Saturday, February 19, 2011

Things I wish I hadn't said

Sometimes the things I wish I'd said are actually thing I wish I hadn't said.

At work I do a lot of data managing, which means I work with a lot of spreadsheets.  In meetings, people are constantly asking, "That's on which spreadsheet again?"  And I respond with things like, "Oh, that's on the Other List," or "You can find it on the Tracking List." We obviously aren't good at picking descriptive names for our spreadsheets.  Usually, though, everyone knows which list we're talking about - despite the vague names - and where to find it.

But there's this one list that was called something terrible like the FY11 Giving Pyramid Donor Management List.  (I did *not* come up with that name.)  When referencing it, I always ended up saying something to the effect of, "You know, the management pyramid giving thing."  Nobody ever knew what I meant.  Even the woman who created the list.  And this is a list we use all the time.

So one day, in a meeting, I was becoming increasingly frustrated while trying to communicate what list I was talking about.  Finally, the people in the meeting figured out what the management pyramid thing was.  I said, "You know, we can rename this list to something easier to remember."  And then without thinking, I added, "We could call it...Stanley."

Stanley?  Who says that kind of thing in a business meeting?  Sure, I'd throw that out at home for what we should call our handy new floor cleaning robot or something, but in a professional setting?

And now, you know what we call the list?  Yep. Stanley. 

And each time someone awkwardly refers to how we need to "review Stanley" or how I should "see if that's on Stanley," I cringe and think to myself, "I really wish I hadn't said that."

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