Posts Tagged 'party vikings'

Tighthead or loosehead?

A prop forward and his ear

This week’s jargon argument with Crossrail, where I got cross – because being told what grown ups have already decided is not a “consultation” (no matter how many leaflets it stuffs through my letterbox) – leaves me in need of a relaxing true sporting jargon anecdote for Friday afternoon.

The moral of the story: when you don’t understand their jargon, don’t commit to an answer. Especially in a job interview.

My friend Stuart, from my judo club, has been practising for many years. He has two permanent cauliflower ears as a result. A few years ago he decided to join the police.

At his final interview the superintendent saw Stuart’s puffy ears and muscular build and immediately decided that this man must be a rugby prop forward (see above). Stuart had never played the sport and didn’t know that, in rugby jargon, props play with their heads on the tight or loose side of the scrum.

The senior officer tried to put Stuart at his ease with small talk.

“Tighthead or loosehead?” he asked.

And Stuart said: “Actually yes, I am circumcised.”

Pepsico management, enterprise databases and Nicole Kidman are like drunk Vikings. I think.

Which element of this picture is the enterprise database?

Enthusiastic Talknormaliser Marc alerted me to a tweet earlier this week from IDC:

jbozman It’s becoming very clear that enterprise apps and databases will be the “straw that stirs the drink” in the enterprise server refresh cycle.

I’m delighted to hear it. I just don’t really know what I’m hearing. I was worried that everyone else knows what being a straw that stirs a drink is and I didn’t, so when I started to type the phrase into Google, I was pleased that it immediately suggested, from previous searches, “what does the straw that stirs the drink mean?”. Educate us, bountiful internet:

The urban dictionary suggests that it is a term used to describe someone who is the life of the party, and suggests Party Viking as an alternative – which I like much more, as “databases will be the ‘Party Viking’ in the enterprise server refresh cycle” suggests your software is even now wearing a little plastic helmet with horns on it. It is stripped to the waist and barfing behind your data center’s sofa. I don’t think that’s what IDC means, but I wish it was.

The journal Strategy and Leadership has an article about Pepsico management, which uses the straw-drink analogy as its title. The abstract explains the process of being the straw that stirs the drink as: “Strategic Planning is clearly a line function at PepsiCo”. Clearly this concept is not all about Viking hats.

Over at eLearn University, I consulted “The Defining Moment: The Straw That Stirs The Drink Of Motivational Leadership” to learn that “There are three ways to transfer your motivation to others. Give them information, make sense…” and then I gave up before I got to how to tell the story of your Defining Moment, lacking as I was in motivation to finish the sentence. They tell you this at Leadership University? God knows what they teach at Leadership Remedial School.

And I also find also that, according to The Hidden Meaning of Birthdays by Nancy Arnott, Geminis are this type of straw – as long as they are Geminis who were born on 20 June. Think of the Party Vikings she suggests like Errol Flynn, er, Nicole Kidman or, um, Lionel Ritchie. According to Arnott, people born on this day are inevitably straws that stir drinks, which suggests a possible management fast-tracking strategy at Pepsico: get Ritchie in. He’ll kick ass All Night Long.

But back to the 20 June Geminis: “Expressing your passionate feelings tends to churn up strong emotions in those around you… every event at work and on the home front elicits a Richter-scale reaction from you,” she says; which sounds about as unlike Kidman or Ritchie as it’s possible to get.

But what do I know? I don’t even understand a phrase that can be variously used to describe acting like a Viking, the process of strategic planning at a multinational consumer packaged goods company, talking about yourself under the pretence that you’re inspiring people, exuding earth-trembling passion in the style of Nicole Kidman or, to bring us back to where we started, making it obvious to people that their old computers are too slow.

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