There are two languages spoken at work. On the one hand, you have the language that you hear. On the other, you have what you really think. So how do you translate between the two?
Here are ten "work phrases" I use at the office, and what I'm actually thinking when I say them.
- What you hear: I understand your point, but I think (x) is a better way to go.
What I'm thinking: What the hell are you talking about? Do we work on the same project? Yeah, I guess we could go your way, but then I might as well start working on a way to fix it now.
- What you hear: Sure, we can push the deadline up.
What I'm thinking: You heartless bastard. If I had known I was dealing with Satan, I would have brought my crucifix.
- What you hear: Yeah, I can analyze that for you and get you the results before the end of the day.
What I'm thinking: I was thinking about skipping lunch anyways, so this just seals the deal. I'm going to go to the bathroom right now, because I won't be leaving my desk until sundown.
- What you hear: 5:00 is no problem, we can meet then.
What I'm thinking: No, it's OK, I had my jacket on because it's cold in here. You know what, I think I'll just sleep here since it'll take me about six hours to get home with the traffic I'm going to hit now. Oh, by the way, I just died a little bit inside.
- What you hear: No problem (name), I can help you out with that.
What I'm thinking: This is great. I was just sitting here playing that Indian knife game, but helping you is slightly more fun. Even better, maybe we can hang out later and I can drink the pain away.
- What you hear: We can go to that Chinese place for lunch.
What I'm thinking: You know, this is really a stroke of luck. They just remodeled the men's restroom, and I've been meaning to check out. Now I'll be able to examine it all afternoon.
- What you hear: Sure, I can work the weekend again.
What I'm thinking: I'm going to hire someone to give you the clap.
- What you hear: This needs some serious revision.
What I'm thinking: I'm firing you and hiring the monkeys back. I don't care how much it costs us in typewriters and cigarettes.
- What you hear: I'm not sure we're going to make our deadline.
What I'm thinking: I haven't slept in three days. I think Jim is dead, but I haven't been able to leave my cubicle to check. It's all getting a bit fuzzy… flying monkeys would be awesome, I would definitely pay to see them… Did you say something?
- What you hear: Changed the requirements? It's OK; we can incorporate those changes into the design.
What I'm thinking: Wow. Is it wrong to want to strangle someone with your bare hands? Maybe I'll wear gloves, less traceable, but I don't think I would get the same sense of accomplishment.