Home Estate Planning Worst corporate jargon of the week: Town hall

Worst corporate jargon of the week: Town hall

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Offender: Town hall

Every one of us has been an email chain which is borderline unintelligible for the amount of corporate lingo thrown in there. At City A.M., we’re taking a stand and calling out the worst jargon which travels around the City faster than you can drink an overpriced pint. This week: town hall.

What does it mean?

A company-wide meeting, allegedly called to help employees connect with their benign superiors, but more usually held to remind the little people who they are. They may occur annually, quarterly or more frequently, depending on your misfortune.

Who uses it?

HR executives tasked with fostering a sense of company ‘community’. In their mind they are a town crier of sorts, civic servants resplendent in robes, who may also enjoy playing Animal Crossing on the weekends. They’ve spent a year empowering you with mindfulness sessions and personal development plans to take control of your own destiny, only to rapidly re-humble you with your annual town hall e-invite and implicit reminder: you are but one of the masses.

What could it be confused with?

The building used for the administration of your town’s local government

The building formerly used for the administration of your town’s local government, now a posh hotel or Wetherspoons

Should we be worried?

Undoubtedly, language is powerful; when we name things we bring them into being. This is so with the town hall, whose first boardroom utterance gave birth to the monstrous event. There was once a time when the common man never met his leader, knew their image only from coins and portraits, thought not of pretending they participated in a ‘flat organisational structure’. These were happier times, for they were more honest.

How do we get rid of it?

With difficulty, but resolve. As anyone who has played Animal Crossing will know, you cannot destroy the town hall, you cannot even move the town hall, but you can avoid it. And avoid it you must. Delete those e-invites, fall suddenly ill if you must, but under no circumstances attend a town hall. Collaboration is an admission of defeat. 

Corporate ick rating: 8.5/10

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