Today…my old manager told me he’s “having some interesting challenges” at his new client. All the while he had a grin on his face. I also noticed he stopped making eye contact. Instead, he was staring over my shoulder at the firm backsides of a few of my female counterparts as they walked away. I couldn’t tell if he thought I wouldn’t notice he had a huge eye boner, if he was thinking about the correlation or if he was genuinely mesmerized by the 20-something year old saddles in his sights. Either way, it got me wondering if I could decode what the hell my bosses really mean when they say certain things. Like, was he unintentionally implying that he’s fucking one of our clients because people usually aren’t aroused when they talk about challenges? I’ve never gotten wood from driving on the highway in a snowstorm. Or are there really work-related challenges associated with his project? Over the past few hours I’ve decoded 5 office messages:

1) “We’ll be basing compensation on our position in this tough economy.” = “Your raise is nowhere near as important as my new mistress’ penthouse. So, your raise is going to be enough to buy an extra gallon of gas each month, and if you don’t like it, so the fuck what! Your severance package will be being permitted to leave the building without a tazer on your nuts.

2) “Let’s table this issue.” = “Bitch! Don’t you ever embarrass me in a meeting by proving me wrong. Guess who jumped to the top of the head count reduction list.”

3)”That’s low-hanging fruit that we can take care of with no problem.” = “This is an easy task that I believe is below me. I’ll delegate it to someone under me I hate more than VD and then micro-manage the fuck out of it.”

4)”He was overqualified for this position. We’d have been doing him a disservice.” = “He’d have had all of our jobs inside of a year.”

5)”We’re going to do the right thing for our people.” = “We’re going to bombard you with one-way communication until you’re satisfied. All the while, the data we’re sending you is ‘massaged [with a happy ending for the top executives]’, and the messaging is sugar-coated double-speak that passes for straight talk.”

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