It's all just so complicated

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a weird conversation at work and wondered how you got there?  Could it have been caused by colleagues talking at cross purposes?

The job and recruitment site, Reed, has again published its list of the 10 most annoying phrases used in the workplace and, as usual, it applies to all kinds of organisations.  And the winner is ….. ‘Can I borrow you for a sec’, with a massive 41% of the sample believing it is the most overused, irritating and frustrating phrase heard in the workplace.  You may or may not agree with their conclusions.  

While you are sure to find your own personal favourites among the list, they raise another important problem - the overuse of jargon and the misunderstandings that can occur when we assume or pretend to know what they actually mean.  This is a perennial problem and shows no sign of going away any time soon.  The survey tells us it is now even further complicated by the use of online terms creeping into the real world.  Not a happy prospect.  



I am not a political animal and I promised myself that this election would not appear on these pages but sometimes you just have to admit that enough is enough.  The behaviour of  The Right Honourable Gordon Brown, MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (to give him his full title) demonstrates two professionalism issues very clearly and could not be ignored without a few comments. The first issue is, of course, standards in public life and levels of ‘Trustworthiness’.  This election has thrown up some horrible examples of individuals behaving in an unacceptable way and clearly having learned nothing from the public anger in the recent expenses debacle.  They have demonstrated contempt for the public they are supposed to serve and a belief in their own importance which appears to override any moral constraints which ought to be an integral part of the concept of public service and which seems to have eluded them altogether.  They are, in no particular order:

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“Consider this” (1)

“My life is my message" (Gandhi)

It’s been an odd sort of a week. The death of an elderly aunt, and meeting relatives I haven’t seen for a while at the funeral, has meant that we have been thinking and talking about a subject we often take care to step quietly around - the unavoidable passage of time and how we have ‘spent’ our years so far. Unavoidably, you also start thinking about the things which matter most and which are of value in a world in which few things are truly predictable or stable, those people and things which make us feel safe and valued – our core personal support system and how surprisingly small most probably are.

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