Sunday, June 19, 2011

Biz Jargons

I read this article on" Classic Indian-English Terms" a couple of days back. Inspired by the article, I decided to jot down “Jargons” used by the junta at work.  This coincides with completing One year and 3 weeks of working. *YaaaaY*

During this tenure; I’ve attending boring meetings, client calls which call for more work, workshops for team building and lots more that I can’t remember right now. Apart from all this, I’ve learnt one very important thing – never mention work in any of the posts and don’t describe what you do at work. Well, what I learnt at work can be another post.

Without much ado, let’s welcome the corporate terms!

  1. Action Items – Simply means “tasks” that have to be completed. People make it sound like some ground breaking Gene-Therapy Concept.
  2. Across the Board – No it has nothing to do with board games. It means – let’s have a meeting.
  3. Benchmark – Damn! The last time I remember benchmarking was in school when the teacher asked me to get out for making too much noise. I had asked a friend to reserve a place for me on the bench. That was benchmarking.
  4. Best Practices – logically, there can be nothing called a Best Practice. Okay, if you do have a best practice, then why isn’t it universally followed? I think there can be something called a Better Practice, but never a best.
  5. Bring to the table – if you give me a day’s notice, then I can bring Carrot Halwa. But if you inform me at 6 in the morning, then it’s going to be “thenga potta carrot curry”.
  6. Business Need –Dear boss, You should be knowing that. Don’t ask me “what” the business needs.
  7. C-Level – In the beginning I thought it was  a grade. I’ve always detested C grades, because my Math and Drawing teachers marked me C all the time. But the Corp world tells me; C-Level execs are the ones at the top of the ladder.
  8. Competitive advantage – Something that only you can do better than the others. Yeah! I can eat chocolates day in and day out.
  9. Core competencies – That’s more like your DNA. Only that, here you can modify them.
  10. Deep Dive – literally means, dig deeper and deeper until you’ve reached rock bottom and lost your brains in the process.
  11. Deliverable or Delivery – my mom laughs at me every time I tell her I have a delivery today.
  12. Delivery Schedule –Usually its 9 months, sometimes its 8. I don’t know what you Business guys are talking about.
  13. Drill-down – basically it’s thinking philosophically. Like; savouring a chocolate bar and thinking “where the hell did the cocoa beans come from!”
  14. Engagement Models – This term gets me rolling all the time. Engagement models; next in line is delivery model.
  15. Face-time – The only term I know that starts with face is facebook and I know I spend too much time on it.
  16. Focus Group – I thought this was a magic troupe. Later figured out they are a bunch of guys working on something “strategic”.
  17. Forward looking – Thinking way too ahead of time.
  18. Gaining an Edge – More like jumping over buildings?
  19. Good-To-Go – usually uttered when your senior has had enough looking at your “deliverable”. He / she dismisses it by saying “good-to-go”.
  20. Going Forward – Moving ahead or in the future. Damn these business terms!
  21. Granular – finer details. I want you to drill down the details to the levels of granularity. *poda*
  22. Heads-up – You’d want your brother to give you a heads up when his friends are coming; because you don't want to be caught in shorts and t-shirts.
  23. High Level – has nothing to do with getting *high*. It just means – from a higher up perspective.
  24. Informed decisions – nobody is silly enough to jump into a well without precautions. Decisions are always taken when you are well informed.
  25. Itemise – more like an action item. But this is the first step before identifying action items.
  26. Keep Me in the Loop – not the dancing hoops. Your boss simply means “keep me in informed”.
  27. Jog your memory – I cannot convince myself to jog every morning, why would I strain my memory?
  28. Key takeaway – McD or Dominos? I really wish they gave me they keys; I’d spend my entire life surviving on French fries and cheese burst pizza.
  29. Leverage – More like – use your brains silly.
  30. Life-Cycle – they use this for products, projects, deliveries and everything under the sun. I’m reminded of A Butterfly’s lifecycle.
  31. Limitations – a nicer way of say “this is all you get”
  32. Low Hanging Fruit – means an easy target. I was imagining mango trees with lots of raw mangoes!
  33. Meritocracy – HR junta LOVE this one. But it’s hardly followed. The least expected one gets promoted all the time.
  34. Out of Office – the happiest  of all terms! Means Boss inniki leave!! :D
  35. Paradigm Shift – From Balaguruswamy to Any other Swamy – everybody thinks they sound like business leaders when they use this term.
  36. Performance Oriented – or action oriented. I don’t know what you are talking about.
  37. Ping – Not to be confused with the Penguin on Pogo called Pingu. Ping in their language is – drop in your ideas, I’ll make them my own.
  38. Pipeline – projects in the pipeline. It’s funny when people say “our project pipelines are full at the moment”.
  39. Push Back – not buttons; but projects. The project has been pushed back to accommodate other high priority projects.*Gasp*
  40. Ramp-up – meaning, hurry up.
  41. Reach out – Sounds like a very romantic term. It’s yet another funky term for “getting in touch” or “voicing your views”. Not like they care, but still.
  42. Roll-Out – A project once completed is rolled out. I have rolled out only mats till date.
  43. Scale up – Moving up or releasing a better version. I thought it was achieving an altitude while trekking.
  44. Scratching the Surface – doing a very basic research. Reminds me of the term – “pulling my hair out” or the tam term "Paya perandardhu".
  45. Seamlessly Merging – flawless execution.
  46. Shooting the Right Areas – remember Haywards  5000 Ad?  ;) Adhan! Adheee than :P
  47. Snapshots – not mug shots, but a one slider that has the information your client wants.
  48. Strategic – Why can’t you call it “planning”. The next best thing they come up with is – Strategic thought process.
  49. Testing the Waters – Giving it a try. They make it sound like wriggling your toes in water.
  50. Touch base – Get in touch.
  51. Turnkey Solutions – I think it’s a solution that can be run with a press of a button or like in this case turn of a key.
  52. Value addition – Think Doodhwala; remember the number of times you’ve asked him for “extra” or karuvelappalai and kothamalli at the market. Another example can be – aloe vera extracts in your shaving gel.
  53. Value chain – first there is a preposition, then you add value to it. This entire process is your value-chain. *grrrr*
  54. Wallet Share – I’m not sharing mine with you. :P Biz guys call this a break up of how much the clients spend on what.
  55. Walk you through – often used; walk you through the presentation. I never knew I could walk through something that’s electronic.
  56. What’s in Store – You make it sound like ordering something in a restaurant.
  57. Work Life Balance – again, often used; but hardly works. Lesser said the better.
  58. World class / Best in Class –Muhahahah!! Everybody wants to be the best.
  59. Your Take – like you care. But it’s really sweet when they ask you for your opinions. In this case it’s called take.

The best of all is – At the end of the day!
After reading this, I'm sure you guys understand how attentive I am in the above said meetings and all that. 
Feel free to shower your praises on me ;-)

This is my compilation. Go ahead and “do the needful” by adding your versions to it.

PS: to sort this in alphabetical order using Excel. DAMN!!
PS1: No offence meant to any of the "high and mighty" junta out there. All this is in good humor.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Himalayan Hangover!

After numerous status messages on Facebook, texts to friends and generating major PR on how much I’m looking forward to the trek;  I suddenly went off the radar. I don’t have excuses this time. I’ve kinda run out of excuses myself, so it would be awesome if you can chip in with a couple of plausible excuses.

I wrote a really sad looking rough draft during a client call only to realise that my handwriting has gone to the dogs for good this time and the same applied to my blogging skills. Pretty sad I must say.

So here’s an attempt to rekindle the almost dead blog of mine.

Last month this time a bunch of us boarded a train to Delhi. We had our own reasons to be out of work, one had chicken pox while the other was attending a workshop. A couple of us had told our respective bosses the truth – we were on a trek. And I had only 5 days leave sanctioned, so I conveniently got stuck in a hailstorm for 3 extra days ;)

If I were to sum it up in one word I’d say “Awe-inspiring”. Honestly speaking, I’m really not much of a trekker or a fitness freak. Wait a minute; I’m not even an outdoorsy person. There was something about the itinerary that pushed me to accept the challenge. I wanted to give it a shot with the sole purpose of pushing my limits. I had to do something to get out of the comfortable inertia I was settling into.

With that began the journey of 10 days from Delhi. Delhi is by far the “hottest” place I’ve been to. I thought Hyderabad was hot. And all you people who crib about Chennai being hot – give me a break. Seriously!
Now that I mentioned Delhi, we visited Akshardham. Of the two odd hours we spent there; the best part was the boat ride where we travelled through the history of India. Awesome stuff! And we were made to watch this documentary on Swami Narayan; the kid who played the Neelkant was adorable.

A 14hr bus ride later, we reached what we called this picturesque place located on the banks of the river Beas. We were rather shocked to look at a wobbly wooden bridge, crossing which we would get to the camp. I would like to call it the terrorizing bridge. Walk on it a couple of times and you’d agree with me if I call it a perfect location for a fight sequence. And once you lose your balance; you may go on your free rafting ride, only without the raft.

The next couple of days were Adventure Sport days. Rappelling - where you climb to the top of a huge rock and climb down. I did not do it – thanks to the fear of heights. I really thought I’ll go sliding upside down on the rock. Next day we went River Crossing. Hoist yourself horizontally, then hold on to the rope like your life depends on it, move in the same direction and you’ll be done.
Paragliding is like the best thing in this whole wide world!! Everybody must seriously try it! I loved it :D And then there was zorbing, you go head over heels; heels over head and all you need to do is scream.

Just when we were settling into the routine, they decided it was time we go onto the real trek. Out came rucksacks and sleeping bags. We were to trek to Camp-2 and 3 by foot. I was a little apprehensive about this part – I kept asking Uncle and G if there was a charted path. I went there to figure out that a trekking trail in trekking terms was a nondescript path with lots of rocks and unbelievably scary terrain.

We changed two camps in three days. Walked through paths where I’ve never imagined. I slid into a gushing stream, slid down the wet near another stream.  I literally went sliding down, holding onto little pieces of rocks for support and I could literally feel the sand slipping out of my fingers. That was the scariest moment of the trek.  I thought it was the end, because had I lost balance I would have reached the rock bottom only to meet my dead grandparents.

On the whole I’d rate it 8/10. I loved it every bit of my stay.  The people were warm and friendly – especially the Bhaiyya(s). Those guys were the best. Amazingly genuine people, God bless them. I managed to strike a convo with all of them. And there was this particular dude who had deep blue-green eyes; I could stare at them all day long! **Sigh**

I would call this an experience of a lifetime; simply because I did things I would’ve normally never attempted. Sleeping in a sleeping bag; sharing a tent with 5 other girls; walking downhill to wash my plates in a stream; Staying in tents without electricity for 3 nights; attending to nature’s call in the open (read: behind huge trees and bushes). It truly helped me appreciate the little joys of life.

You don’t get to wake up to the neighing of horses at 5am or with dew drops on your sleeping bag. It’s an experience of a lifetime. Something you’ll totally understand only if you attempt it.

No matter how many vacations I go on, this one will remain close to my heart forever, because not everybody  gets to go White Water Rafting on a Monday Morning!
Three cheers to the Himalayan Trip.

PS: Thanks to all those people who were supportive. Thank you for putting up with my mood swings and being damn understanding. Special thanks for screaming out my name when I went River Rafting; it really helped.
PS1: After churning out close to 970 words, I realise I have not mentioned the best part of the trek – Food. If you are a foodie or a southie or a deadly combination of both like me – this is *the*  place to be in!! I still can’t believe I was discussing recipes while climbing up.
PS2: it's 8 because; -1 for not being able to carry my backpack. -1 for not attempting Rappelling and Zumaring.
PS3:  YaaaaY!! I can write! :D