in the weeds.

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i have a friend who’s basically a super-genius, and she has a job in the consulting business. honestly, i have no idea what consultants do, besides throw ideas around.

now, there are a number of things you can say at the consulting roundtable when an idea is just too detailed:

a) call a spade a spade: “your idea is too detailed.”

b) highlight an alternative: “we’re going for something simpler here.”

c) be “that guy”: “we don’t want to get in the weeds here”/”this is too in the weeds”/”we’re in the weeds on that one.”   

“OK, well? you know what? shut up,” my super-genius friend would like to retort. unfortunately, once “that guy” opens the door on consultant-speak, all sorts of other gems start flying out (i.e. “leveraging” and “interfacing” with others. why not just talk?). 

as a preventative measure, it’s best just not to get in the weeds at all, under any circumstances. don’t go near the weeds. poison ivy. instead, be vague; consultants will love you for it — though they’ll likely laud your “big-picture mindset.”     

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2 Responses to “in the weeds.”

  1. Not a super-genius Says:

    I read this yesterday morning before work, and then felt all vindicated when I arrived at the “ship” (actual term we have to use to describe our BUILDING. ON LAND.) and the first thing out of someone’s mouth was, yes, “We’re getting too in the weeds with this presentation.” Ugh.

  2. hadley Says:

    here’s one that makes ME cringe a little: “ground zero”.
    i’ll take ground zero if you’re using it in the proper sense, to describe the point of nuclear impact. i always thought it was called ground zero because this is the number of living creatures that will exist in such a spot (though this is backed by no scientific research on my part, just imaginative justification). hell, i’ll even accept ground zero as the popular cultural reference to the twin towers. but i curse the voice that utters, “well, we’re at ground zero on this one.” i find it a little annoying to liken a failed business proposal to nuclear technology. call me crazy.

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