Backs Against The Wal-Mart

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B- | Grade It Now!
Lesson Twelve: Use Your Words

But she will not! Her voice climbs, clambers, pinwheels into the stratosphere until they have to get dogs in there to translate. She wanted people to "feel like something was going on," she wanted to "create excitement." "At Wal-Mart." You say you want me to feel like something is "going on" at Wal-Mart? My first thought is always going to be "avian flu." Biggie T calls her environment a "cheap, third-grade liquor lounge." Which is such a fucking awesome thing to say that it KILLS me he did not hear or understand what he himself just said. It's almost more disappointing when you're impressed with him. If I'd had the forethought to open a speakeasy, in the third grade, no doubt beanbag furniture would have been a key design element. Allie laughs, but T-Boz doesn't know why, because he is talking out his ass and not even trying to be clever or funny.

Tammy yackity-yacks about how "husbands and kids" don't like to shop, which means that if they happen upon this display, they're going to be in supplication to the mom, who's already adding up totals in her head and annoyed to be at Wal-Mart, and...Tammy no, no girl, no. T-Rex tells her it was also tough to find out how much the units cost, and she cops to that -- just that -- as her failure as a team leader. However, she should not be fired, because responsibility for the whole shitty thing fell to her, and she couldn't count on her team. T2: Judgment Day is all, "And the signage?" Which is the one time this episode for that word that puts it over the edge. Did I ever tell you about bolus? God.

Okay, so you know how in corporate culture this happens, with the "signage" and the "step up," and you hear yourself saying it when you hate yourself for saying it, but it's like a brain worm of Khan and you can't stop? Back in, I would say, 2002, this word started creeping around my office, and I am pretty sure my favorite Project Manager of all time, the lovely Dr. M, was the one to blame. "Bolus." Yeugh. "We'll be sending that information to the client in a biweekly bolus." "They can handle the data processing, I say we just do a monthly bolus and get it off the associates' desks." This is a word that does to me what "moist" does to most people. And of course it caught on, because (A) it feels dirty to say, (B) it's vaguely medical-sounding, (C) it actually describes what you're talking about, and (D) business is boring and shit like that keeps you sane. The other one was "armamentarium," but I cop to starting that one after the Executive Director for the entire branch used it unironically in a closed-door meeting with me. He was a full-on tool and I found his demonstrably inefficient and admittedly inexperienced approach to site ops violently offensive, so it became a rallying cry for the subversive under-30 element. "Stick that in your armamentarium," "Put 'suck my performance review' in your armamentarium," "Shove your bolus up your armamentarium," and the like, in lieu of actually starting a Fight Club, because we were all too vain for the threat of damage to the face. And to completely change topics: Some time later, I was fired.

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