Start a Dialog and Interface
Today's post is special! It involves two interchangeable buzzwords that are used semi-properly but stupidly.
Start a Dialog/Interface
What it means:
Start a dialog (v.) - To begin a conversation involving two or more people (source)
Interface (n.) - A boundary between two objects OR a point where two objects interact (source)
Interface (v.) - To join two objects OR to serve as the joint between two object (source)
What my company thinks it means:
Start a dialog (v.) - To talk
Interface (n.) - A person designated for conversation
Interface (v.) - To talk
Sentence used in my office:
"I need you to start a dialog about the [project]. Your interface should be [some guy], so interface with him. We should be able to leverage your dialogs about the [project] in the future going forward."
How this sentence could have been said:
"See what you can find out about the [project] from [some guy]."
The term "start a dialog" is just stupid to use. Why can't I just "talk" to somebody. Why do I need to "start a dialog" with him? Am I going to exchange dramatic narratives with coworkers during a meeting? No, although that does have some awesomeness potential. At least "start a dialog" is being used properly, unlike leverage.
During a bout of insanity, I managed to justify "interface" to myself.
My systems engineering contact is apparently on crack.
The term "interface" takes all of the humanity out of the discussion; we are all just droids interfacing with each other. There is a manager's whiteboard that refers to his staff by employee number rather than by name. I hate this term because it accentuates the whole "you are nothing but a cog in the machine" feeling we all have at my job.