I’ve just finished reading ‘Who Moved My BlackBerry?’, Lucy Kellaway’s acutely observed piss-take of corporate life. If you have worked in the corporate world, the bits of the book that don’t make you laugh will leave you squirming with embarrassment.
The story is written as a series of emails. The hero, Martin Lukes, the biggest prat in a company full of prats, is a master of business jargon. Part of the book’s humour is built around his annoying language. That said, I did find myself wondering whether I have ever used such ridiculous terms. That’s the trouble with corporate bullshit. You find youself speaking it without even realising you’re sounding like an idiot.
At no time during the story do we ever find out what Martin’s company, a-b global, actually does. Most of the meetings and emails are about company politics or the roll-out (see, there I go again) of meaningless marketing and PR slogans. That’s true to life too. How many meetings have you been to where the business of how the firm makes its money never comes into the conversation?
There is one brilliant episode where Martin’s firm spends $38 million on a re-branding exercise. The consultants come up with the name “Wednesday” for the new company. As if anyone would do anything that stupid.
Anyway, if you haven’t read the book, do so. If you have, I’d be interested to know what you thought.