Ways to Decimate the English Language Part II


06.08.04

"Even if we will to process...."
At this point, I shuddered

"Please don't submit the reports to me all at one GOAL"
I suppose she meant we were to submit the report at different goals? I don't know.

I think if I were to give in to my anal, grammarian self I would have probably perished in a fit of indignant apopletic combustion at this point. Thank God for a sense of humour and a place to vent :P

Don't worry, more to come!

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Scenes from Keparat Life


26.07.04

I found two pieces of yellow legal-pads whilst cleaning out my tiny spot in the cube-farm just now. These pieces of paper, if found in the wrong hands would probably mean either (1) dismemberment or (2) my imminent dismissal (No. 2 is obviously the least desired option). Why? Because they contain.... (eh, where're the drum-roll and out-of-tune fanfare lah?)

Minutes of the Most Futile Meeting Ever

Background: A few months ago, my department held a meeting to discuss the fate of one of our bigger projects. Note that this project was already about to be rolled-out, and that the related vendors had been paid. Yet there we were, in what would turn out to be an eight-hour meeting (with an hour-long break for lunch, thank ye Gods for small mercies) to discuss matters which should have been well-ironed out earlier. Matters such >as the objectives of the project, and whether the objectives of the project would "jive" (I would soon come to despise this word) with the larger objectives of my 'firm'. Never mind the fact that these objectives had already been stated, and agreed upon; because we (the department) had just recently attended a course by someone from 'the England' whose firm had embarked on something that sounded  slightly similar to what we were doing, albeit in actual fact with quite different objectives and methods, there we were forced by Middle Management (those Evil Beings!)- corralled into possibly wasting a good deal of the firm's money because "our objectives were not the same as the English (or Inggris, as some would put it) firm's"

I wrote these 'alternative minutes' because I was in danger of committing suicide by stabbing myself with my mechanical pencil out of sheer mind-numbing boredom. Whilst writing the minutes, images from the diner scene in Neil Gaiman's 'Preludes and Nocturnes' kept surfacing in my head. I wonder why.

(Er, I hope that was coherent enough- so difficult to explain

without getting myself royally fired)

Cast of Characters

Mr. Cold Storage (CS), a middle-manager whose duties seem to be (1) organizing pointless training sessions (2) spending three months reviewing reports that should in reality take only three days to review, because he needs to take ciggie-breaks every five minutes in order to decide whether a sentence requires a comma or not (3) Asking pointless questions at meetings, such as "What is the objective?" after a project has already been rolled-out and everything approved and settled. Has been in the department and firm for nigh on 10 years- was brought in by Big Boss from her old place of business. This, despite the fact that he routinely refuses to take on projects, even when requested by Big Boss, for example the project in discussion. He then decides that it is his job to 'review' the progress of the project when it is 99.9999% complete, by say, questioning the 'objectives' of the project. We suspect he survives due to knowledge of deep, dark secret from Big Boss's past- like her having six toes or something. Also (and this is important), speaks (or >rather, mumbles) v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y and is even too damned lazy to unclench his teeth. Think balding, short and sleazy (can be very gatal) John Wayne, only less coherent.

CS also happens to be (surprise, surprise) BOIW/Drizzle Dementor's mentor/confidant in the department. Clearly, she is an excellent judge of character, and full of irony too- she once told me that she liked talking to him because 'he had so much experience'. Mind you, this was after 'warning' me of people who had been 'cold-storaged'. Sometimes one has no choice but to cackle hysterically.

BOIW/Drizzle Dementor (DD)- if you don't know about her where the hell have you been?

N, erm, me

Partner-in-crime (PIC), colleague likewise tortured >sitting next to me during the Most Futile Meeting Ever (MFME), who was kept sane solely through having occasional access to my Minutes.

0900 hrs: Meeting commences, half-an-hour later than stipulated time. Therefore, early by Malaysian standards. Attendees are dismayed when it seems as if CS will be chairing the meeting, aided and abetted by DD. Attendees are driven to near-suicide when CS opens with the words "I think we should re-think the objectives. Let's first discuss the firm's objectives." (Note: The firm's objectives are provided by statute. That is all I can tell you without having to kill you. Yet CS felt we should then also re-examine our statutory objectives. Perhaps he needed another ciggie-break, who knows what leads to such lapses in logic?)

1000 hrs: Attendees are lulled into open-eyed, zombie-like slumber by the soporific and incoherent tones of CS

1030 hrs: Attendees become convinced that MFME is CS's way of showing that he has printed out all the documents contained in the firm's website. Attendees are further amazed at CS's ability to STATE THE BLOODY OBVIOUS! (Ed: Uppercase is mine at the time, you can see how frazzled I was becoming)

1100 hrs: Meeting becomes even more futile as CS insists on repeating, verbatim, all the resources found on the firm's website. One attendee, N, begins to slowly poke her right iris with her pen. When questioned later, she will claim, "it was actually less painful than sitting through the meeting" (At this point, I wrote a note to PIC stating If I suddenly rush up from my chair, run to CS and stab him very, very slowly in the neck with my mechanical pencil, could I use my hormones as a plea of temporary insanity?". To which he replied emphatically, YES")

1130 hrs: A mysterious, milky fluid begins to seep out of the attendees' ears. Fluid is later identified as liquefied bits of the attendees' brains.

1200 hrs: Events go by in a blur as N (minute recorder) discovers that she can travel the astral plain. PIC is forced to poke N back to horrible reality

1400 hrs: Astral travel (read: sleeping with eyes open) proven impossible after lunch. Meeting attendees begin to show suicidal tendencies

1415 hrs: PIC not only shows suicidal tendencies, but seems ready to commit murder as well. N begins to worry about her mechanical pencil being used as a murder weapon.

1500 hrs: N begins to slowly poke her left eye out.

1614 hrs: A resolution is passed - Each time someone says the word JIVE, everyone within hearing distance shall jump up from their seats (if in a sitting position), jump around in a clockwise direction 10 times, and stab the offender with a mechanical pencil (weapon de jour) while chanting Jive! Jive! Jive!"

After which the offender (offender needs to be left alive, therefore attempt to stab only non-vital organs, such as their his or her brain) will be burnt at the stake while everyone dances around the bonfire chanting, "Jive into the frow! Jive into the frow!"*

(*See 'Ways to Decimate the English Language' below)

1700 hrs: Meeting attendees begin to debate the definitions of the following words:-

1. Definition

2. Means

3. Markets

4. Efficiency

5. What

6. Does

7. This

8. Word

9. Mean

 

The future of the English language is thrown into jeopardy when the word "etabrished" (guess who!) is accepted as valid.

1800 hrs: CS is readied for the stake. For the first time, his teeth become unclenched when he says his dying words- "What....is...the...objective?" DD's programming matrix shows signs of malfunction as she watches her Mentor burn

1815 hrs: Meeting attendees throw water onto DD, intending to give her a much-needed (and much-postponed) bath. However, like the Wicked Witch of The West (or East, who cares at this point) she melts. "A-hah!" exclaim the attendees, "That explains the aversion to water!" Be that as it may, she only melts partially. Attendees think it is an improvement on her usual facial expression.

1900 hrs: Meeting adjourned. Unfortunately, attendees' butts have become fused to their chairs.

 

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Bonus screening: Ways to Decimate the English Language, by DD (words in bold spelled as pronounced)

 

 

 

 

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nads went at 11:40

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