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Worst corporate jargon of the week: Action

Are you a marine, or a brand marketing support officer?
Are you a marine, or a brand marketing support officer?

Offender: Action

Every one of us has been an email chain which is borderline unintelligible for the amount of corporate lingo thrown in there. At City A.M., we’re taking a stand and calling out the worst jargon which travels around the City faster than you can drink an overpriced pint. This week: action 

What does it mean?

To do. A simple and innocent verb, you might think, that diligently does what it says on the tin. Yet that wasn’t enough to stop it getting hijacked by little green men.

Who uses it?

Action-Men-turned-businessmen who are ready for attack. For this GI Joe, GI means General Insurance, and it’ll be executed with military precision. Breakfast is but a chance to conquer a croissant, and each meeting an opportunity to bark orders at colleagues. Anyone external to the company is a natural enemy and must be slaughtered. Any asset to the company must be nurtured and numbered. For these geezers, all workplace interaction is strategically motivated: if it’s not gonna help them creep up to the top, then you can be sure they won’t bother. Discipline is everything: diet, gym, trades, repeat. Life is a checklist. All variables must be controlled.

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What could it be confused with?

Should we be worried?

Undoubtedly. Hitting the sales target for Q3 should not be treated with the cold-blooded determination of an assassination mission. Likewise, your colleagues are not members of a rag-tag battalion and are unlikely to appreciate being called to participate in a “drill”. You can drop the expletive-ridden military acronyms, like Fubar, while you’re at it . What’s more, your competitors over at Blue Shark are not threats to be “removed”, but humans who deserve to live normal, white collar lives. The world is more complicated than heroes and villains, we’re afraid.

How do we get rid of it?

Resistance is key. When you are called to action, desist. We all keep a to-do list somewhere filled with boxes we know we’ll never check; a virtuous list of things we should do, but never will. Add to that list and do not exercise restraint. Keep it handy to include in your handover documents for whenever you finally break out from the corporate hellhole you’ve found yourself in. Your successor-in-command will do the same and so will theirs.

Future generations will wipe a tear as they read through what tasks were once deemed important to do, as earth burns around them.

Corporate ick rating: 6/10 Let’s be honest, there are worse crimes that our hit squad must target. At ease, soldier!