Do as I say, not as I mean


Say it properly

After exclusively revealing some training notes from our secret senior managers training recently and getting away with it, I thought I’d share another memo which I’ve received.  These are designed to prepare me for life as a senior manager in the future, so I’ve been asked to memorise as much as possible and start using it on a regular basis.

Any of this sound familiar?

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

Today we are going to be looking at language: specifically that which you will need to know.  There needs to be a very clear divide between what you are saying and what you are meaning, so be sure to use the right words at the right time.  Simply go through the column on the right, select the appropriate situation and use the language on the left.

And if all else fails, pull out number one on our list…

I’ll look into that for you I’m going to ignore that, if it’s important you’ll chase me for it
It’s almost ready Damn, I’d forgotten about it and will now have to start and finish it before you notice
We should do an EqIA This is moving too fast, let’s slow things down a little
Sorry I’m late I’m so important that I’m asked to be in loads of important meetings, you should be thankful I can be here at all
Anyone want a cup of tea? I hope no-one wants a cup of tea
How does this relate to the Big Society agenda? I don’t really know what’s going on here, so I’m going to tie it into something no-one really understands so we are all on the same level
I’m sure there’ll be a job for you in the restructure There probably won’t be a job for you in the restructure
I’m a little concerned about… You did what?!?!?!
Just to play devils advocate… I actually totally disagree with you, but want to stay on your good side
I’m sure I sent the e-mail to you, perhaps it got lost in the ether I never sent it to you, but you can’t prove it
That’s not my job I’m ignoring the bit of my contract that says ‘other duties which may from time to time arise’ along with the fact that my entire job is about helping the public
I’m only following the rules I’m refusing to use common sense or press for the rules to change, regardless of how ridiculous they are
I think Eric Pickles is doing a great job I know nothing about local government
Most managers aren’t really needed anyway, we could do without them I know nothing about local government
I might be able to find funds for that Help!  It’s nearly April and if I don’t spend all of my budget I’ll never see it again
We are going to restructure I’m going to create a new structure which defends my power base and will have jobs for those members of the team I think are good, or at least that I like
We are going to do a root and branch review We’ll move a few things around and change some job descriptions
Experts have told us that this is the best option A consultant rehashed something we already knew, but in doing so gave us a scapegoat in case it all goes wrong

Don’t forget one final rule: should anything go wrong never scream or shout: simply say “that’s interesting…”

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2 Comments on “Do as I say, not as I mean”

  1. Roger White Says:

    My door is always open – No it isn’t


  2. […] intrinsically linked to ‘cuts’?  We’ve also tried to reveal some of the secrets of local government language (slightly tongue in cheek perhaps, but perhaps not far off the mark), as well as starting the […]


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