When Just One Word Doesn’t Get It Done

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Today, a trip into the wayback machine to answer a question that was posed to me: What is the funniest non-real word you’ve ever heard?

It was the mid-1990’s and I was a fresh faced college grad. I had a financial calculator under one arm and an ink-not-quite dry MBA under the other.

After just a year of working as a financial analyst for a large aerospace company, I was offered a job at Sandia Labs.

The hiring manager told me that it was ok that I had no background in the business of purchasing, they would be more than happy to bring me on and train me.

I was too naive to really understand that opportunities like this didn’t come along very often. Even less so these days.

So I took the job. I landed at one of New Mexico’s largest employers and I had a lot to learn. I worked for one of the best managers I’ve ever had (he’s still a friend and mentor) and I learned how to be a government procurement agent.

It was a move that would shape the next twenty years of my career. In lots of ways.

My desk was situated next to a tall lanky guy who had worked at Sandia for some twenty or more years. He was a bit outrageous, opinionated and wickedly intelligent.

He was the guy who knew EVERYTHING about the procurement systems, the department and the rules of the road. He was like a walking encyclopedia and we hit it off right away. It was fun to learn from him.

One day, I heard him tapping away at his desk while he was on the phone with a supplier that he supported. He was growing ever more frustrated with the supplier rep on the other end of the phone (and I think she was being snappish at him).

He hung up the phone and sighed…”what a coleslaw bitch.”

Wha?

My brows furrowed. A coleslaw bitch? What the heck is that?

So I asked.

He laughed. “No, not a coleslaw bitch. A cunslubitch. She is such a pain in the ass she deserves not one but three insults. It’s my three favorite words mashed together.”

Oh.

Wow.

Right here at work.

That’s really something.

Then I started laughing. It was so outrageous and so perfect and so YEAH MAN that I couldn’t help it. What a terrific concatenation of words. Useful!

That was the better part of twenty years ago and I still remember that word. And every now and again a supplier rep (male or female, doesn’t really matter) will work that last nerve, step over that last line, bully me just a little bit to far and get my procurement dander right up….

And I’ll think….what a cunslubitch.

I learned well from the master.





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