulthood tinged with some odd luck.

I hope you enjoy what you read. And if no one reads this blog, I can still look at it as a great time-saving tool for the future. When I am elderly and my grandchildren are up in my face at bedtime for stories, I can turn around slowly in my wheelchair and snarl, “Why don’t you go READ… MY… BLOG?” I’m making good use of my time today so my 80-year-old decrepit self can watch as many Law & Order SVU reruns as it wants.

No, I will be a lovely grandmother.

-KHamms

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