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August 2001: Paul Smith... On working for the Yankee Dollar
You've noticed how different professions generate their own languages. Where would the Police be without IC2 Males to chase? What would QC's do without Silk to take? Just who is the Whip who helps Politicians stay On-Message? And how would filmmakers cope without Best Boys doing whatever it is that Best Boys do? I've written before about the joys of IT terminology, but I don't just work in the computer industry; I also work in Sales.
Despite my best efforts, I've been drawn into the lingo vortex too. For example, this morning I was ok'd a crunchy price on some real sweet-spot product that was starting to get smelly. It was a total no-brainer and there was even a spiff on it, so I got on the blower at once to touch-base* with some names. One tried to screw me down but I knew what the market would wear, so I was concrete on it. I closed him, did a sales spread and market penetration report then went home 'happy'.
It gets worse. I work for an American owned business. This means I've been exposed to even further fetched language, which has been seeping into my day-to-day life. Yesterday morning, half-asleep, I found myself proactively looking for socks. I'd set myself an achievable goal, and by looking in the airing cupboard, I moved forward with my aims. I maintained focus to grow my vision of fluffy socks, and by getting them from a warm airing cupboard, they exceeded my expectations by being both fluffy and warm too. I ran with the socks whilst in the loop, eventuating leaping from the window of opportunity.
I shouldn't take the Mickey (Mouse) out of the Americans though. Working for them beats working for a German company, which I've done several times in the past. Because the Germans view the UK market as something to have a bit of fun with, they send the MD's idiot son to go and develop it. While #1 son stays at home to be groomed for power by Pa, #2 son, the business hobbyist, is packed off to intimidate the UK office. Compared to that, a smiling Yank who gives you a firm handshake and then calls your Morris Minor "quaint" is a positive breath of fresh air.
It was a German who invented the car and the Diesel engine, but then there is the gas-guzzling V8 to consider. Evil Americans make-up 5% of the worlds population, yet produce 50% of the worlds greenhouse gasses. And they did detonate a couple of nuclear devices in the harmless Japanese equivalents of Cardiff and Stockport. You can't even dis Laderhosen [Note for Dale. My spell checker and I have no idea how to spell this] when compared to the crime which is plaid trousers, or Knockwurst against Grits. But all these things pale into insignificance when you remember we've never had a war with the Yanks- Oh, except that one about independence, which rather spoils my argument. And we actually lost that one. Darn it all to heck.
*You can make this sound filthy if you try.
502 slightly risky words Dale. I suspect the PTB won't be too taken with this one! Perhaps we should foot it with:
Paul Smith works in distribution, but doesn't let it stop him having fun
August 2001 (original version rejected on the grounds of shitness) Paul Smith... On the dangers of watching television.
Changing Rooms is to blame for the pool of urine I was just sitting in. I'd better explain.
Because I live in a rented house, I have a lot of magnolia to look at. It's like being inside an empty chicken's egg sometimes. Anyway, instead of painting, I take a more creative route to making rooms different. I use coloured light bulbs. The entrance hall is bathed in blue. The landing is glorious in green, and my bedroom is (small cough) raunchy in red. I take things further, by having helium balloons filling that totally wasted space above my stairs. You know; the huge triangular volume of air just begging to be used for foil balloon storage. It's a style statement. You wouldn't understand. Now the thing about helium balloons is that over time they loose their gas and buoyancy. After a while they begin to drop and meander the air currents of the house.
Now picture the scene. It's late. I'm at my computer in a darkened room trying to think of something to type for Indie. Apart from me, the house is empty. The doors are locked and I have no pets to disturb me. I have the peace and quiet I need to do an exposť on the inhuman factory-farming conditions disties keep their staff in. I click my knuckles and lean towards my keyboard....
Something lightly taps me on the back of the head. No more of an impact than the gentle bump of a slow moving balloon, yet it's so unexpected, I scream like a Dr Who assistant and shoot, gibbering, vertically from my seat. Arms flailing, I try to beat off my unseen assailant. In the turbulent airflow of my frantically windmilling, the balloon is swept up and pauses near ceiling level.
At last I have enough guts to open my eyes and look around to see... no one. If only I'd looked up, but I didn't. Spooked, it took me a minute to settle down to typing again. Perhaps I could do a piece on the paranormal? Headless Horsemen seen in Bolton PC World, kinda thing? Hey, I could even work in a bit about 'the ghost in the machine'. I was warming to the subject as the balloon, which had been slowly falling for three minutes, at last made contact with the top of my head.
I've changed my pants and mopped up now. However, all ideas for a column have been erased from my mind by terror. All, that is, except this one. I apologise that it's not about independent retail or the worlds of IT or electronic gaming. Soz.
To sum up; don't listen to the mad ramblings of a longhaired fop on television. And praise leather for being so easy to sponge clean.
Oh ok then. Um- Sell extended warrantees? Like I say, I'm sorry. My nerves are so shot they'd look like a Swiss cheese caught in the crossfire of the St Valentine's Day Massacre. With woodworm.
499 industry irrelevant words Dale. I'm also working on a piece about the differences working for an American company rather than a German one, if, as I expect, you reject this one!
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