Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Time for a paradigm shift
A passionate call for reform of office-speak and work-talk. I feel so … empowered.
I recently made my first pilgrimage to IKEA. Despite the fact that I like a lot of IKEA junk, I was so put off by their corporate zeitgeist. (That and the unpronounceable names of the products. Just because my children are genetically one quarter Swedish doesn’t confer upon me the ability to pronounce the names of IKEA furniture. Or picture frames. The only name I could clearly deal with was “Swedish fish.” Which are neither Swedish nor fish.) Areas that should have been marked ‘employees only’ said ‘co-workers’ only. Yeah, and I’m a guest at Target, too. That sort of thing leaves a taste in my mouth that calls for more than Swedish fish. [”The biggest lie of all in business speak is about ownership. In order to make it appear that there is a strong bond between customers and companies there is My e-Bay and My EasyJet and - most successfully of all - Your M&S.”]

For me, there is also the whole painful nails on the blackboard ordeal of church-speak meeting office-speak. Like ministry. The word that has lost most of its value through inflation. Everybody has a ministry. Watch my hackles ascend when someone tells me that my job is such an excellent opportunity for ministry. No, I do a job. Anything above, beyond or outside is simply what a Christian woman should do. Don’t call it a ministry.

And mission statements? Of all places, the Church doesn’t need no stinkin’ mission statements. Can we top the Great Commission? Should we waste our time trying?

Another inflated word, in all sectors, is passion. Employers ask for passionate employees and resumes tout a worker’s passion for work. [“This is a lie. Actually what the bank is seeking is competent people to follow instructions and answer the phones.”]
Damn straight, guys. That is where my passion is. Going forward within the paradigm of high competency. (i.e. I follow instructions and answer the phones.)

Passion, says the dictionary, means a strong sexual desire or the suffering of Christ at the crucifixion. In other words it doesn't really have an awful lot to do with a typical day in the office - unless things have gone very wrong indeed.

No comments:

St. Isidore Foundation

I cannot live under pressures from patrons, let alone paint.
-- Michelangelo, quoted in Vasari's Lives of the Artists

Meet the Family...
Collect the Action Figures

Yes, three jade ribbons. 15 Years!
(not all the same child)
If you need to ask, you may not wish to know.

Site Meter