I am today compelled to confess that there is a universal and apparently well-beloved buzz-phrase that I would gladly devote my life to seeking out, destroying, and driving a stake through its insipid, meaningless, miserable little heart.
It is "to reach out to."
Once this was a phrase reserved for touchy-feely types like psychologists, HR professionals, and guys trying to appear sensitive to impress women. And so we had: "Yes, Justin, I've been planning to reach out to you;" "She's been despairing over the state of her Haiku, Armand, I reached out to her yesterday;" and "Why don't you and I reach out to Matthew who will reach out to Constance...."
And then everything exploded! Everyone began "reaching out to." Lawyers, actuaries, real estate brokers, the guy in the hardware store, NASCAR drivers, and even corporate executives who don’t know that their employees have first names all crossed the threshhold into an unbridled state of "reaching out to."
And so we now have "I'd like to reach out to you about your plumbing bill....new aluminum siding .... Tax audit... mufflers...the 25 bucks you owe me," and so on down the line.
Once someone e-mailed me that she'd like to "reach back out to me." I wasn't sure if she meant she wanted to reach out to me for the second time or to reach backwards to reach out to me because she apparently thought I was standing behind her.
Wouldn't it be simpler and less pretentious to most of the time just say "I've been meaning to get in touch with her,” “I’m gonna call ya” or “reach for the skies, this is a stick-up!?" That last phrase, I submit, is the only one where the word “reach” is actually indispensable.
I suppose there's still a place for "reaching out to" when it's said by touchy-feely types like psychologists and HR professionals. And, oh yeah, I probably wouldn't complain if Scarlett Johansson wanted to "reach out to me."
I might even reach back out to her!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Note: This is an expanded version of a comment I posted on "The HR Junkyard," a Human Resources blog written by @tlcolson (Tammy), one of my first friends on Twitter and a fellow HR professional. (Well, she's actually a woman --- not a fellow --- but you know what I'm talking about!)
Typically I don’t recommend particular blogs. You may have noticed there’s no blogroll in my blog. True, that’s partially because with six you get blogroll, and I’m only one Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute Boomer. But the General Tzo’s has filled me up for the most part so I'll pass on the blogroll.
However, the main reason I don’t recommend blogs is because there are just too many good ones to choose from. There are funny ones, literary ones, touching ones, informative ones – blogs to make you laugh, cry, and even upchuck, if that’s what you need at the moment.
One thing I do know --- Why are you wasting your time looking at mine with all the gems out there just a point and click away? What the hell's wrong with you?? No wonder you hardly ever got any dates! Go! Scat!! Before you're as old as I am!!!