I’m sure you’re aware of Bingo (or Housie), that game of probability where players mark off numbers on a ticket as they are randomly called out, in order to achieve a winning combination.
This post isn’t about that particular game rather a variation…
I occasionally, when I can drag myself into proper work, have to attend meetings – sometimes these meetings can be very boring (probably why I avoid them so much) in which case to relieve the monotony and stay sane I have to entertain myself. I can’t play Pacman or such like on my phone as that would be too obvious so instead have to think of other ways to amuse myself.
One of the things I hate about meetings is when people start to spout business buzzwords. Whilst these may be descriptive they start after a very short while to grind on my nerves especially when overused to the extreme. Amanda (that really is her name, I am not going to protect the guilty) was one of these people as she always talks about collections of things as ‘buckets’. She brings new meaning to the words ‘bucket list’. We have buckets of customer insight, buckets of feedback, buckets of allocated resources, buckets of…. well you can just add whatever you like as there would definitely be a bucket of it !
I knew this was going to be another of these meetings so steeling myself against the trauma to come I set her a goal (she didn’t know that she had a goal as I obviously didn’t discuss this with her)…however I wanted to see if she could reach her goal of saying ‘bucket’ at least twenty times in the same meeting. I was playing Buzzword Bingo.
I should add at this point that it was quite a well attended meeting with fifteen people in the room mostly who were various Heads of Department from the business, mostly who were German (the meeting was in Hamburg) and mostly didn’t have a sense of humour.
The meeting started and so did the ‘buckets’, we were up to five within the first ten minutes, fifteen after thirty and as the meeting reached the first hour we were close to her goal….nineteen times she had said “bucket”.
Then just past the hour it came… “and the bucket of responsibility…”.
It was at this point the room went silent…all eyes were suddenly focused on me…you could have heard a pin drop even though the floor was carpeted. Amanda was open mouthed as if in shock…most of the rest of the group has expressions ranging from concern through to confusion on their brows.
Have you ever had one of those times when exactly what you are thinking, without any warning whatsoever, gets blurted out from your mouth ? I just had !
I knew I was thinking the word ‘Bingo’ however my brain had decided that I should share this wisdom with the room and so without further consultation my silent bingo had become a very loud “BINGO”.
With all eyes looking at me I had to think of something and quickly…luckily I somehow managed to bluff them into the premise that I was merely echoing my strong feeling for the point Amanda had just made and ‘Bingo’ aka ‘you hit the nail on the head’ was just an english expression of emphasis meaning the point had been described perfectly. Whilst Amanda still looked a bit quizzical none of the others in the room seemed perturbed by this and thus just nodded in agreement – in fact a couple even said they’d heard the term said before.
I got away with it this time…good job I’m not Australian as bellowing “Housie” may not have been as easy an exclamation to explain away.
So for the future I need to choose a game with far less embarrassment potential; it’s either that or just borrow one of Amanda’s buckets to put on my head so nobody can hear what I say.