Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Moana - Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now



TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 1 November 2013
Steven Poole has performed a valuable function here. Ever since the invention of "bullsxxt bingo" there has been encouraging signs of a fight back against the utterly nonsensical language spoken by modern managers who make David Brent look like an intellectual giant. Your reviewer was once genuinely told by a senior colleague to "bottom out your thinking, and get those ideas up on the table and run with them". Having pointed out that this could be physically dangerous, he muttered something about "inherent black thought negativity". What is surprising is how normally intelligent people think that spouting this verbal diarrhoea somehow makes them more sophisticated and managerially "cutting edge". Stephen Poole takes a very big needle and bursts this bubble in this humorous book "Who Touched Base in my Thought Shower?: A Treasury of Unbearable Office Jargon". It is essentially a trove of the spirit-sapping indignities of modern office life and its stultifying vocabulary. Indeed, the growing problem is that this type of language is starting to seep out of the office into everyday life with phrases from the pseudoscience of management theory littering broadcasting, charity funding and even sport. Ironically much of the source material for this guff is picked from these settings in the first place particularly the military. Thus " Strategy", "on my radar" and, "push the envelope". Others like "close of play" or the increasingly used "Deep Dive" are taken from a sport where of course they specific meaning that made sense in that context. Quite how strapping on scuba gear and going to the depths of the ocean in the manner of Jacques Cousteau mutated into describing a detailed examination of a subject is a bit of a mystery but when combined with other phrases from this epidemic of linguistic mumbo-jumbo it can produce unintentionally hilarious results. Poole quotes the idea of a "deep dive into a big hairy audacious goal" as a good example.

It is also notable that some former word "stars" of the management lexicon have now fallen into disfavour. The concept of "downsizing" as a euphemism for sacking people is being gradually replaced by another ridiculous term. In April 2013 that financial horror story that is HSBC announced that it was "demising 3000 roles" In short it was sacking these poor souls. It also shows a trick borrowed from modern politicians to constantly disguise meaning and spin something that is completely negative into something that doesn't sound quite so bad. This short book is relentless and it is hoped that anybody who uses terms like "run it up the flagpole", "define the north star", "give it hands and feet", "take a helicopter view", "open the kimono", "come to Jesus moment" or "drink the kool-aid" will cease forthwith and reflect on the ridiculousness of it all. Sadly while a 2012 poll found that nearly three-quarters of British workers are irritated to point of madness by office jargon some 44% admitted to using it. As Patrick Gray a Forbes consultant ruefully reflected there is a thieves code in the corporate world, namely "that I'll use words that sound important but make no actual sense and give you the same privilege as long as you don't call me out on it" Steven Poole is rightly​ tired and weary of all this and advises that scorn is our best weapon. He is right so let us start by taking "key project deliverables" and sticking them up your managers "backfill". Whilst doing so reward Mr Poole for the effort and agony that he must have invested in writing this book and "cascade" some money into his coffers. Other examples that readers might have experienced when it comes to this managerial tripe would be warmly welcomed as comments.
55 Comments| 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 July 2014
good read for the corporate office types
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 September 2014
This book is for all those who have had to sit through a meeting where some management whizz kid is spouting forth the latest acronyms and buzz words and not only do you have no idea what he is talking about, but you are not sure if he is even referring the the same things that you are.

Poole has taken the brave step of listing these words, and trying to make some sense of their meaning, which frankly in some cases there isn't any sense behind them. A number of them are borrowed from military vernacular, and as you can imagine make the transfer to the language of a middle ranking executive dealing with stationary...

He has written it with a healthy dollop of cynicism, and really does not hold back on the sarcasm either! There are some laugh out loud moments too.

Next time a road warrior gives you a cold eye view and asks you to hit the ground running you might, just might, know what he is talking about.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 May 2014
I spent 25 years working as a manager in one of the larger companies in the UK and as I got older I became increasingly irritated by people who felt compelled to use the latest buzz words or jargon without actually making sense. As time went on I found myself playing conference lingo bingo instead of 'getting on message'. If you find people who are always on a 'journey' 'going forward' incredibly annoying you'll love this compendium of management bollocks.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 April 2016
I have spent copious amounts of work time writing reports and emails using as many of words in the book as possible. 'Air cover' has gone down especially well - I've been promoted twice and my job title is now too long for my swipe card!
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 May 2014
If you have worked within 50 feet of consultants lately, or are on a big project, this book is a must. You will literally be crying with laughter when you read the funny definitions of everyday, overused jargon, such as 'thinking outside the box' and 'circle back' - just two of my favourites.

You need this book on your desk! It creates a real talking point and can lighten the mood on any crappy day in the office.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 May 2015
i love this - when bored i have a look and try to get as many i an email as possible. just signed a leaving card referring to the person as a thought leader. Next challenge is to make up more to use
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 17 April 2017
A witty and absorbing book.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 December 2014
A really good dictionary of office jargon, with short stories explaining the origin of the phrases, excellent and funny.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 16 November 2014
Should be on the Christmas list for everyone who wants to reach out to me. Usually they just get slapped!
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse