Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pardon My French

Now that I have been part of the corporate world longer than an average Hollywood marriage, here are some not-so-subtle observations which run rampant in the office environment and which I still find difficult to accept:

Every time you write about a problem to someone, the standard response is: “We have forwarded your case to the CONCERNED PERSON.” Now, not only does it not solve my problem, it also bothers me that I should be subjected to such blatant abuse of the English language, EVERY TIME. For the last time, a concerned person is a person who is worried/bothered (like my mother, for example). You have forwarded my complaint to the PERSON CONCERNED, and not the CONCERNED PERSON. And do me a favour, do away with the concern altogether, and just raise the issue with the PERSON RESPONSIBLE, who is actually responsible and not merely concerned.

Another annoying habit is if you talk to any of the younger employees, preparing for CAT/GMAT/GRE, the most oft-repeated conversation which makes me cringe is, “boss, are you GIVING CAT/GMAT/GRE this year?” Dude, seriously, if you have any chance of cracking the exam, get your basics right. You do not GIVE an exam, you TAKE/WRITE it, or you APPEAR for it.

Then there is the rampant use of “GENTLE REMINDERS”. For any event/meeting/unnecessary waste of time, there would be a long mail (with bold words and highlights), asking instructing you to attend it. This would be followed by regular “GENTLE REMINDERS” from all corners, which frankly are more threatening than gentle. Every time I suppress my urge to Reply All with a stinker, “Heard you the first time. And if I want to, I will come. No need to spam my mail and gently remind me every alternate hour.” And yes, there are events which I attend voluntarily without being bombarded and there are events which I skip simply to rebel against being bombarded. If you want me to be a matured adult, first treat me as one. And stop sending gentle reminders.

Also, I don’t much care of typical corporate phrases like, “do the needful”, “urgent attention” or “careful consideration” and the likes, simply because they are obscure and open to interpretation. So, instead of saying ‘do the needful”, I would rather define what “the needful” is and replace “urgent attention” with a realistic deadline.

Finally, while these are not that much of an eyesore, I try to avoid acronyms as much as possible. I know people are extremely busy, but call me old-fashioned, I would rather cut down on five minutes of my coffee break and write complete words/sentences than simply send mails with a plethora of “FYI”s, “COB”s, “EOB”s, “ASAP”s, just as a courtesy to the reader.

But there you go, the corporate world has its own language, and all I can do is conform and add an apologetic, “Pardon my French” as a signature


Diksha said...

Hi Shimonti,

(Pardon my English :))
I visited your blog after ages and it has been so refreshing to read some of them. Reminded me of college days when Shipra & I used to read it on regular basis.
Hope your passion and profession are keeping you busy enough.

Nefertiti said...


this is a pleasant surprise indeed. Thanks so much for leaving a comment. do keep reading.

Ankur said...

Dear Shimonti,

Your blog is a gentle reminder of the everday versitudes of a modern workplace.

However, I would like to humbly request to you not turn into a grammer nazi, and continue doing the needful ;-)

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Your blog admirer,

Nefertiti said...

haha... funniest comment ever! And since I AM a grammar Nazi (lol), might as well say that grammar is spelt with A and not E :)

Ankur said...

That was a test, you are now an official Nazi

Ankur said...

I think i should have written Grammar Nazi in the above comment, people should not think the 'other' one.

Anonymous said...

Nicely written! :)
But I use acronyms :(

Makk said...

OK I know you are very busy person involved in handling management things and all that jazz!

but this place is waiting for next post for last one week. Dont tell me you are off to somewhere to celebrate Shubho Bijoya and could nt write.. or you were pee ke tunn like anything.

Just write.

Shubho Bijoya

Nefertiti said...

yes, established grammar nazi

even i do at times, but try to make a more conscious effort not to

hardly busy. shubho bijoya to you too