Or: If they’re trying to sell me stuff… Why don’t I understand what they’re talking about?
Well, It’s 3am and I’m sitting on the couch holding the boy (the damned neighbors woke him up again) and reading a trade magazine aloud. I know, “quality time with the kid” isn’t supposed to include “work,” but he doesn’t know the difference between Professional Builder, and the Brothers Grimm yet! LOL!
Joshua still “coos and awes” in all the right places, and tries to eat the pages. And as I read the articles to him, I wonder if I understand them any better than he does!
Although I’m not a professional builder (anymore) I really try to keep abreast of “the new technology.”
I’ve evolved into an “Architectural Designer/Consultant,” working for myself. In other words, I’m just an average guy struggling to build my family an “alternative house” that is lean, GREEN, and “fueled by caffeine.” Our new house is going to be built out of Shipping Containers, salvage steel (from old aircraft hangars) and whatever else I can find to plug the holes…
But reading the trades is enlightening and reminds me that, once upon a time, I built “castles in the sand,” and watched the sun set in strange exotic places, with a glass of wine in my hand as the sun set. Those were the days!
And, although reading the trades isn’t a daily necessity anymore, it’s fun to remember how life used to be, while seeing where it’s going. After all, some of those ideas can trickle down to find their way into my “alternative house,” and make it easier to live in.
Let’s face it. The economy sucks, and the building sector is taking an awful beating. Construction layoffs are at an all-time high, and projects starts are as scarce as dodo bird eggs.
And since the architects and builders aren’t out in the field, they’re at their desks trying to entice new contracts. In trying times, you advertise, right? The one thing they all seem to have in common is that they try to differentiate themselves from everyone else, in the search for projects and profits…
I guess that makes sense to me, but at some point, they all seem to take a left turn into “the twilight zone,” a strange and dark universe where English gets abandoned, and “techno-babble” becomes the language of the land.
I’m not sure if this is on the advise of advertising execs, or that companies just get tied up in their own “Olympian Egos,” and forget that to just about everyone else, they sound like complete idiots.
Here’s an example; (from a rather well-known Architectural Design House)
“Our work product will include developing a better understanding of established metrics, identifying their predictive capacities, and enhancing customer and prospect intelligence to improve a “go-to-market” strategy.”
Or how about this one: (from a Metal Roofing Manufacturer)
“We specialize in scientific translations that lead to the creation of cross-border indicators, which allow the deployment of cross-disciplinary and environmental technical executions, that provide products with an increasing focus on sustainable building practices.”
Whatever happened to ENGLISH?
Hell, I can’t even get my Engineer to talk to my welder! How in the world do I get “multiple systems to talk to each other?” I mean, I got me an “edjemication,” and everything! I got me a sheepskin! (Boy, was that sheep pissed off!) Now, I gotta hire guys that can communicate with me, without making my head hurt!!
Wouldn’t it be easier to just say:
“When building a house, you have all these different systems that do different things. It’s a lot of work to get all these systems to talk to each other, but we pay smart people to do really good work. Why? Because we won’t try to baffle you with BS. We’re just good at our jobs.”
So, trade lackeys and copywriters, here’s a challenge for you:
Teach me what you need me to know, so you can sell me on your services and products. BUT, do it using that most notable of rules, handed down through the ages;
“Keep It Simple, Stupid!”
If you do, I’ll pay attention, and I’ll probably even make it through your brochure or technical paper.
However, if you insist on using “techno-babble” to impress your peers (and lose me in the bargain), I’m gonna throw your publication right into my hamster powered paper shredder to be sliced up and spit out as insulation.
Just because you smarty-pants can throw around a few “techno-phrases” that make you sound like you fart roses, doesn’t mean that you’re gonna confuse me into signing a contract. Remember that “real genius” means being able to teach (or, gasp… sell!) anyone anything at any time, without losing them along the way.
And, you aren’t gonna get any of my money, or my work contracts, by sounding like an idiot. Capish?