:-0

February 18, 2009

I emailed someone in the office a document, apologising for its lateness due to circumstances beyond my control. They replied:

No problem, thank you :-0

I was slightly taken aback. The words did not correspond to the visual. Shockedface??? Was this their way of hinting that despite their verbal reassurances I had caused them immeasurable stress? Another email shortly followed:

I meant :- )

So watch those emoticons, kids. A missed shift key can totally change your face.

On the same page

March 31, 2008

A guy I’m supposed to be working closely with at the moment told me today that “we’re on the same page”. It’s one of those trite business phrases I didn’t think people actually used, but it turns out they do.

We are so not on the same page. We’re not even on the same chapter.

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.