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(Sydney Morning Herald)   Whatever, I'll try, maybe. I don't know. I'll get back to you. Yes, but if... I guess we'll see   (smh.com.au ) divider line
    More: Strange, weasel words, business consultants, mountaineers  
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10083 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Apr 2010 at 9:56 AM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-04-29 07:57:26 AM  
I have no problem using "I'll get back to you" if I'm unsure about something.

They key is to actually get back to that person as quickly as possible.
 
2010-04-29 08:16:36 AM  
"Whatever"=your wife has just ended the conversation.
 
2010-04-29 08:26:24 AM  
I hate marketing people so much.
 
2010-04-29 08:35:01 AM  

vartian: I hate marketing people so much.


That's cool because they hate everyone, and themselves just as much
 
2010-04-29 10:00:17 AM  

pablodolanez: vartian: I hate marketing people so much.

That's cool because they hate everyone, and themselves just as much


This.

Realistically, in many design-oriented fields (particularly software / IT) every task involves learning at least one new skill. Because of that, realistic estimates are going to be with very wide bands, and "try" is kind of a given. If it was something that was based 100% on already-known skills and technology, you'd have done it already.
 
2010-04-29 10:01:21 AM  

pablodolanez: vartian: I hate marketing people so much.

That's cool because they hate everyone, and themselves just as much


My brother went into marketing a few years back. He is doing very well, but he calls me and talks about nothing for like an hour every week. It is the same thing whenever I had to wander into our sales department at my old paper; they just turn and spew nonsense words at you while saying absolutely nothing.
 
2010-04-29 10:01:25 AM  
And here I thought the nine worst words were "Would my peener look tight in your mom, boss?"

learn something new everyday
 
2010-04-29 10:02:03 AM  
Can you repeat the question?
 
2010-04-29 10:02:56 AM  
rlv.zcache.com

"Go stick your head in a pig." is strangely absent.
 
2010-04-29 10:03:14 AM  
I think 'I'm gettting sued again?' is up there too.
 
2010-04-29 10:05:17 AM  
While we're at it, let's add when bosses say "we" when they really mean "you do it with zero time or materials."
 
2010-04-29 10:08:29 AM  
"Blow it out your ass" is overheard strangely often where I work.

Not very good customer service.
 
2010-04-29 10:14:38 AM  
You know that management has a mean sense of humour when you get your paychecue (allowance).

And sometimes it bounces.
 
2010-04-29 10:15:59 AM  
I guess the list works in an environment where appearance matters more than facts and reality. I will give you whatever, but the rest merely sound to me like someone making qualified predictions or being aware of their own limits.

Saying that you will definitely, 100%, without a doubt manage to get something done might make everyone feel better, but it is not really being honest with either yourself or whoever you are making promises too that you might not be able to keep.

There might be no "try" for jedi muppets, but for the rest of us failure is always an option. It is only smart to plan for contingencies that something can go wrong because often something does go wrong.

If you don't want to hear the words "Yes, but..." that indicates to me that you don't really care about the complexities of a problem at hand and are only interested in gross oversimplifications. Chances are that if you only like simple cut and dry solutions and don't care about the details, you won't have anything worthwhile to contribute to the solution anyway.

If you would rather hear somebody giving an absolute totally unquallified answer full of confidence rather than have them admit the limits of their expertise and their ability to predict the unknown for you, then you probably should not make any important decisions anyway.

Confidence is no substitute for knowledge. Without knowing how sure or how certain anything is you can't make any real plans unless your one and only plan is that everything works perfectly the first time without any unforeseen troubles or incidents. Not planing for contingencies will end in failure and you can't plan for them without knowing the limits of your knowledge.

\Whatever...
 
2010-04-29 10:16:56 AM  
I really think that the context of "Yes, but..." should be taken into account. I'm not entirely comfortable with the article's suggestion that you flip the fark out on anyone who uses those two words in tandem.

Evidently doing such is "playing the victim". My guess is the author is venting about something in particular.
 
2010-04-29 10:17:54 AM  
Bullshiat. This is why corporate life is for lying automatons. I know in my business if someone asks you a question and you guess at the answer without knowing enough facts you'll generally hemorrhage money. Then, you're in shiat.

Sometimes you just can't be sure of the results and the guys further up the food chain need to know the situation so they can manage the risk properly.
 
2010-04-29 10:19:48 AM  
If I had a nickle for every time I asked a Yes or No question and the answer began with "Because..." ...
 
2010-04-29 10:20:12 AM  
Well how are workers supposed to leverage their innovative, synergy-building skill-sets into real-time, on-demand deliverables without utilizing effective verbiage to meet time-sensitive deadlines for a variety of stakeholders?

Ugh. I farking hate marketing/MBA speak. Frankly, those two groups of people (or at least the ones responsible for this, or those who regularly encourage it), should go DIAF. I'm a gov't contractor, and this kind of crap has gotten into the federal gov't. It's sad, and it's dangerous. Even LESS gets done than before, and this kind of "talking without saying anything," let's too many people get away with zero accountability.
 
2010-04-29 10:20:46 AM  
"Not my concern" -- that's my favorite coming from the project "sponsors" who have decided to try their hand at architecting an IT solution on the cheap for a gross failure of due diligence (sold off part of the company, but no provision for migrating the data). When they were told we had no development resources available (all had been let go due to lack of funding), the project sponsor replied, "not my concern". So much for the "we're all one company/team/shiny happy family" bullshiat.

"That timeline is not realistic" has gotten me into trouble before. Many times. Usually it goes like this:

Contractor A: We can do the go live next week!
Customer: That's great. I've already communicated to the users!
Me: When did you plan on telling the development team the go live was next week?
Contractor A: We just did.
Me: You haven't provided me with your data for us to do the QA or the User acceptance test. Plus the Production team needs a week to implement.
Customer: But 'A' said we'd go live next week. We've already communicated to the users!
Me: That timeline is not realistic.

Repeat, rinse, drown with bourbon.
 
2010-04-29 10:21:01 AM  

Loki-L:
If you don't want to hear the words "Yes, but..." that indicates to me that you don't really care about the complexities of a problem at hand and are only interested in gross oversimplifications. Chances are that if you only like simple cut and dry solutions and don't care about the details, you won't have anything worthwhile to contribute to the solution anyway.


THIS
 
2010-04-29 10:23:56 AM  
Submitter: Whatever, try, maybe I don't know. I'll get back to you. Yes, but if...I guess we'll see

Sounds like a lost line from "Strawberry Fields Forever"
 
2010-04-29 10:24:14 AM  

gorrck: "Not my concern" -- that's my favorite coming from the project "sponsors" who have decided to try their hand at architecting an IT solution on the cheap for a gross failure of due diligence (sold off part of the company, but no provision for migrating the data). When they were told we had no development resources available (all had been let go due to lack of funding), the project sponsor replied, "not my concern". So much for the "we're all one company/team/shiny happy family" bullshiat.

"That timeline is not realistic" has gotten me into trouble before. Many times. Usually it goes like this:

Contractor A: We can do the go live next week!
Customer: That's great. I've already communicated to the users!
Me: When did you plan on telling the development team the go live was next week?
Contractor A: We just did.
Me: You haven't provided me with your data for us to do the QA or the User acceptance test. Plus the Production team needs a week to implement.
Customer: But 'A' said we'd go live next week. We've already communicated to the users!
Me: That timeline is not realistic.

Repeat, rinse, drown with bourbon.


You should have said "FARK IT! WE'LL DO IT LIVE. WE'LL DO IT LIVE!"
 
2010-04-29 10:25:26 AM  
So, telling the boss and/or customers to "bite me" is still okay? Good to know.

/love working in IT
 
2010-04-29 10:29:02 AM  

mciann: Loki-L:
If you don't want to hear the words "Yes, but..." that indicates to me that you don't really care about the complexities of a problem at hand and are only interested in gross oversimplifications. Chances are that if you only like simple cut and dry solutions and don't care about the details, you won't have anything worthwhile to contribute to the solution anyway.


THIS


THAT
 
2010-04-29 10:29:38 AM  

gorrck: "Not my concern" -- that's my favorite coming from the project "sponsors" who have decided to try their hand at architecting an IT solution on the cheap for a gross failure of due diligence (sold off part of the company, but no provision for migrating the data). When they were told we had no development resources available (all had been let go due to lack of funding), the project sponsor replied, "not my concern". So much for the "we're all one company/team/shiny happy family" bullshiat.

"That timeline is not realistic" has gotten me into trouble before. Many times. Usually it goes like this:

Contractor A: We can do the go live next week!
Customer: That's great. I've already communicated to the users!
Me: When did you plan on telling the development team the go live was next week?
Contractor A: We just did.
Me: You haven't provided me with your data for us to do the QA or the User acceptance test. Plus the Production team needs a week to implement.
Customer: But 'A' said we'd go live next week. We've already communicated to the users!
Me: That timeline is not realistic.

Repeat, rinse, drown with bourbon.


THIS and AMEN!!!! As an IT Project Manager, I've had to deal with this kind of BS from upper management far too often. They give the customer (external or internal) some pull-it-out-of-your-arse delivery date, then pass it to me to get it done. Where are the resources? Where are the developers? Where's the data? Not their problem. It's mine. All the responsibility, with none of the authority.

//I'm not bitter...
//yes, I want out.
 
2010-04-29 10:31:18 AM  
If you are good enough at what you do be honest and say what you need without being a douchebag.

/doesn't sugar coat
//good at what I do
 
2010-04-29 10:35:20 AM  
meh
 
2010-04-29 10:36:38 AM  
Its a little off topic, but one of my biggest pet peeves is when people say "you know" after everything. If "I know" then why are you talking to me.
 
2010-04-29 10:42:49 AM  
"Yes" is the only word you are allowed to say to your boss ever. If they want you to do something, you say "Yes." If you don't want to do it, too bad, that's why they pay you. If its against your beliefs, quit, and let someone who is willing to do the job do it. Bosses don't want to hear anything other than compliance, that's why you work for them!
 
2010-04-29 10:43:17 AM  
How about no? Does no work for you?
 
2010-04-29 10:44:45 AM  
incubate B2C action-items & orchestrate distributed schemas every day and you'll be sweet

/enable frictionless content
//whiteboard best-of-breed partnerships
 
2010-04-29 10:45:12 AM  
mciann: If you don't want to hear the words "Yes, but..." that indicates to me that you don't really care about the complexities of a problem at hand and are only interested in gross oversimplifications.

That's not my experience. When asked to add a BizHub 450 and set up phones at several new work stations, I had to say "Yes, but we're a small company and only have 4 incoming lines. We'll have to add at least 1 more, preferably more like 4 more." See, in this instance the bossman only saw the big picture desired result, and it was my task to spell out the hurdles and costs of implementing that result.

As for the other things on the list, if I were asked to set up and enterprise-wide Exchange server (which I've never done), "I don't know, maybe, I'll try and then get back to you" would be a completely valid answer.

And marketing? I used to be in marketing and since our jobs were to communicate accurately and succinctly in a science community, we policed ALL the bullshiat business-speak coming from HR, Finance and especially Legal. We were definitely NOT the source of crap like "Let's run it up the flagpole" or "We can leverage that asset into an opportunity to..."
 
2010-04-29 10:48:23 AM  
check please.
 
2010-04-29 10:51:33 AM  

gorrck: "Not my concern" -- that's my favorite coming from the project "sponsors" who have decided to try their hand at architecting an IT solution on the cheap for a gross failure of due diligence (sold off part of the company, but no provision for migrating the data). When they were told we had no development resources available (all had been let go due to lack of funding), the project sponsor replied, "not my concern". So much for the "we're all one company/team/shiny happy family" bullshiat.

"That timeline is not realistic" has gotten me into trouble before. Many times. Usually it goes like this:

Contractor A: We can do the go live next week!
Customer: That's great. I've already communicated to the users!
Me: When did you plan on telling the development team the go live was next week?
Contractor A: We just did.
Me: You haven't provided me with your data for us to do the QA or the User acceptance test. Plus the Production team needs a week to implement.
Customer: But 'A' said we'd go live next week. We've already communicated to the users!
Me: That timeline is not realistic.

Repeat, rinse, drown with bourbon.


hehe... Sounds familiar.

I have an out though. I deal with telephony and when I say the Telco can't do it for 3 weeks and no amount of phone calls from a VP will make it any faster, the look on their face is deliciously sad/confused.

Them: "That's unacceptable."
Me: "Regardless, that's the timeline."

During the blackout in 2003, I had a Senior VP call me to get our phones back up and running. I call up my Telco rep... "Sorry Olaf, you aren't first in line here. Police, Fire, Ambulence, City Services, then Banks."

I told the VP on a conference call where he proceeded to look like a fool trying to justify that we needed to be up before the cops... his boss shut him down.
 
2010-04-29 10:53:33 AM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: "Blow it out your ass" is overheard strangely often where I work.

Not very good customer service.



You work for Valve Software.

They have a customer service 'signature'.
 
2010-04-29 10:54:08 AM  
Also missing from list:
"Why don't you kiss my mother-farkin' arse!"
 
2010-04-29 10:55:15 AM  

33centpanties: And here I thought the nine worst words were "Would my peener look tight in your mom wife, boss?"

learn something new everyday


FTFY
 
2010-04-29 10:58:56 AM  

gorrck: "Not my concern" -- that's my favorite coming from the project "sponsors" who have decided to try their hand at architecting an IT solution on the cheap for a gross failure of due diligence (sold off part of the company, but no provision for migrating the data). When they were told we had no development resources available (all had been let go due to lack of funding), the project sponsor replied, "not my concern". So much for the "we're all one company/team/shiny happy family" bullshiat.

"That timeline is not realistic" has gotten me into trouble before. Many times. Usually it goes like this:

Contractor A: We can do the go live next week!
Customer: That's great. I've already communicated to the users!
Me: When did you plan on telling the development team the go live was next week?
Contractor A: We just did.
Me: You haven't provided me with your data for us to do the QA or the User acceptance test. Plus the Production team needs a week to implement.
Customer: But 'A' said we'd go live next week. We've already communicated to the users!
Me: That timeline is not realistic.

Repeat, rinse, drown with bourbon.


Wow does this sound familiar.

But the article itself is kinda silly as much of the negative terminology can be neatly euphemized; frex, "try" becomes "we'll make the effort", etc. It's all a pretty nonsensical exercise in not telling people what they don't wanna hear so might as well have fun with it.

Some of my other favorites in pawning off the blame back to middle management include such catchy (kitchy..?) phrases as "interim solution", "workable demonstration", and the ever-popular "beta test platform". There's also more plodding roundabouts like "the result will be highly representative of the input" and "we'll make adjustments as the requirements are updated" and the like.

Personally I prefers to just tell it like it is which is the exact opposite of what TFA is advocating but seeing as how modern business practice is inundated with humans who provide nothing more than dead weight (almost all of whom seem to think that the letters "MBA" after their name is somehow impressive) might as well learn to play the game better than the morons who invented it.
 
2010-04-29 11:03:50 AM  

ram.1500: 33centpanties: And here I thought the nine worst words were "Would my peener look tight in your momwife, boss?"

learn something new everyday

FTFY


But his wife is in a coma.
 
2010-04-29 11:08:20 AM  
Yes, but...if I don't know something - whatever it takes, I'll try to find the answer, and if I can't, at the very least I'll get back to you. Maybe ultimately I will fail - I guess we'll see if you can live with that.
 
2010-04-29 11:09:58 AM  
"I'll try" is what you say to people who expect you to do something within a ridiculous (ie, very very short) timeframe. It's their fault they're not giving you enough time to complete something, so they deserve no better than "I'll try."

If they asked how long it would take you to do something and then hold you to that, that's different. But they don't. They don't care how long something takes, they want to hear it'll be done within THEIR timeframe, however unrealistic that is. But some things take as long as they take. You literally can't do them faster. Not if you don't want them to be monumentally farked up, which takes more time than doing it right in the first place, within a reasonable timeframe. farking something up quickly doesn't help anybody.

I'm sure management douchebags love articles like these.
 
2010-04-29 11:12:39 AM  
It's always a struggle "Inner Voice - Outer Voice"

I've now learned that - "I'm never sorry the the things I didn't say"

OTOH when I'm at the driving range and the guy next to me wants to know how I get out over 350 yards I tell him I imagine my bosses face on the ball and the (death) "magic" happens.
 
2010-04-29 11:15:01 AM  

6655321: paychecue


gesundheit
 
2010-04-29 11:22:07 AM  
img571.imageshack.us

"There is no 'try,' numb nuts."
 
2010-04-29 11:33:12 AM  

gorrck: Contractor A: We can do the go live next week!
Customer: That's great. I've already communicated to the users!
Me: When did you plan on telling the development team the go live was next week?
Contractor A: We just did.
Me: You haven't provided me with your data for us to do the QA or the User acceptance test. Plus the Production team needs a week to implement.
Customer: But 'A' said we'd go live next week. We've already communicated to the users!
Me: That timeline is not realistic.

Repeat, rinse, drown with bourbon.


Okay, which one of my coworkers are you?
 
2010-04-29 11:38:52 AM  
I thought the headline was a google voice transcription.
 
2010-04-29 11:49:49 AM  
My non technical bosses would always get mad when they'd ask me "how can you do that?" and I'd answer "magic".
 
2010-04-29 12:00:18 PM  

Giblet: [MusicMakeMyHeadPound: "Blow it out your ass" is overheard strangely often where I work.

Not very good customer service.]


You work for Valve Software.

They have a customer service 'signature'.


A health insurance company, actually ;)


I've come to really love the question: "Well can you implement it according to best practices?"

Which, the way I see it, is a blank check to do it however the hell I want since the person asking is clearly clueless and is implicitly saying they want to stay that way.
 
2010-04-29 12:27:26 PM  

strathmeyer: My non technical bosses would always get mad when they'd ask me "how can you do that?" and I'd answer "magic".


Heh, I love giving people terrible answers to "how, where, etc" questions. Usually, the answer they want is either too long, or to complex for them to understand, so "magic" is a valid answer.

/How?
//With the help of alcohol angels and nicotine nymphs collating my papers.
/... uh huh. Nevermind.
 
2010-04-29 12:33:49 PM  
Ahhh, more form over function baloney.

If you want to fail miserably at a company like this just be competent and truthful.

If, for some godforsaken reason, you want to rise through the ranks of a company like this just be a backstabbing, fake smiling, moto spewing phony.
 
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