This is another post talking about how we have elevated the mundane by lowering the standards. We have elevated it through over use and misuse of words.
When I started in business I don’t recall anyone using the following phrase:
“They are screaming at me for these parts!”
Maybe as I get older my memory is failing but I just can’t recall it being used, at least not as dramatically and as much as it is used today.
If someone said they were “screaming at me” it meant they were literally on the other end of the phone yelling very loudly and being obnoxious and downright mean. The person receiving such rude and uncalled for behavior would have hung up and reported such abuse to his boss. The supervisor would in turn contact the manager of the person who acted in such an unprofessional manner and let them know, customer or not that type of behavior would not be tolerated.
But nowadays the use of the term “screaming” is commonplace.
I hear, “They’re screaming for their parts.” Or, “They need parts, they are not screaming yet but they will be.”
Yet through the whole process no one is actually screaming or being screamed at but still we say it. I say “we” because I’m just as guilty as the next person about the exaggerated use of the word.
Why do we do this?
Well, it’s more dramatic to say “the customer is screaming” then it is to say “ they were wondering where their parts were”.
Or maybe we feel we have to use a more dramatic and severe term to get our coworkers attention and to get our needs noticed, you know, the squeaky wheel. And maybe we have to do that because we’ve elevated the mundane to such a level that simply doing your job in a timely manner has become a big deal.
Here’s the definition of scream: a long, loud, piercing cry expressing extreme emotion or pain.
So the customer saying in a stern but professional manner, “I really need these parts on my line by ten o’clock tomorrow”, isn’t really screaming, now is it?
When I was a manager sometimes one of my employees would say to me, “I was afraid to do that because I thought you would yell at me.”
Yell: a loud sharp cry, especially of pain, surprise or delight.
Sounds like a scream to me.
My response to those type of remarks was always, “I have never yelled at you.” That is the truth. I may have been stern and not looking very pleasant when reprimanding someone but I can guarantee I have never yelled at any employee.
I would follow up the “I never yelled at you”, with, “If you want to know what I sound like when I yell just ask my kids.”
Anyway it’s just another example of how we as a society are not raising the bar, we are just dumbing it down.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.