“Key Performance Indicators”…

This photo has nothing to do with today's post but since you've arleady seen the shower, you might as well see the dueling pedestals. No snickering, please.

Not that I am without sin when it comes to bastardizing the King’s English, but somewhere along the line U.S. businesses took a wrong turn when it came to language and the reliance on, shall we say, ‘corporate speak’.

As I continue to beat the job bushes, the following insanity led off a job description forwarded my way:

“An Exciting Leadership Opportunity to provide overall direction and guidance to business operations with the objective of maximizing growth and profitability. Plans and directs operations within the business to support the Key Performance Indicators.  Plans objectives and ensures management is in compliance with corporate, regional and financial goals. A Progressive Leader who creates a positive work environment that values its employees and their training and professional development and promotes teamwork; and supervises all direct reports and through the chain of command all their reports.”

Okay, what business did this refer to?  Accounting?  Banking?  Advertising?  Waste handling?  Beats me.  And what was the job?  I missed that part.  I would’ve been excited but I didn’t know what I was supposed to be excited about.  As I maximized the performance of my scroll down button, the fog cleared and it became abundantly evident this was an exciting food service opportunity.  I like to eat but would rather not be on the administrative end of food service.

Clearly, HR types have yet to find their creative niche.  Obfuscation is more to their liking.  In a few weeks time I’m slated to teach a class on pleasure writing, the tenets of which would be a good thing for business, too.  The anecdotal evidence of corporate inanity shown above may well surface again, but not in a good way.  One of my hard-and-fast rules to students (mostly adult learners since it’s an evening class): a long list of corporate buzz words that will be off limits for their use.  Hey, I have to break people from the corporate language funk some way.


Here is a letter to Ellen and Reid from relatively recent times.

August 6, 2007

Reid/Ellen: Well, I’ll be seeing you both later on this week in Omaha, and grandma and grandpa are really looking forward to seeing the two of you.  I’m not sure where the coordinated black tops/khaki pants came into the picture, but it is what it is.  Reid, your sister has already pulled my chain about the black mock-tee as being something I like, but you’ll just have to live with my choice.  Just play nice with all the other relatives.

Never in my life as a driver have I hit anything other than bugs that splatter on the windshield.  That’s until this past weekend.  On the way home Saturday evening from a golf outing in Hickory (about 65 miles away) a sizeable raccoon experienced an unfortunate choice of life-altering timing to cross the highway in front of me at about 70 mph (I mean it going .05 mph and me zipping along at 70 mph).  Bumpety-bump-bump-bump.  I thought I’d nailed it with the right front tire, and didn’t think much about it other than he / she had unfortunately entered the food chain.  But the next day I noticed it had rumpled the front spoiler just below the right fender.  I mean it pushed in the plastic about 8 inches, so that was a big’n.  Haven’t had it estimated yet, but my hunch is the damage will top at least $1,000, considering it’s a BMW and there’s nothing cheap about those cars.  At least it wasn’t a deer, or, heaven forbid, a person.  I’m sure the raccoon’s last thought was ‘what’s that light coming toward me?’  Wham.  It got thumped pretty good.

I’ve taken the coin mania to the next level.  More evidence I’ve stepped off the deep end and there’s no turning back.  Now, there are two distinctly separate cigar boxes in my closet, one for change as the result of a purchase transaction, the other for coins randomly found or picked up off the street.  That is just plain whack-o.  I have just plain lost it.

Helluva thing about that bridge collapse.  Thank goodness you’re okay, Ellen.  We were pretty panic stricken there for a moment, especially your mom when she heard some guy yelling on your line.  The phone system must’ve gone haywire with everyone trying to get through to friends and loved ones.  Be sure I get your secondary phones and emails, plus those for Tim and Rachel.  I’ll plug those into the memory banks.

In a total turnaround, it looks as if the 4 Corners trip is off, only to be replaced by a tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway from end to end.  Betsy kind of slapped me upside the head by wondering why I haven’t gotten to know this corner of the world.  And that made some sense, so I’ll head off August 18th or 19th from wherever it starts (Tennessee maybe?) to wherever it ends (some place in Virginia?) and then I’ll head toward the Outer Banks in northeastern North Carolina.  It won’t be nearly as arduous as the 650 miles per day the western trip would’ve required.  That’s really humping.  The speed limit on the Blue Ridge is 45 mph, so if there is a raccoon in my future it won’t happen at such high speeds.  I’ll overnight in Asheville or perhaps Boone, North Carolina.

Had Betsy and Bob over for dinner last Friday night, and served up that pasta dish I’d sent to you guys.  They raved about it, and they made no secret I needed to atone for the tough-as-twang-leather pot roast fiasco from Mother’s Day back in May.  That was just god-awful.  We had a couple of nice bottles of wine and in true Betsy fashion, she brought over not one but a couple of yummy desserts.  That woman knows how to put that stuff together.  Now it’s back to more pedestrian fare, such as the stray hamburger or meatloaf, and in a pinch, a bowl of cereal.

We’ll see each other soon enough.  You guys drive carefully and safely, and keep me apprised if your travels.  You have my cell phone, so keep me posted.  We’ll all do our M-I-B imitations.


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