Tuesday, March 08, 2005

"Opportunity" Knocked

Obviously, there are advantages and disadvantages to working in Corporate America. I enjoy the benefits of a steady income, a good health insurance program, and lots of free SkyMiles accumulated through frequent business trips. And, for the most part, I manage to cope with the bureaucracy, political maneuvering, layoffs & restructurings, bland decor, and "business casual" dress code. But now I believe that a devious plot is infiltrating the corporate world, and I fear it will spread rapidly.

Last Friday, I had to attend a certain meeting.
  • For those of you who do not work in a corporate environment, let me just say that Dilbert cartoons are not "comic" strips so much as they are mini-documentaries. (This particular type of meeting has probably already been portrayed in some previous strip.) Scott Adams doesn't exaggerate.

  • For those of you who are already intimately familiar with typical corporate environments, I will further explain that the purpose of the meeting was to introduce a new "competency model" for professional development.

The meeting was led by a couple of manager-level-equivalents who were training us on how to use what is essentially a very large Excel spreadsheet with macros embedded in it to "make it easier to use." Apparently, there are a few tricks involved in retrieving the file off of our intranet and opening it up for editing. In passing, one of the manager-level-equivalents said, "So please just bear with us until we resolve some of the programming opportunities with this template."

For some reason, my mind latched onto that sentence and started looping around it. Finally, the grammar-checker region inside my brain spit out:
ERROR - There is a context discrepancy with the word "opportunity."


When this manager-level-equivalent made that statement, he didn't put any emphasis whatsoever on the word "opportunity," which would have implied that he was being facitious. In fact, I don't believe he was being facitious. I actually believe that he has forgotten what the word "opportunity" is supposed to mean.

Corporate euphemisms are subverting the English language! It's part of a plot to assimilate us all! We must resist!

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