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Month: May 2023

Crippled CEO Blog #179: Corporate Speak, the Sequel

Crippled CEO Blog #179:

If you are a long time follower of this here blog, you might remember that Michael McGahee and I keep a running list of the silly corporate jargon we hear as we go about our jobs of saving lives. It is a goal of mine to keep my company from ever becoming the sort of place where this kind of lingo is common. I previously wrote a memo using all of the words from our list, but since then, that list has grown tremendously. So, I thought it was time to update that memo while sharing the newly updated list with you, as well. If you have any phrases like this that you know that we missed, please let me know in the comments. Given how long the list is, this memo is also going to be quite lengthy, so… buckle up.

Subject: A Revolutionary Memo to Catapult Our Intrepid Team to Astronomical Success

Dear Audacious Colleagues,

As we embark on a daring adventure through the treacherous jungle of opportunity, I trust that you are radiating positivity while armed with the sharpest wits to fend off any unforeseen challenges. Together, we will navigate the bewildering labyrinth of progress and take bold leaps toward astonishing achievements.

In the spirit of reinvention, let’s circle back (1) on our recent escapades, drill down (2) into the complex web of minutiae, and ensure our north star (3) remains in focus as we think outside the box (4). As we embrace each conundrum, it’s crucial that we maintain synergy (5) and alignment (6), ever ready to shift the paradigm (7) and pivot (8) like a whirling dervish when the situation demands it.

As we tackle our budgetary constraints, we may have to take a haircut (9) on some projects and sharpen our pencil (10) on others. To make sure we optimize our resources, we’ll work together to ensure our projects are cost-effective without sacrificing quality.

Harnessing the power of our eclectic squadron, we’ll birddog (11) opportunities, touch base (12) to close the loop (13), and never forget to ask ourselves, “What’s the one thing I can do to make your day better? (14)” We’ll flesh out (15) our master plans and ensure they’re brand-aligned (16), all while keeping a hard stop (17) on any ventures that stray from our path.

In our crusade for victory, we’ll put a pin (18) in any quandaries and jump on a call (19) to button things up (20), ensuring our ducks are in a row (21). Let’s unpack (22) any conundrums, embracing our true north (23) while taking conversations offline (24) when clandestine discussions are required. Stay positive (25), test negative (26), and let’s wrap our arms around (27) the challenges looming on the horizon.

In the pursuit of greatness, we must tackle the delta (28), bring value-adds (29) to the table (30), and punch up (31) our work. Whether out of pocket (32) or in the thick of it, always strive to lay the groundwork (33), walk and chew gum at the same time (34), and traverse the parking lot (35) of uncertainty.

As we deep dive (36) into our projects, let’s double-click (37) into critical zones, boil the ocean (38) to reveal the pearls of wisdom hidden beneath, and harvest the low-hanging fruit (39). Our mission to become a category leader (40) depends on our ability to run ideas up the flagpole (41), spin up (42) ingenious solutions, and keep a watchful eye on the radar (43) for emerging opportunities.

Remember, we’re all in this together, pulling on the threads (44) of bandwidth (45) to ensure mission-critical (46) tasks are executed with the accuracy of a laser-guided porcupine. Stay vigilant, stay aligned, and together we’ll soar to the pinnacle of corporate triumph.

But, as we voyage into uncharted territories, let’s take a moment to contemplate our audaciousness, for we have dared to set our intentions (47) to reach for the stars, even if we must table that (48) idea and revisit it later (49). And if we stumble, let’s simply dust ourselves off and ask for clarification (50), as we strive to balance our zees (51) and zors (52) in harmony.

With our Wet Signature (53) of approval, let us charge into the fray with the gusto of a caffeinated hummingbird. Like a brave cheerleader (54) in the face of adversity, we’ll QQ (55) through the fog of uncertainty and emerge as victorious champions. When faced with a challenge, we’ll tackle it head-on, and if required, we’ll trigger (56) a series of brilliant maneuvers to conquer any hurdle that lies in our path.

As we sip from the firehose (57) of opportunity, let’s ensure we’re not merely drinking the water, but quenching our thirst for greatness. We’ll lay claim to our triumphs by bubbling them up (58), not like a mundane pot of boiling pasta, but like the eruption of the corporate Vesuvius.

As we nail down (59) our objectives and savor the fruits of our labor, let’s not forget the importance of Tiny Friday (60), our beacon of hope in a tumultuous week. During these precious moments, we can recharge and regroup, ready to face another exhilarating day in the realm of office conquest.

As we navigate the fiscal minefield, let’s make sure our projects scale (61) and our investments are in line with our overarching strategy. Loop me in (62) on your progress and always remember that we, as a collective force, are unstoppable in our pursuit of excellence. May our endeavors be forever guided by the employee handbook, and may we reach the highest peaks of corporate success.

Yours in relentless pursuit of victory,
Karen McKarenson
Senior Vice President of Relationals

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Crippled CEO Blog #178: What’s Worse Than Crippled?

Crippled CEO Blog #178:

I have heard people say that they would rather die than live like me — that if something ever happened and they couldn’t take care of themselves anymore, if they needed help using the bathroom, if they needed someone to wipe them, if they needed help showering — that they would either kill themselves or hope that someone would put them out of their misery.

People have even said this right in front of me, probably with no idea that they were actually talking about me. 

And I get it. Trust me. It’s not easy. And while I do believe my life is incredible SO strongly that the belief infects the minds of almost everyone who knows me (leading some able bodied people to actually be envious of me, which is really astonishing if you think about it), all that stuff does really, really suck. I’m not a fan and I would change it in a heartbeat. My life is truly amazing, and I do a pretty spectacular job most of the time of not letting that stuff get to me, but it’s not an easy task. The worst parts of having cerebral palsy and being disabled in the ways that I am are remarkably dark and terrible, and I don’t blame people for thinking they would choose death over my daily reality.

Maybe this includes you. Maybe you have thought or said aloud that death is preferable over being that level of disabled. If so, I don’t hold it against you. You might even be right.

But I was thinking this week that there is something even worse, that SO many people are enduring, that I wouldn’t trade for to cure my disability for. I would rather keep being crippled than suffer this existence. 

And what is that? Working at a job that you hate.

Having to get up each morning and force yourself to go to a place that you can’t stand, where you have to try to collaborate with people you don’t like, who might be awful human beings, doing tasks that you find dreadful,  under a boss who might be cruel, unreasonable, unstable, stupid, deceitful, or a million other atrocious qualities… that sounds unbearable. I would rather have cerebral palsy. I would rather need help going to the bathroom, wiping myself, and cutting up my food than do that every day, and yet this is exactly the situation so many people find themselves in.

Studies have shown that staying at a terrible workplace can give people PTSD-like symptoms similar to those experienced by soldiers in war and abuse victims. 

I’m not going to act like it is optional — that if your job is awful that you should just quit and find a new one. People keep going to jobs they hate because they need the income to support themselves and their family. But people stay at those jobs, without even seriously pursuing other options, for years because, like an abusive relationship, it starts to feel normal, change is scary, and they assume there’s no alternative.

If this is the situation you’re in, I think the first step is realizing how awful it is. It could be easy to think that it’s normal, that everyone hates their job. Who really likes going to work, right? But let me reiterate what I said earlier: that life is so terrible that I’d rather be severely disabled and disfigured than be stuck in a terrible job. It is worse than being handicapped. If you can think of it like that, then putting the proper priority on changing the situation might become easier. If I found out there was a cure for cerebral palsy that would make me able bodied, what do you think I would go through to get that? How much time, energy, dedication, and even risk would I  give to make that happen? The answer is: all of it. It would become the most important thing in the world. I would treat it like an emergency. Everything else would be put on hold.

Again, I’m not saying that you can just get up and leave the job you hate. But this is what I am saying: treat it like the emergency that it is. Become obsessed with changing the job. It’s not OK and it’s not normal. No one deserves to live like that and you don’t have to. Make that the top priority and do everything you possibly can to change the situation. You spend half of your waking hours at work. Don’t hate half of your life — it casts a shadow over the other half, too. It’s not worth it. There is no solution for my terrible thing, but there is for yours. There are better options out there. I promise. 

Let me know if I can help. 

(Do you know who loved her jobs last night? Your mom. And she didn’t even get paid… much. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.

Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)

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