Let’s take it offline
|Conference Call Anatomy™|
1. (Buzzword): A sure sign, in an all-hands conference call, that some ingénue has made the fatal mistake of dropping through the cloud-base of cliché into the inconvenient world of substance and detail — a grim place of intractable ugliness inhabited by dark and violent morlocks and immune to resolution by crystalline management theory. You have as much chance of persuading a management consultant to embrace the actual workings of daily life as you have persuading someone who quite likes steak to help you slaughter a cow.
Fortunately, there’s a ready-made defence. Expect a hasty plea to “take it offline” which, by tonal inflection, you might read as:
- (benign) “Let’s set aside some time to drill down into detail just the two of us, sort it out, and circle back with a bit more granularity later in the day”; or
- (neutral) “Ugh — let’s kick the can down the road and maybe something else will intervene to mean we never have to figure out the answer to that”; or
- (hostile) “How about you just shut your cake-hole and let the change management workstream lead run the project, counselor?”
2. (Informal): Lawyer slang for “You are a total moron”.
3. (Informal): Lawyer slang for “I am a total moron”;
- “Such as, ooh, I don’t know, the redundancy of the clot who asked that idiotic question?”