Saturday, April 04, 2009

Office euphemisms

I don't know how many of you work in an office, but those that do must be familiar with that ubiquitous character common the world over: the Holder of Loud Telephone Conversations.

They come in two varieties. Those that sit at their desk and hold forth safe in the knowledge that they're not disturbing anyone, because their conversations are so interesting that the whole of the rest of the office will want to stop what they're doing and listen in. This is a good job, because those other workers don't get a lot of choice in the matter. They're gonna hear what the guy (or gal) is saying whether they want to or not.

The other variety has a neurological condition that physically prevents them from sitting still when a phone approaches their ear. They are impelled to pace up and down the office, and in really bad cases even through the entire building, while conducting their telephone business. In the same way as a pigeon can't walk without bobbing its head, the Ambulatory Holder of Loud Telephone Conversations can't talk without walking.

Inasmuch as any of this has an advantage, it is this: it allows students of human nature access to a wide variety of office euphemisms, which I thought might make an interesting subject for an occasional series, starting today. I have no idea how long this will run (or even if it will), or how many different phrases I can extract, but for today, here's #1.

"I'll leave you in peace."

This is an attempt to stop the conversation that actually means "I've got what I wanted from you and I'm not interested in hearing about your problems, so shut the fuck up and let me get off the phone."

Its effect is limited, as witnessed by the fact that our resident HoLTeC had to say it three times before his callee got the message.


Gloria Horsehound said...

I don't know what goes on in office communications, but I do know what passes for language on the train!
I don't know if it's a 'southern' thing but I've noticed that instead of saying one 'yeah' people, usually men, utter two or even three 'yeahs' So I often hear men saying "yeah yeah yeah" into their mobiles.
These yeahs are said in quick succession.
I wonder why.

Tvor said...

Gloria... Beatles' fans? ;)

Gloria Horsehound said...

Brilliant Tvor never thought of that :)I suppose you could be right but I think it's just another example of our language changing. Because languages do change you know. Yeah?

Tvor said...

Yes it does, not always for the better. I despair. Sometimes i really do!