Working Mum: The language of the people

By Giles Broadbent on December 9, 2013 7:34 AM |


By Tabitha Ronson

Annoying Colleague has taken to slipping in a range of buzz words into her vernacular.

So keen to be down with the kids (she is dating a toyboy after all) she has resorted to using a range of made-up "street" tags and phrases.

Among others, there's "aces" when she is pleased with something; "I love your face" when she ends a phone call to one of her friends; "bare" for very; and "totes rote" when anything goes wrong.

It probably would be less irritating if (a) she was a teen and not a 40-something and (b) if she wasn't so keen for her little catchphrases to catch on with the other team members.

Every time she uses one of her new phrases, she takes a sneaky peak to see if anyone is taking note.

Of course, being disdainful colleagues, we sit there pretending not to have heard. Having seemingly missed an opportunity for her lingo to enter the zeitgeist, the next time she has an chance to use one of her words, she says it louder - and louder.

It's all getting rather ridiculous and very Gareth-like. I unwittingly got in the same lift as her the other lunchtime. She had a captive audience and she seized the opportunity to work it. She engaged me in a conversation littered with her bizarre "urban" language.

"Alie," she concluded, encouraging our agreement to her thoughts.

From the other lift passengers, I could see sideward glances, raised eyebrows, twitches of shoulders and some stifled giggles from a trio of young office girlies. Where's the ejector button when needed?

On exiting the lift, I made my excuses and headed off in the opposite direction desperate to escape the embarrassment. Too late.

From across the plaza Annoying Colleague shouted: "Totes rote 'bout not co-chowing. Catch you back in half." All the while her head swivelling like that of an owl's to see if anyone was listening.

Fortunately, like any other lunchtime at Canary Wharf, her stupid speak got lost in a wave of crowd sound...

...until rising above it I heard "I love your face" - the parting words from one of the three office girls to the others.

Working Mum, feeling totes rote.

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