Post-meeting buzzword download

Today I lied so I could leave a meeting. It was a presentation by a company competing for our business against a number of their major competitors and the competitors win hands down. This particular presenter was affable and would be good company if you wanted to go and have a pint or two in the pub. Sadly, that’s not why he was here. Presenter was not very good at explaining his company’s technology or answering our questions. After one hour of brain strain, i.e. straining the brain to keep focussed as opposed to wearing it out, I excused myself, citing another (imaginary) meeting as the reason. There weren’t even any real buzzwords to keep me (silently) entertained. Just a half sentence that never closed: “Now let me take you to 30 000 feet and…” And what, I never found out. The mind boggles.

The good thing about today’s meeting is that it prompted me to look up my buzzword notes from the last presentation I went to. It was buzz-tastic. It opened with “We want this to be an interactive discussion rather than one giant brain dump,” Okay, then. ‘Brain dump’ on its own was bad enough, but qualified by ‘giant’ made me want to heave.

Birds were next. “We can search for ‘penguins’ or we can search for ‘black and white flightless birds’. The penguin results may not show up other black flightless birds, but the black and white flightless birds search will certainly show penguins.” I pinched myself to make sure I was still there and not in some zoology lecture. We covered ‘silos of information’ as opposed to silos of grain. That one works. We learned that Deloitte Touche has implemented a system whereby any e-mail containing a swear word will be stopped from leaving the company (they need to read my Alternative Swearwords blog and implement it into company policy), and that rather than ‘new generation technologies’ we are now into ‘next generation technologies’. During the presentation we were ‘open and transparent’ about our needs and aimed to ‘work together seamlessly.’

The presenter on that occasion really struggled with his buzzwords, though. It was obvious that someone had told him he had to use them to be current, so he made the odd mistake. The best of these was telling us “you don’t work in a 24 by 7 business”. As our business happens to be construction, this immediately conjured up an image of a 24 by 7 piece of wood, just like a 2 by 4 plank only much, much bigger. I stifled a giggle.

The best reference, however, was this: “We have one platform for all functions. We are no Frankenstein’s bride.” I’m lost with this one. Did he mean that he isn’t a mate for the original? Or that he’s not a scientist’s creation? They’ve stumped me again.

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