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Mmmm watcha say?



I’m going to be up front about this one.  If you cannot talk properly, you will not make it to the top.  The end. I don’t make the rules, I just see them in play.  Don’t blame me. 

I’m not talking about accents per se.  Sure there are some that will act like a weight around your neck and any strong accent is the career equivalent to being found guilty of having goosed the CEO. And before you start accusing me of regionalism, you can have people from any area who can speak properly, there are as many people from London and the Home Counties that speak like complete and utter oiks as there are from other areas.

This is the point when people start quoting the exceptions, but note that for every Alan Sugar, there are a thousand Stuart Roses.  When was the last time you heard a FD tell you that, “the balance sheets all gone a bit Pete Tong, but don’t worry cos I’m all over it, innit?” I can’t think of a single profession where it is an advantage to be incoherent and sloppy, perhaps other than recruitment consultancies……

If you want to influence people, you need to have impact.  If you want to have impact, you need to have gravitas.  And if you cannot speak properly, you will not have gravitas.  We have a beautiful language when it is used properly, so do so. It will be better for you, it will be better for your career and to top it all, you’ll stop offending my ears.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Rick permalink
    08/24/2010 09:38

    Actually, I do know an FD who would say that but it would be with a wry smile. He’s bein’ ironic innit bro!

  2. 08/24/2010 13:30

    You’re just being racist.

    That’s what they would tell you on this side of the pond.

  3. Corporate Daycare permalink
    08/24/2010 13:52

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this.

    There is a time and place for “keeping it real”, but when you are trying to earn and maintain respect – your language skills (or lack thereof) will drag you down.

    And for the record, if ignorance was considered a race – I would be considered a racist.

  4. Rick permalink
    08/24/2010 15:52

    Actually, when I worked for a big City firm, my brown-skinned colleagues spoke with posher accents than I do. One of them explained to me that, fearing prejudice based on skin colour, they worked extra hard to eliminate any excuse for discrimination based on anything else – and that included accent and dialect.

  5. Aussie HR Chick permalink
    08/24/2010 23:42

    I totally agree.

    Emails are just as bad. Here is an email I received from an employee wanting to be booked into our Flu Shot Clinic….

    Hiya Aussie HR Chick
    I can has jab?

    I’m serious….and this person wants to be considered for future leadership roles.

    Lastly, just for comedic relief, here’s something I overheard one staff member say to another (which has now become a fave amongst my friends and family)….

    “Igronance is Bliss.”

    No, that’s NOT a typo.

    Welcome back HRD.

  6. g-dog permalink
    08/24/2010 23:46

    @Aussie HR chick – thank you – I laughed out loud — twice! Kthxbai – priceless!

    • Aussie HR Chick permalink
      08/24/2010 23:59

      I guarantee ‘Igronance is Bliss’ will now become your catchcry. It’s comedy GOLD.

  7. 08/25/2010 12:19

    people are stupid

  8. 08/25/2010 14:06

    How inappropriate would it be to tape this to the refrigerator in the breakroom?

    I live in the southern US where bad grammar runs wild. I make a point every day to not sound like everyone else. We’ve passed plenty of people over for promotions because they cant carry on a professional conversation with a client. Who wants to put someone in front of the most profitable client that says “We’s a workin’ on it ma’am, I promise ya’ll that”. Ugh. Not going to happen. Speak like a professional adult.

  9. 08/26/2010 09:33

    @Rick – An ironic FD….whatever next?

    @The gold digger – There is political correctness and then there is hiding behind political correctness. You’re right a lot of people would suggest this was racist, interestingly the person that made me think about this post was white!

    @Corporate Daycare – I’ll join you in the anti-ignorant camp…..

    @Rick – My point exactly, it has nothing to do with race.

    @Aussie HR Chick – Genius…….total genius……!

    @david michel – This ended up in my spam folder. I’m not sure whether it is spam or not, but I couldn’t help publishing such and erodite comment…..

    @adowling – I’d kinda like people to talk to me like that….just for the novelty factor you understand! I might make it compulsory in the team for the day……

  10. De recruiter innit permalink
    08/26/2010 09:57

    I can’t think of a single profession where it is an advantage to not understand bottom line and lack any strategic competance, perhaps other than HR……


    The world has moved on and I’ve have thought we’d get over such prejudice. Never mind, pay peanuts and you get monkeys. We all know this. So, when you next try to screw a recruiter down to a monkey for what should be a plum or an archer… don’t be surprised you get a monkey. That is, young man, the definition of it all gone Pete Tong innit.

    Your friendly local recruitment barrow boy. 🙂

  11. 08/26/2010 13:51

    @De recruiter innit – You’re lucky I found your comment funny, otherwise you’d have been spammed for using a fake email address… know I love recruiters really….some of my best friends are recruiters……

  12. 08/29/2010 07:03

    Language is an imperfect medium, but that’s no excuse not to aim for perfection in its use.

    “Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.” – Gustave Flaubert

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