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Office Jargon

Penelope Trunk provides some insight into commonly used office phrases and what they really mean in her book Brazen Careerist:

You and I are not on the same page: “Get on my page. Your page is misguided.” No one ever says, “We’re not on the same page, so let me work really hard to understand your point of view. If you want to understand someone else, you say, “Can you tell me more about how you’re thinking.”

I’m calling to touch base: “I want something from you but I can’t say it up front.” Or “I am worried that you are lost and I’m sniffing around for signs to confirm my hunch.” Or “I’m calling because you micromanage me.”

Let’s run the numbers and see how they look: “I know they look bad on first blush. But the true use of Excel is to keep changing the formulas until you find a format that makes the numbers look good.”

My plate is full: “Help I’m drowning,” or “I would kill myself before I’d work on your project.”

Let’s close the loop: “Let me make sure I’m not going to get into trouble for this one.”

Let’s touch base next week: “I don’t want to talk to you now,” or “You are on a short leash and you need to report back to me.”

Keep this on your radar: “This will come back to bite you. Or me.”

Change

The big decision that I have been wrestling with over the past several weeks was a career decision. I have taken early retirement from my current role as an executive at a large Canadian bank. I have also been offered the opportunity to take on a Chief Information Officer role with a Canadian insurance company and I accepted that role. My retirement will be very short — regeneration. But I am very much looking forward to the new challenge and opportunity.

This was a big decision for our family because it also means that we are moving. After almost ten years in our current home, we will be making the move to Kingston, Ontario. Kingston, recently rated as one of the top places to live in Canada, is a community more like London, Ontario. We had lived in London for eighteen years and we really enjoyed being part of that community. We are looking forward to the move to Kingston as it shares many of the attributes of London albeit with a smaller population.

There are many things that I will miss from my current role. I was blessed to work with an exceptional group of people at the bank and I will deeply miss them. Serving as an Information Technology executive in a very large-scale technology group was a challenging and rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to meet and work with so many bright and capable people and I made many good friendships along the way.

I will definitely not miss the four-hours-a-day commute and the chaos that is Toronto. Too many people and too little infrastructure. The edge and ambition of the city seems to infect the surrounding communities. Everywhere I go there is the massive sprawl of urban development, big box retail and more and more congestion.

Our house goes up for sale on Sunday afternoon. As a family, we have been working hard to get the house ready. I cannot tell you how many hours that Lorraine and I have spent decluttering our home and making sure that all of the details are in place to show the house effectively. And then we need to deal with all of the logistics around making the move to Kingston.

Exciting times. Stressful times. A new beginning.