Have you ever played Corporate Bingo? In my cubicle days, we used to play it at meetings or on training courses: we’d choose some typical corporate buzzwords, write them down on a piece of paper, and try to see how many of them would be uttered within a designated timeframe. The one with the most correct ‘hits’ would mutter ‘Bingo’ sotto voce and be declared the winner. This was the period when I could not write anything outside of work, because I felt weighed down by the jargon.
The poem below might make it clear why I prefer to use a pseudonym in my creative writing, for fear that my corporate clients may recognise themselves and me in this. It’s all a bit of good fun bingo – play along!
Blue sky thinking got us far, but leadership is now about
moving cheese, being humble, fearless, SMART,
all that resilient bouncing about of yellow balls
and off-site team building.
We action our deliverables,
bid stakeholders sit and learn.
We share and lip-synch when above-board,
while under the iceberg we hoard and fester.
No band-width for emotions unadorned,
no availability for unmediated connection.
We bang for the buck with coerced abandon,
munching our carrots, testing our sticks.
All I know is: the feedback sandwich is getting stale,
so last year, as is the corner office with parkside view.
Don’t pause to gaze, don’t ponder the disconnect!
You know the urge to disimpress.