Going forward

May 21, 2007

One morning last week, as I stood in a throng of commuters on The Train Formerly Known as Thameslink, a middle-aged man was having a loud conversation on his mobile. “I don’t see a role for him going forward,” he announced.

I love the bombast of business-speak, and ‘going forward’ is one of the classics. “I am just the kind of person you need,” it proclaims. “I always look to the future, never resting on my laurels. Where there is disaster I seek triumph, and where there is triumph I seek even greater triumph.”

You had to feel sorry for the guy being discussed. Not only was the demise of his career being announced to a bunch of strangers, it was being announced with one of the most obnoxious phrases in the business lexicon.

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