Lost in Translation Pt2


    Lost in Translation Part 2

    Following my recent ‘lost in translation’ piece in sourcingmag.com, it led me to investigate how language is evolving to cope with the enormous global phenomena of Outsource and Offshore business.

    Like many industries and trends, ‘Outsourcing’ and Offshoring has developed a language of its own, spoken and used by the increasing large global community participating in the ‘industry’ in one form or another.

    As ‘Outsourcing’ and ‘Offshoring’ is a truly global activity that crosses cultural and geographic borders, affecting the lives of people with an enormous diversity of languages and backgrounds, perhaps it was inevitable that a new outsourcing ‘language’ evolved.

    I’d like to serialise over the next week or two a glossary of words and terms that are frequently used in the world of Outsourcing as collated by M/s Bierce & Kenerson, P.C. http://www.outsourcing-law.com/humor_in_outsourcing.htm

    A Glossary

    Artist colony, n.   (1) a community of free radicals; (2) an organization that lacks the ability to scale through standards, processes or technology; (3) a group of artisans.  (See also, "free radical").

    Automatic Stay, n.  A durable, pliable restraint system to persuade resident canines not to leave the premises without permission; a leash.

    Bankruptcy,  n.   A brawl of investors, creditors with varying levels of security, suppliers, customers, employees, regulators, tax authorities and the local community, all surrounding the “insolvent” or bankrupt, with customers and suppliers living in limbo.  A magic wand for waving away future payments owed under cumbersome leases, license, employment obligations, pending adverse judgments and other troubles, in the magical hope of gaining value-enhancing “debtor-in-possession” financing and getting a fresh start.

    "Barney" Deal Structure, n. (1) A deal based on the theme song from Barney the friendly dinosaur, "I love you, you love me"; (2) sole sourcing; (3) non-competitive sourcing, often based on prior relationship of the parties.

    Business Partner Selection Process:

    "Decide, v.i. To succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set."

    -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY

    "There’s small choice in rotten apples."

                                -William Shakespeare

    Calamity, n.  A more than commonly plain and unmistakable reminder that the affairs of this life are not of our own ordering.  Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.  [Ambrose Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary.]


    Q:  What do you call the corporate officer in charge of money laundering compliance?   (The role will involve responsibilities for identifying legally mandated money laundering rules, setting policies and procedures and training in-house personnel and collaborating with suppliers and customers, for money laundering compliance.)

    A.  There’s no official rule, so it’s anyone’s guess.  If the organization were Yahoo!, for example, it could be "Chief Anti-Ya-Hooligan."   For a more classic organization, the title could be "Chief Anti-Privacy Officer, "Chief Information Conscript," "Money Laundromat Monitor," "Chief PATRIOT," "Chief Tool Officer" or "Chief Money Officer."   For an organization seeking more productivity from its existing Chief Privacy Officer, the CPO could add the honorific "Chief Schizophrenic."    For government officers, the person might have to be a CAML-O, who, like a camel, must go a long way between information drinks.  (Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, for short.).

    Confidentiality Agreements:
    For some companies, drafting clear and effective non-disclosure agreements becomes not only a legal issue, but also takes on a quasi-religious quest for truth.  One data center outsourcing company we know hired a former monk just to review confidentiality agreements.  We suppose he knows how to keep his mouth shut.

    Q:  When is the outsourcing contract rated “XXX”?
    A:  When the open items for final agreement are marked “XXX”.  We’ve done it many times.  It helps focus our intention on errors, omissions and whatever else “XXX” means to us.

    Contract Duration:
    "Day, n. A period of twenty-four hours, mostly misspent.  This period is divided into two parts, the day proper and the night, or the day improper – the former devoted to the sins of business, the latter consecrated to the other sort. These two kinds of social activity overlap
    "Year, n. A period of three hundred sixty-five disappointments."
    -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY
    "Future, n. That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness assured."
    -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY
    "Hurry, n. The dispatch of bunglers."
    -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY

    Contract Formation:
    "The vow that binds too strictly snaps itself."
    "Friendship, n. A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul."
    -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY
    "Lawful, n. Compatible with the will of a judge having jurisdiction."
    -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY

    Contract Interpretation:
    "Self-evident, adj. Evident to one’s self and to nobody else."
    -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY

    Core Competency:
    "Ability, n. The natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men [or organizations] from the dead."
    -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY
    "Ignoramus, n. A person unacquainted with certain kinds of knowledge familiar to yourself, and having certain other kinds that you know nothing about."
          -Ambrose Bierce, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY

    Cram-Down, n.  A method of eating pizza that can cause a President to lose consciousness.  A democratic method for enabling one set of economic interests with claws into a debtor to force another to either eat at the same table or eat crow.

    Creditor, n.  One of a tribe of savages dwelling beyond the Financial Straits and dreaded for their desolating incursions.  [Ambrose Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary.]



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