3/20/2010
Moving backward

Moving forward.

I hate that term.

No, I'm not saying I'd rather be stuck where I am. And no, I'm not willing to begin an argument about the nuances of keeping up with the times as opposed to sticking with your comfort zone. This has nothing to do with anything philosophical or psychological. Or, at least one aspect of it.

Yesterday I sent an email to one of the DJs at BBC 6 Music - yes, call me a geek, as if it wasn't any obvious. "I just wanted to thank her for playing a Koop track," I explained to Gwen last night. Of course, I also wanted to hear my name on some foreign radio station again. It's happened before.

My email didn't get read out, but again, that's not the point.

I got an automatic reply. I totally get it. "Please note that due to the sheer volume of emails received, although every effort will be made, we are not always able to respond to everyone individually," it said. It went on to talk about frequently asked questions and complaints.

The second half of the email was dedicated to information about the BBC Trust's consultation on the proposals to close 6 Music. I needed the reminder - I told myself (and surely Jeany also has) that I'll drop an email even if I don't pay the licence fee. But the way it was written oddly ticked me off a bit.

"Rather than respond to you all individually we thought it best to let you all know how you can, if you wish, have your say going forward."

Going forward.

It's a variation. Thus, I hate that term.

I don't know if it's because I've grown very cynical of the workplace. It's quite rare for management to understand those on the field. I don't think I've heard any of my friends get along so well with their bosses. That's totally understandable, but it gets to you when you want to work with the bosses closely. And it seems, with their every correspondence, you're reminded that you're someone they kick around rather than openly work with.

"So, moving forward, we would like to implement the changes I mentioned earlier."

I've heard it from bosses, clients, bitches... either I have misplaced intentions of collaborating closely with the top brass, or I absolutely don't understand how being in the bottom of everything (more so in my case - go figure) works. They're the same thing, right?

I've taken leadership roles a few times. This was in school, of course. Producer for television talk shows, committee head for the college anniversary, that sort of stuff. I'm quite the control freak, so I'm always in contact with my group, badgering them about how things are going. I felt so empowered when I wrote down almost-nightly email updates telling everyone of how things are going. But I kept on using terms like "starting tomorrow" or "from now on" - they sound more casual, more approachable.

Then again, I've never heard of the term "moving forward" until I began working, in emails sent to the entire Manila team, or during performance reviews with the topmost man from Seattle.

It doesn't get me as much, but it feels so stuffy. So corporate.

I'm not sure if I've used that term in an email since. Then again, I've not been in a position to use that term. It's either I assist someone or I do things by myself. I guess that's a good thing. It would be weird trying to write about what you really feel, only to find yourself covering everything up in corporate speak. "Moving forward, we would like to implement these revisions in the chemical applications to the nervous system. We would appreciate your feedback on the new process."

Rather, "I'll change the way I'll feel about this from now on. Let's see if it works."

And your responses...

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