Over the years I have taken note of a few expressions that apparently have some sort of meaning to business people. Unfortunately they are lost on me. One that’s making the rounds nowadays is “Laser Focused: where everyone is laser focused on making money and being sustainable.

I can understand the focused part, but I have never used a laser to focus anything. I have a skill saw with a laser beam on it that is intended to help me make accurate cuts. Next month I should be able to afford a saw for it and try it out.

Surveyors have lasers set in their optical equipment, although I think that it is used to locate things, or to mark where things ought to be if they were only there.

Saw mills certainly use lasers to make accurate cuts of entire logs, and I think the lasers at the cash registers are purposefully set out-of-focus to overcharge me. I don’t even think it’s possible  to focus a laser.

When I want to focus on something, I don’t need a laser. It might ruin my eyes.

Here are some other pieces of jargon that were called into existence over the years. Elephant in the room  is a good one. I heard it first from a bureaucrat who was telling everyone how righteous he was for cutting finding for half the people in the room. He, in fact, was the elephant in the room

Litmus test is one that I have heard in several situations where someone wanted to see if something would work. I had a litmus test in my chemistry set that I earned from delivering newspapers. I learned that I could use litmus paper in my litmus test to see if a solution was acid or basic. I don’t recall a litmis test ever solving a problem  or testing to see if something would work, but it works like a hot damn in telling me whether lemonade is sour or not.

At one time I was a world-famous archaeologist. I dug holes in the ground. Once, after university classes had ended, I asked my friend Dave what he was going to do for the summer.

“I’m going to test the theory of multi-dimensional scaling using systematic unaligned  random sampling techniques.”

“Oh,” I said. “What are you doing for the summer, Dave?”

“I’m going to test the theory of multi-dimensional scaling using systematic unaligned  random sampling techniques.”

“Oh,” I said again. “What are you doing for the summer, Dave?”

“I’m going out to dig holes in the ground.” He said.

“That’s all I wanted.”

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .

He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.

He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”

He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



One Response to “PLAIN ENGLISH, ANYONE?”

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