My friend Paul+ is fond of saying, “it’s the little things that count.” I prefer “the Devil’s in the details”, but hey – it amounts to pretty much the same thing.
Most people manage to cope with monumental calamities without going off the deep end. And yet, when faced with something as relatively trivial as an errant coffee ring on the newly-polished Steinway Grand, these same pillars of strength are reduced to gibbering heaps of drooling misery++.
My job requires me to deal with varying degrees of crisis on a daily basis. This, however, is a stroll on Green Point Common compared to spending any length of time with my boss now that he’s discovered a new buzzword (new to him, at any rate). You see, we no longer discuss; evaluate; examine; investigate; verify; debate; resolve; or decide anything any more – we “unpack” it:
“We need to unpack why the project is behind schedule”
“Let’s unpack the design philosophy”
“I want you to unpack the scope of work”
I am not a particularly violent person, but this is a policy I’m willing to review in specific cases.
Scene: a blood-splattered office
DETECTIVE: It looks like this guy’s been chopped into tiny bits and stuffed into a suitcase.
CORONER: Ah shit, we’re going to have to unpack that.
+ No, not you, Paul – the other Paul
++ I said “relatively”. If I had a Steinway Grand, it would probably bother the crap out of me, too.