Not only are the following things people say at work that they almost never mean, they are also almost always said by people who are incapable of following through... starting with
I). I give it to you straight.
The only people who seem to be willing to openly take critical (as in oppositional) positions to plans and ideas are those who are high enough the corporate hierarchy that they can afford to say what they think around pretty much anybody. Amongst those of us languishing in the middle levels of the corporate ladder, an embarrassingly high percentage would not express their true position on matters that have even the slightest of a hint of controversy.
And you know what? I'm OK with that.
What I'm not OK with is the bastards who walk about and CLAIM to be straight talkers. "You know I am a straight talker", they say, "I don't deal in bullshit."
That's probably the biggest load of bullshit you're going to hear that day.
These insidious fuckers are only capable of talking controversial positions (coz if you're position isn't controversial or in opposition to the majority view, straight talking requires no particular courage) under two conditions.
- The topic has to be so far beyond their realm of control that nobody would give a gnats ass WHAT the opinion is.
- Any person under whose span of influence he said topic falls needs to be not only physically absent, but also have NO first degree connection to anybody in the audience,
THEN these bitches will let loose about how the latest acquisition was stupid, the newest product could have been coded better by masturbating baboons and so on.
Next time you find somebody who claims to be a straight shooter keep your eyes out for his or her opinions on matters under their or their peers control. And see how they behave around their bosses. More often than not, you will see chest thumping dick heads metamorphose into sycophantic assholes with the I.Q of a ruminant.
I know there is a time and a place to broadcast your views on things. If you have a well thought out position, you should have the courage to ask the right question or encourage introspection, in the right surroundings and with respect. And people who actually do this never claim to be - or seem to want credit for - talking straight.So if somebody says to you "I'm a straight talker", Get up and walk away.
II). I do what I believe is right
Bullshit again. First of all, people don't do what they know is right. They do what they think the boss will reward them for. Or at least avoid a serious ass whupping, catholic school style.
But that;s not what annoys me. The reason it annoys me is, that there is usually no need to make such a grandiose statement. Thankfully fort the human race, very few people in corporations are actually called on to pick right from wrong. Most just follow process, get audited and suffer till they die.
If you were actually put in a position where you had the option to do the wrong thing and get away with it, I'm sorry to say you would probably try to get away with it. Because doing the wrong thing is just so delicious.
Think about it. What big choices do YOU have to make, BY YOURSELF, for the corporation. Anything that is seriously right versus wrong is probably way outside your pay grade. (Unless the readership of this blog has all magically turned into C-Suite in the 6 or so months I was gone)
I don't know why people suddenly develop problems grasping the simple concept of first-person, plural personal pronoun as a subject, but half the time people say "we", they are deflecting accountability.
"We should do this" usually means "I want somebody else to do this".
They do NOT want to be responsible for ANY of the actions that are required to be completed.
Why in these cases they say WE baffles me. I usually immediately ask them what part of the action they want me to do and what they want to do themselves. That catches them off guard.
Sometimes I use this we and they myself because the alternative sounds too rough or directive, but I never use it when I'm amongst peers or in meetings. It serves to reduce clarity and slow down progress and increases my resemblance to weasels. And it was this usage that got this entire post started. We're set to have an audit soon, and our internal auditor, who regular readers will remember my impressions of, said something along the lines of "We need to really improve our *insert stupid audit scale here* score. And I asked him what part he wanted me to do and what part he wanted to do himself. He rattled off multiple things he wanted me to do, but not a single thing for him. I asked him why he said "We" when he clearly didn't want to do anything. I let him squirm for a while and then left. I had much to do to prep for the audit.