Corporate Speak That Pisses You Off

My two contributions:

  1. Today I heard about a “Call Navigator” who would answer my call shortly when on hold for an hour. How about you staff your place to answer my fucking phone call? I just want an answer from a human. I don’t want to be directed or navigated.

  2. Hotels and restaurants referring to customers as “guests.” Nope. I have guests in my house. They pay for nothing. They are there by permission and invitation. These places are referring to “customers” which all businesses have and there is nothing wrong with that word. But don’t tell me I’m a guest and then give me a bill.


“Associates”. No, they are fucking employees. Just because you pay them ort does not give you the right to use a chickenshit euphemism.

Any kind of faddy acronym. Just do your jobs.

Making a list of “action items” after a meeting.

Using the word “issue” instead of “problem.”

Sharing. No, you’re fucking not sharing that: you’re offering it for a fee. That’s not sharing. Restaurants aren’t involved in food-sharing. The power company isn’t all about sharing electricity. And that’s not “ride-sharing”, that’s a taxi/livery service.

Space. Like the one between your fucking ears.

I always hated huddle. There was the morning huddle. And the unexpected got to huddle asap. When we moved into our fancy new building with an open concept, we had Huddle Rooms. And Think Rooms. It was stupid.

Corporate speak gets skewered.

Anything from the Personnel Department.

I think that’s Poisonel Department.

Our bank’s rep keeps emailing me that she’ll “circle back” to me with the answers to my questions.

“Rightsizing.” Wouldn’t we all understand one another better if we broke down and acknowledged that the “right” size is always smaller?

How does one circle forward? Can one?

Visionary thought leaders can circle forward. Peons cannot.

You had one of those? We always had Human Resources.

There has long been a trend to incorporate business terms into medicine. You can talk about queuing theory, the Toyota way, six sigma and lean maunfacturing. You can call patients clients or customers and discuss their journey and experience. But this by itself rarely produces better care or improved waiting times. This is still done by putting more staff when the hospital is busiest even though these hours may be inconvenient. Or by actually caring about people. I do have fond memories of a hospital CEO who would tell us the latest garbage buzzwords he needed to use to make his voice heard and get our fair share of funding. At least he knew they were garbage and saw the humour that was there.

Almost on-topic.

You remember the movie Airplane! that featured the two Black men speaking in jive? A remake would have to have two businessmen speaking in business nonsense.

They should just call it what it is, Maintaining Profit.

No, this is not corporate speak, it’s standard English. Your notion that the definition of guest excludes paying guests is mistaken. For a hotel, “guest” is the standard term, and “customer” sounds quite odd to me and ngram confirms that it is rarely used.

Google ngram comparison of “hotel guest” vs “hotel customer”

Then the term has been misused long enough to make it into the dictionary. It is still corporate garbage. If I pay for something, I am not a guest, full stop.