Packing material

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.


25 thoughts on “Packing material

  1. Haha. That’s hilarious. This guy I work with has this habit of saying “coz that’s how I roll”. About everything. Even if it makes no sense.

    It drives me mad. One day I’m going to slap him. Hard.

    ME: “Are you taking lunch?”
    HIM: “Yes man…coz that’s how I roll.”

    Like, what the hell does that mean? Arrghhh!


  2. Ha ha ha!

    Loved the detective scene.

    You should write a melodrama.

    BTW, a stroll on Green Point Common might be quite exciting, judging by the number of bergies and hookers in the area on my last visit to The Point.


  3. nicky: What a plonker. I’d be tempted to push him off the side of Chapmans Peak Drive to see how he rolls.

    jam: It’s a wonder that we manage to communicate at all.

    ant: I feel the same way about “actioning”. FFS!

    iitq: Then the point is well made :mrgreen:


  4. kyknoord, i’m not sure i’m in your headspace. You may need to right-size your expectations of your colleague. Perhaps we should touch bases and put together some action items going forward.


  5. Wait until he discovers the upgrade to the “unpacking” term ….we need to “tease” this out.


    Whenever I hear that one, I sit there feeling like I am in an 80s hair selon, watching hair being teased and puffed out bigger and bigger!

    Happy Valentine Smooches to you, Kyks! 🙂


  6. Christ i wish you worked in my office, then i’d jolly well unpack YOU … one time.

    Brill. 🙂 and this is one of the reasons why i voted fer you on the sarf effrican blog awards thing.


  7. I think it’s time for you to unpack why you feel such rage at a simple word. OK, never mind. Just reading it twice caused me to unpack a little vitriol myself.


  8. marissa: “Do you have capacity?” “Sure. I just threw up”

    moonflake: I’m not sure whether I have the capacity, but I’ll see what I can do about leveraging something.

    urk: Poetic. Excuse me while I go and update my business cards.

    peas: It’s tough one. I’ve tried all the usual UPS jokes with him, but nothing seems to work.

    champs: You too, you tease.

    lukeagain: Ag thanks. You’re so schweeet. I just hope it wasn’t for the food category. Again.

    andrea: Just call me Pack-Man 😀


  9. Kyk, sit down and lets unpack why you’re feeling this way…
    *cowers in the corner* Just kidding! Dont kill me!

    Sadly, I have become a disseminator of this wordy crap, as I recently sold out and am now doing corporate copy writing.

    I hate me…


  10. Well, (Moonflake) seems to have prioritised it, vis-a-vis current protocol…
    Yep, I’ve actually heard someone manage to get all that into one sentence, in response to the question:”Have you seen the new schedules?”
    ANd it seems I’ll now have’em coming from across the Pacific and the Indian Oceans!


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