It was ‘onboarding’ that tipped me over the edge. Is there a corporate wormhole where perfectly acceptable words with a clear beginning, middle and end go to die? In these pandemic times, there is frequently an infinitesimally tiny gap between normal and Michael Douglas in Falling Down.
When did we stop hiring people? What was wrong with that word? Who decided that we are now going to ‘onboard’ people? Is there a secret plot (conspiracy..) to turn the entire working world into a cruise liner where we were are onboarded and then ‘overboarded’ when the company is ‘downsized’. That’s right, we no longer fire people either, another perfectly fine word to describe being tossed out on your ear. We ‘let them go’ – where exactly; we ‘decruit, downscale, lateralize, make internal efficiencies, reduce headcount … there is a list of new words we can now use to hide the fact that we are actually ‘firing’ someone.
If I hear one more corporate interviewee talking about ‘onboarding’ people, I may not be held responsible for ‘taking things to the next level’. I may have to ‘pick some low hanging fruit’ and ‘boil the ocean’ or get ‘down on all fours’ while we ‘pivot the idea’ and ‘sweep the sheds’.
In a world where is absolutely impossible to find out who comes up with increasingly daft ideas, it must be possible to find the person/s who think so little of the English language (of which I am very fond) that they ‘peel the onion’ while giving ‘110% (an impossibility – ask Einstein) and then go off and ‘punch a puppy’.
It is clearly time to ‘touch base offline’ and have another ‘thought shower’ while the corporate world ‘thinks outside the box’ with a whole lot of ‘blue sky thinking’.
Those who use these words must fully realise that they are not only standing on, but obliterating the one calm nerve that most of us have left in this current reality.
Maybe the corporate world could ‘wash its own face’ of this absolute jargonistic baloney and ‘go on a journey’ through the dictionary of common words.
Next time you are in a meeting with someone who talks about ‘onboarding’, invite them to ‘take a deep dive’ into the ‘blue sky’ while you ‘circle back’ with them when you have ‘moved the needle’.
Spare us please.