Category Archives: work

I’ll reply to you, and you, and you . . .

Ever get into one of those e-mail exchanges with everybody in your entire organization?

You know: when one person e-mails a giant list (the wrong giant list) and then the cc list, down to the last e-mail account, replies all with the message “This is not for me” or “Remove me,” until, eventually, a crazy person replies (to all, mind you) “STOP REPLYING ALL”?

It happened to me (noted here). And it happened to (yes, believe it) the U.S. State Department, where so many people replied all “you got it wrong” and “stop replying all” that it crashed . . .

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Work Parsing Contest #1

There is much to be said for grammatical parsings. Since 12 Apostrophes is full of PhD and MFA types in all things english, I thought I would whet you appetite with a relatively simple one from my place of employment:

Please schedule the committee meeting the month prior to the second monthly board meeting after quarter end.

Nice. One sentence reads half high-school algebra problem, half Orwellian mind transplant. But if you thought that was impressive, let’s move to a graduated example:

Remember that due to 2009 Open Enrollment completing at weeks end for medical and dental insurance and . . .

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What is up with what is up?

Somewhere along the way, people decided to start saying “It is what it is.” No one knows why, but God knows everyone wishes they would stop.

I started hearing it last year some time, and I knew “it is what it is” had really made it when it appeared on the American version of the office (B. J. Novak, as Ryan, throws it in a rant filled with other business platitudes).

Soon after, I heard my actual boss say it on a conference call. Then, a client at work. Now, as of last week, my therapist, from whom I expected . . .

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Complicated and Opaque

Last week, I got my yearly performance review. Although the words in the review seemed pretty positive, the number ended up being a positively small 3%.

Don’t get me wrong! — a 3% raise is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (don’t try that at home). But I think my company makes it hard to get the big raises on purpose. The performance review is all online, and a big part of it is a self-assessment. Check out the instructions:

1. At least one objective should be set for each scorecard category.
2. No . . .

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