Post-Corporate Mom Syndrome

Most modern mothers have all been there, in the volunteer committee meeting, where someone chimes in with, "The volunteer scheduling is an orthogonal issue here, let’s focus on truly impactful ways to communicate the book fair to our families." Or we've heard, "Net-net, auction profits are our best KPI (key performance indicator), so we should aim to grow profits by 50%." Maybe we’ve even heard something along the lines of, "Let’s circle back to the appetizer menu later and move on to the next action item: napkins. Cocktail size? Dinner size?"

But, why?  Why pepper a conversation about a small school fundraiser or community event with language from an aspiring MBA study group? Why let such atrocious corporate speak creep into everyday exchanges? Are we trying to invoke past achievements? Trying to pretend we’re all back at work? Are some of us suffering from some type of post-corporate mom syndrome? 

Yes, many of us might be guilty of tacking a “Please advise.” on the end of an email to a friend collaborating on a class potluck. (It's faster than tapping out "Let me know what you think" on an iphone, after all.) Yet, let us all attempt to be less affected, less focused in false indicators of accomplishment. Let us aim to be authentic, direct, more human. 

In the end, while the well mannered mother might wince at corporate speak in the school-volunteer setting, there are times when she may be grateful for the common sense underlying it; like when a post-corporate mother keeps the discussion moving by suggesting,  “Let’s take this discussion offline and move on to the next agenda item.” 


Elizabeth Baxter Butcher said...

Funny, now that you mention it, it's not like mothers in the corporate world are busy clogging the airwaves with baby talk. I wonder why not?

Anonymous said...

Does it stand to reason, then, that the currently corporate mother can use such language with impunity?

Elizabeth Hammond Pyle said...

Great point, Anonymous. We would hope everyone involved in school events/fundraisers would try to refrain from dropping "net-net", "circle back" etc., but maybe, somehow, its more understandable in someone who is steeped in corporate culture.

Besides, why would any one with an actual office to go to willingly suffer through that type of meeting? :)

Capability said...

Committees can be wonderful or hellish and I think it is a bit self-aggrandizing to "net-net" your way through a meeting.

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