There are many new terms for our collective conscience to wrap around these days, but several of them aren’t nearly as pleasant as they are contrived to appear. One of those diversion tactics for a workplace experience that’s actually quite awful is to be “downsizing” someone.
When an employer wants to replace you with say, someone with a pulse, you will be summoned into his office where he will sombrely but enthusiastically compliment you on your many wonderful attributes. Flattering for sure temporarily, but nonetheless he or she will admit that the organization has chosen to “downsize” you, thank you very much. As one of my old bosses liked to say: “If you’re not fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.” I think it was a famous football coach who came up with that originally, but my former boss was sure fond of repeating it to me on a regular basis.
Don’t misunderstand that term, “downsizing”. You are not really being demoted to a lesser position in the company (and ultimately retained). It is far more akin to what your soon-to-be-former employer is softening by describing it as an “external promotion opportunity.”
All while his assistants are quietly packing up personal effects from what used to be your desk. Unlike your cat, you will not appreciate the sight of an empty cardboard file box in your former workspace.
Downsizing is the new politically correct term for “getting sacked”. “Being shown the door”. “Terminated”. “Employment-concluded”. Or, what worked so well for employers in the past, and as a certain former U.S. president used to say during his Celebrity Apprentice days: “You’re fired! (© ® ™)”
You’re not so much being thrown out onto the street, as being verb-isized into new employment. Afterwards, your wounded self-confidence will hopefully heal-isize itself once you rebound and find new employment.
I kind of wish this sizing thing hadn’t been so easy to accept by mainstream society. I feel strongly that I’d still be a 98-pound weakling myself if some genius hadn’t invented “super-sized” meals. I curse those oversized fries, milk shakes and hamburgers I was frequently wolfing down that would eventually split a pair of pants, whilst I was bending over to pick up a pen.
Where else has “–size” been added, to put a new spin on something into everyday life vernacular?
How about “Popular Restaurant-sized” for drinks (gotta be careful of those litigation-sized possibilities when actually naming a real restaurant in your column…), where a single-shot cocktail suddenly becomes a pail of alcohol and mix, just because it happens to be after 9 a.m.? No kidding, happy hour!
What about “over-sized” when it applies to a golf club head? That’s supposed to be a benefit, allowing you to drive from the tee box like the pros. For most golfers, it makes for a longer walk into the woods, trying to find the over-sliced ball.
There is a variation on the “super-size” meals, called “up-size”. I think they could rename all those bigger meals in one fell swoop and just call them “Spanx-sized” meals.
I think I’d better lay off the new “size” possibilities before I take this concept too far, and my editor invites me in for one of those columnist “external promotion opportunities”.