A Day in English

Blitz Magazine, January 2003

On, Like, Language


It was a dark and stormy night. John sat at his window, sipping a cup of double-half-caff-no whip-no-sugar-half-water, watching thuh snow swirl down to the streets. He wished he’d remembered to cover and plug in his Durango so it would start in the morning, and became accepting of the fact that he might have to take transit the next day. Then his thoughts returned to thuh events of his day.

Basically, I was bad from thuh outset. As he was leaving the house, his wife said:

“John, I won’t be here when you get home. And I’m also not coming back too.”

 “Ohmygod Brittni! Why?”

“Basically, our relationship has suffered a disconnect. At the end of the day, we no longer dialogue.”

“Ohmygod,” replied John, stunned. “But just because….doesn’t mean…Is there another man?”

“Yes. He’s a fisher. And his mentoring capabilities are…considerable.”

“So that’s it?”

“My people will contact your people.”

“OK…Well, ciao Brittni.”

“Ciao John.”

John was severely impacted. But he pulled himself together to take his first meeting. It was with a young hockey player—the kid was headed for NHL stardom but, when speaking with the media, he kept forgetting to say ‘uh’. John spent from 9 a.m. in the morning to 10:15 a.m. in the morning coaching him; making sure that he’d remember to say ‘uh’ after every third word. The two interfaced well, and John was satisfied that his help would positively impact the boy’s personal development and career path.

At 10:30 a.m. in the morning, he met with his biggest client, thuh owner of a grosherie store chain that was launching a line of culllinary products. John was ready to strategize. Mr. Brown’s expression indicated a negative viewpoint.

“Basically John,” said Mr. Brown, “I think it’s time for me to re-task marketing. Just because you’ve done some really great work doesn’t mean that you’re thinking outside the box. Basically, at thuh end of the day, our interactions indicate differing views and path progress expectations. And, in addition, you are also having difficulty providing my company with mentoring and leadership. At thuh end of the day, I actually don’t actually feel that our relationship is resulting in optimized and maximized potential points. And as well, at thuh end of the day, I also think that the snapshot of our relationship indicates that we need closure.”

John stared at Mr. Brown, absorbing his words. Basically, he knew that, at the end of thuh day, thuh upshot of this dialogue would be negative for his financial wellness.

“I’m sorry John,” continued Mr. Brown. “If you could up-date my accounting department… Thank you for conferencing with me.”

In a daze, John saw Mr. Brown out. Then he went to Destinee’s office and gave her the bad news.

“Ohmygod!” Destinee exclaimed. “That basically means we’ll have to downsize! And as well, at thuh end of the day, Luigi’s position will be made redundant too!”

Actually, John had basically forgotten about Luigi, the design wizard brought onboard to spearhead the creation of the packaging for Mr. Brown’s new line. Luigi was known as one of the best in the business—he was 17 and spoke no English, but he sure knew his way around a bottle of olive oil.

“He’s still fairly young,” John replied. “His career will probably recover.”

Destinee was not soothed. “Ohmygod! Our image consultant said it’s key to keep at least one New Canadian onboard! Our team will look like we’re not keeping current! Ohmygod!”

“I could care less! This is not actually a nucular disaster! Just because we lost one client doesn’t mean we’re finished! Gather the team! We need inter-office interaction! To brainstorm about how we can achieve conflict resolution! And as well, we must also identify solutions, and plan how we can best interface in order to bring about those solutions.

“In addition, we can foster new relationships too! We can spin this so the agency will be positively impacted! We will locate the box! We will envision that box! And then we will think outside it! At thuh end of the day, the bottom line is that we’re basically still here and we’ll soon be on track too! Book the dialoguing for 11:30 a.m. this morning, then order up lunch. Expense it on Mr. Brown. As well, out-place Luigi too. But in a way that will make him feel empowered.”

Basically, Destinee actually fell down on the task. As John watched the snow flurry down, he listened to the news report on the TV behind him.

“And a terrible incident downtown today. At 12:00 p.m. this afternoon, a young man who had been fired by English R Us Advertising jumped from a fourth-storey floor and landed below, on top of a young man walking their dog. The dog was unharmed but, at 8:00 p.m. this evening, the man died from their injuries.

As constable Jane Doe said: ‘It’s tragic. They’re just a kid. The gentleman that fell clearly required counseling with out-placement. We did attend the premise, and found that the incident was unforeseeable. For the next 24 hours, grief counselors and social workers will be posted on that portion of the sidewalk to assist anyone needing assistance with acceptance of the event. At the moment, I have nothing more to say at this time.”

John sighed. “Ciao Luigi.”