Clearly demonstrates a vague causative relationship

I have noticed recent posters on the walls in the building that I work in that talk about workplace violence: “Going to work shouldn’t be like going into a storm.” I have worked for the same company for 29 years, and in this building for the past six, and I have never witnessed anything close to violence. Occasionally, someone will drive a little too fast in the parking lot; but the speed bumps installed last year (or, “traffic calming devices,” as I saw posted in some neighborhood) have greatly reduced those in a hurry to get on with their lives.

Thinking that these “manage workplace violence” posters have been put up in every company building, and not just the one I work in, I guess violence is a company-wide problem. Perhaps, if I wasn’t getting laid-off, I would care. But, I really did think I was a tad more observant….

After all these years however, I never thought this huge company had a sense of humor. I’ve seen some management decisions I thought were ludicrous (most recently, moving about 4,000 jobs out of state in the name of “geographical diversity”; when it is patently obvious that management wants to bust the unions and get rid of older – more expensive – workers). And the way that management is accomplishing this surplusing of “redundant” workers is a comedy of errors. One salaried job family, split roughly in half at two locations (“geographical diversity” at its finest) was ranked to determine the pecking order of who went out the door, and who stayed. The workers at one location were extremely well informed by their supervisor – never any surprises. The workers at the other location were told nothing – absolutely nothing. They didn’t even know all of us were being ranked together.

So, when the 60-day notices were to be distributed, we all knew they were coming; management never told the guys up north. The thing is, they could have been laid off, and one of us could have “bumped” one of them. In fact, two of the group I am in did go north.

However, this morning, as I was getting a cup of coffee in the canteen/kitchen, I happened to notice a safety bulletin taped to the refrigerator door. It had to do with a new company policy on what types of clothing could be worn. Since underwear was specifically mentioned, I am not sure how the company intends to enforce the new policy, but I would be willing to stick around and find out.

My “take away” – that’s one of the latest buzzwords bandied about, along the same lines as “reach out,” and “organizationally agnostic” (I love that one) – was the phrase, “clearly demonstrates a vague causative relationship.” I don’t understand how underwear can clearly demonstrate much of anything, since it would extremely un-PC to notice or say anything about the effect of underwear on someone’s feelings (which is all being PC is about).

Sitting at my desk, scratching my head, I had to resort to the web to try to decipher this phrase.

Under, “vagueness,” Wikipedia offered this: “When used by the merely clueless, vague words make an article confusing and possibly cause readers to misinterpret or even miss important information altogether.” I knew I was on the right track. First, I was reassured, even validated, that the definition of “vague” hadn’t been redefined by the Texters (the millenials that have adapted English to fit their smart phones and thumbs) or the Supreme Court (see my post on “tangible object” back in March). Second, maybe by getting hung up on what a “vague causative relationship” could be, I missed the intent of the safety bulletin?

I’d like to say that I was sufficiently concerned about whatever safety issue was being addressed (however poorly) that I went back to the kitchen to re-read the bulletin. But, as you know, I am only fourteen days away from being out on the street, and I don’t much care what the people who remain in these cubicles wear to work.

Speaking of which, while I don’t consider underwear life-threatening, it is hard to find any literature that says sitting is not detrimental, or maybe even healthy. But, the company has made no efforts at all to encourage, or force, workers to get off their (spreading) derrieres. IMHO (in my humble opinion – a buzzword that is now passé), there definitely is a clear demonstration between lack of activity, sitting too much, eating too much, lower quality of life, and increased morbidity, increased health care costs (or, should I be thanking Obama for that?). To me, there is no vague causative relationship between my current lifestyle and my quality of life.

No, I did not want to get into a discussion of how anybody could put “clear” and vague” in the same sentence, simply because Wikipedia did such a fine job of explaining the logical fallacy (“when used by the merely clueless…”).

Now if we could just ban “yoga pants” (esp for those who should be wearing a tent).

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