Touching base to keep you in the loop

TODAY, dear readers, I just wanted to touch base with you about the latest bleeding-edge technologies in the blue-sky thinking field of top-down, user-centred, interpersonal solutions.

James Marston

TODAY, dear readers, I just wanted to touch base with you about the latest bleeding-edge technologies in the blue-sky thinking field of top-down, user-centred, interpersonal solutions.

Isn't it dreadful?

I've no idea what it means but time and again throughout my working life I have pretended, with a knowing nod and an agreement grunt, that I do understand what is commonly known as “management speak”.

Perhaps journalism, you might well think, is one of the last bastions of plain speaking but even here, dear readers, I'm afraid we are not immune.

I've heard the occasional meaningless phrase pop into everyday conversation here in Ipswich and, though I hate to admit it, I may have even used the occasional example myself.

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These are just some of the examples, and what they really mean, currently circulating offices up and down the kingdom.

- We need some out of the box thinking = Create some ideas that will never work.

- I don't want to go down a rabbit hole on the issue = I'm not prepared for this.

- Moving forward = Delegate to someone else.

- That's a nobrainer = I can't be bothered to think about it.

- We're on a journey = It's bad now and it's going to get worse, but by then, we'll have all moved on.

- Let's park that idea = That has no place in the discussion, so leave it for another time.

- Heads up = The first view, normally wrong.

- You've moved the goalposts = This is not what you asked me to do.

- We've had mixed results = I've poor results with a bit of mediocre news.

- An exercise in box-ticking = An activity consisting of completely wasted effort

- I just want to touch base with you = Fancy a coffee

- I'm very pro-active = I saw it on someone's else's CV and I thought it sounded good.

- We need to ask the question! = I don't know.

- I need to get up to speed = I don't know anything.

- We need a holistic, cradle-to-grave approach = A plan.

- It's not on my radar = I'm not working on this.

- You need to flag it up = Is it wrong?

- You need to come to the party = Do it my way.

- Let's start singing from the same hymn book = Do it my way.

- Welcome Meeting = Free food and a bad presentation.

- Let's do some blue-sky thinking = no one knows what this means.

My sister Claire who works in recruitment tells me her firm often uses words like “metrics” and “dovetail”, and ideas regularly have to have “legs”.

What management speak have you heard? Do drop me a line with your thoughts and I can put it on my proactive radar in the loop.

-What an amazing experience.

On Friday night, I took the train to London town to help celebrate Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday.

The crowds were huge and it was a bit of an unholy scrum at the bar but we had a wonderful time.

The highlight, apart from a number of popular music bands and performers - I like Ella Fitzgerald and Classic FM so the Sugarbabes meant little to me - was without doubt the moment Mr Mandela walked on stage and acknowledged the masses.

As he prepared to speak the most moving silence descended on a multitude that moments before had been cheering and shouting.

All of a sudden you could hear the trees rustling in the wind, the distant sounds of London - yet in the crowd no one spoke until the great man finished.

It was mesmeric, I was there and it was an experience I shall never forget.

-NO sooner than I have hung up my dancing shoes than I am back in the rehearsal room preparing for the next show.

Rather like golf but without the awful fashions and smoking but without the glamour, the amateur theatrical circuit of which I am an enthusiastic member is an addictive pastime.

Well this week I've been preparing for the latest offering by the Ipswich ever so Operatic and terrifyingly Dramatic Society (IODS) - Sounds Familiar.

My friend Stephanie the Diva, who's always amusing, has been teaching the group one of the show's sections.

“And walk back and round and round you go…..and that includes you James” she said, amongst other instructions, during rehearsal the other evening.

Now coordination has never been my strong point, it's easy for those people who can move their legs and arms in funny directions but for me it's always a challenge.

And I note, with some wry interest, that Stephanie has cleverly paired me up with a confident lady called Joanne who leads me around the stage with a vice like grip on my upper arm and cat like tread making sure I don't put a foot wrong.

I think it's helping. I daren't make a mistake now.

-Have you ever been to a big music festival?

I've never been and though I can't really say I know for definite I wouldn't like it I think I can be fairly certain I shouldn't.

All those people, tents and portable toilets doesn't sound much fun to me. Such events are like a joke I have not been let in on.

At just over 29, I'm probably too old now anyway. Have you ever rolled around in the mud? Or sat round listening in a circle with a drum? Is it really fun?

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