The Buzz Word Generator Story
As told to me by Neil Metcalf of Brisbane Australia
Written 10/08/2015 and rewritten 02/04/2016 unedited
For many years I had a dear friend named Neil Metcalf.
Neil was from Brisbane Australia where he ran a company called Truck Electrics.
Truck Electrics was a company that repaired electrical items like starters and generators used by truckers that operated throughout Australia.
When I knew Neil, he had about 28 employees, and he led them in doing physical exercise every morning for about 30 minutes. Besides running his company, he ran a school for auto electricians in the evening, and he was writing a book.
Neil had started out as a small repair shop but he always had aspirations to do more than just repairs. He told me that unlike the United States, a company in Australia needed to do many things to survive due to the smaller population there. Thus Neil did get involved in a lot of things.
Neil was a short roly poly fat guy that looked like a Volkswagon when he laid flat on a bed. He was a very talented musician that could play large variety of instruments. Neil could walk into any party and borrow some ones musical instrument, and in a few minutes he was the hit of the place.
You could say Neil was quite a character, I remember when he came to visit us in Miami he ended up dancing Salsa at one of our Cuban friend’s parties.
But it was just that type of activity that nearly ruined his early life before we met him.
Neil had said that because he was a musician, after work he always partied, doing drugs and drinking a lot of alcohol, as many musicians do. Neil’s wife back then was also an alcoholic, and one evening Neil came home drunk and couldn’t find her. In the morning he found her, she was dead, and under the bed. Finding his wife dead was a turning point in Neil’s life, and he joined AA. So by the time I met him he was mentoring more than half a dozen other former alcoholics.
I had met Neil through a mutual friend in Detroit. That was after Neil had remarried and was building up his company again. Neil and I became good friends, and he would call me from Australia all the time. As you know there is a big time difference between Australia and America, but that never bothered Neil. He would call me when it was near midnight in Miami and say. “Good day mate, fine day for chasing women”, and then he would always tell me an Australian joke that he had just heard.
One year my wife and I went to Brisbane Australia just to visit him.
Inside in the lobby of his company he had a sign, “No telling of yarns, unless you tell the boss first”.
One day Neil said to me, “Do you ever use the buzz word generator?” I told him that I had no idea of what he was talking about.
Neil produced out of his pocket a piece of paper with about twenty five words on it, I looked the list over, they were highly technical words that few people ever used in conversation, like hyperbolic, and juxtaposition, and whole list of other words like that.
Neil said, “The next time you have a technical conversation with one of your customers, interject one of those Buzz words into every sentence, it doesn’t matter if the word fits or makes any sense, just keep talking and with a straight face and keep inserting some of the highly technical words. By the time you are finished talking to your customer, he will have thought he had just spoken to the most intelligent technician he had ever met in his life, and that’s what the Buzz word generator is used for.
I got to thinking about it, politicians and attorneys have been using the buzz word generator for years. They just use a different list of words.