Quasi-Military Language in a Corporate World

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by DozyBint, May 3, 2005.

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  1. I've long been used to seeing on traders' desks, books that draw parallels between military & trading strategies, as well as copies of Sun Tzu's & Clausewitz's discourses on strategy, but the most cringe-worthy evidence of the corporate world trying to act martial has come to my attention today in the form of a memo:

    I've an image of the author hunched over his desk whilst writing this rubbish, pretending he's behind 'The Wall' during the Berlin blockade. :roll:

    Does anyone else out in Civvy Street have to suffer this type of communiqué?
  2. I used to suffer a Director whose every move was an act of aggression against his managers and the world, and his speech was laden with quasi-military-speak, mostly picked up from the CNN coverage of GW1. He would interrogate me at every opportunity about weapons and their effectiveness, and I had to give him a mini-CQB course (for no purpose other than to allow him to practice in front of his mirror, I'm sure) when I had far better things to be getting on with. He was, in fact, not a bad bloke, but I suspect he had a very small willy and a sadly resigned missus.

    I now have a Chairman whose knowledge of things military is zero, and he randomly calls the Colonel who occasionally turns up to inspect his troops at my location 'Captain' or 'Corporal', or 'General' on a good day, which has some interesting effects.
  3. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    I have the opposite problem. I work in a defence company and they don't have many ex serving so they don't understand half of my comments.

    Last week I desribed one of our major customer's behaviour of late as "a cake and arrse party" and the room went silent.
  4. Its a vicious circle. Two sides of a mutually exclusive divide thinking it's clever to talk like each other. Of the two, I find green-as-a-bean army types pretending to speak corporate nonsense the most annoying because they really don't have the first inkling of what they are talking about. It is one of the reasons that the logistic tail got into such an unholy mess in the recent unpleasantness.

    Someone sold them the idea of 'just-in-time' acquisition, used so brilliantly in the automotive industry, so as not to tie 'revenue' up in shelves full of widgets. What they forgot was that making war isn't like making cars.

    No exhausts -- production stops for a day.
    No body armour...enough said.
  5. The MOD and Army trying to apply civvi management techniques and buzz words without understanding the concepts behind them would be funny were it not so serious. JIT is a good tool but it requires a certain set of very settled circumstances. The procurement boys would probably understand this if they were not so busy organising diversity courses, using their swimming pool or discussing the relevance of the creche.
  6. Yes, Herr Graf von Mushroomski, I couldn't agree with you more. I went to a meeting in Iraq at which a full Colonel with an MBA unleashed his thoughts on rebuilding infrastructure in southern Iraq. I use words for a living, and I didn't have a fücking clue what he was talking about... it was all cräp about 'prioritizing modalities' and ' extending the sewerage piece' . If he had applied Occam's razor and carved away everything that didn't alter the meaning of what he was saying, he would have been finished in two minutes; as it was, he spoke for 40 or more.

    I'm sure the effect he was seeking, speaking to a largely civilian audience, was that they would conclude that he was a sophisticated, erudite man-of-the-world and not just a rough, tough soldier. In reality, he managed to unite everyone in the view that he was a verbose cünt.
  7. Having worked with the Army for a number of years, i have picked up more than my fair share of military language.
    I have found that over time, my civvy football team are sounding more like work than my work!!

    I am also a barman at the weekends and asked this young looking chap for I.D. he was with a few friends and puffed out his chest, produced his Mod90 and proudly said " If im old enough to take a bullet, im old enough to have a beer!" TW@!! he was only 17years 11 months!!

    Sometimes, the military way should just stay on camp!!
  8. most bizarre is when civvy companys borrow inapporiate stuff from other companys
    example iso9000 for a homeless hostel :roll:
  9. The most humiliating thing, of course is discovering that you're doing it yourself, and there's a row of blank, glazed faces in front of you, each with an index finger up to the second joint in their right nostril and a line of dribble on their shirts, because you've started waffling in three-letter acronyms meaning different ways of savagely killing people and burning their children and villages, when you should be explaining the stages of completing a project within the budget.

    Never done it myself. Sniff.
  10. TLA-tastic!!!
  11. 2 Div Summer Sales many years ago. Thrusting Major out to impress COS talked in nthing but three letter acronyms every briefing. TA Lt Col (very sucessful advertising executive and scrit writer for the 2 Ronnies in civvi life) quietly asks the man to either speak in English or explain his acronyms when using them.

    Next briefing Thrusting Major starts by saying that for the benefit of the TA he will explain all as he speaks. TA Lt Col thanks him but says that it's not for the TAs benefit, it was just that he was sick of explaining the acronyms to the wegulars. Thruster behaved himself after that.