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Outsource magazine: thought-leadership and outsourcing strategy | August 21, 2017

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TOP TEN: (More) Outsourcing Insults

TOP TEN: (More) Outsourcing Insults
Top Ten

Way back in the summer of last year, we published a “Top Ten” list of some of the pithiest (more accurately, downright abusive) insults it had been my dubious pleasure to have heard over the course of my time in this job. Much joy was had in the compiling, and, apparently, in the reading – at least, that’s the impression I received considering how many of you contacted me to suggest your own entries.

So many juicy ones have dropped into my lap, indeed, that I thought it was time to release a second installment. The following quotes have either been given to me by Outsource readers and/or contributors or, in a couple of cases, said to me in person at events over the last six months. Once again, this is intended merely as entertainment and I’ve anonymised everything as well as removing any profanity (and also please NB these are almost certainly not entirely verbatim). Hopefully you’ll find much mirth in what follows…

Jamie Liddell

(NB: At the same time as the first instalment was published, we put a call out for the Top Ten Outsourcing Compliments – and so far we haven’t been overwhelmed with entries. Maybe that’s because we’re all just a curmudgeonly lot of grumps in this business – but we’d like to hope not. So get ‘em in: you can contact me as always at

1. “It’s like a game of ‘Musical Chairs’, and the music’s stopped, and they don’t have a chair, so they just come over and sit on your lap and start talking dirty in your ear.”

Reported to me about a well-known provider going through some, er, interesting times at present. I enjoy the combination of confidence and desperation here – and the concept of filthy chat about finance BPO is especially intriguing…

2. “They do outsourcing like the Communists fought wars: throw people at the problem and don’t worry how many of them get wiped out before it’s solved.”

Well, I suppose one has to play to one’s strengths…

3. “The chicken crossed the road to avoid him.”

Said to one of our readers at an event last year about an unnamed consultant. At least part of that age-old conundrum’s been solved, then.

4. “You just know that in a past life she was cackling in a tower somewhere, bathing in the blood of peasants.”

Simply stunning… Another anonymous one, supplied this time by one of Outsource’s columnists. I could hazard a guess as to this person’s identity but there really are quite a few candidates…

5. “It’s got to the point where I would rather just lose the bid entirely than spend a single second longer in his company. Hell, I’d rather lose my life.”

I adore this quote because it is really is about as damning as it could possibly get: suicide as a preference over someone’s presence. Sadly this one’s another anonymous entry but if the population of the outsourcing community starts dropping suddenly I’m sure it won’t take too much analysis to pinpoint the culprit. Big data teams: stay alert.

6. “He’s like the Emperor from Star Wars except without the charisma and empathy.”

Sometimes, empathy is a real drawback. The fact that the gentleman being described here has risen to a position of great seniority in a very large organisation is testament to just that. I won’t go any further as I don’t want to be engulfed in a barrage of lightning bolts from his fingertips.

7. “He is so incompetent, if he were an executioner he’d end up chopping his own head off.”

This is amusing as it is. What makes it brilliant is the fact that “he” works for a headhunter!

8. “I’m not saying she’s stupid but if she were on ‘Mastermind’ she wouldn’t even be able to find the chair.”

For non-UK readers, ‘Mastermind‘ is a notoriously taxing general knowledge quiz show on British TV in which contestants are seated in a large and intimidating black leather chair. I know the woman in question here, and my personal opinion is that she wouldn’t even be able to find the studio.

9. “What a grotesque little man. Shaking hands with him is like squeezing a dead octopus.”

Having experienced the aforementioned handshake in person I would suggest a closer equivalent would be a damp carrier bag full of slugs, but I suppose the premise is similarly molluscoid. Ugh.

10. “I just can’t help the feeling that if he weren’t in this game he’d be squatting under a bridge menacing goats.”

Another anonymous one and, frankly, the list of candidates is this time probably too great even for big data to cope with. But feel free to supply your own suspects.

Hope that’s proved sufficiently rib-tickling for you whilst avoiding the attention of the lawyers…. Again, feel free to send in your own suggestions – and contributions to our mooted (and much more positive) Top Ten Compliments – to…

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