Had enough of those boring lectures and articles? This will liven things up.
By Jack Runniger, O.D.
"Nothing is more conducive to profound sleep than an after lunch medical lecture," says Oscar London, M.D., in his book Kill as Few Patients as Possible. "The lights are dim. The audience is a tranquil sea of slack-jawed men and women. Blood is being massively shunted from brains to intestines.
"Hundreds of eyeballs begin a slow roll upward as the speaker recites the only statement the audience will remember: 'May I have the first slide, please?'"
ILLUSTRATION BY AMY WUMMER
It has happened to me
I know what Dr. London means. It has happened to me. In my many years of lecturing I've often been the cause of the problem in addition to being its recipient. There's nothing worse than seeing eyeballs rolling while you're speaking.
But take heart! If you keep falling asleep not only at such lectures, but also in meetings, conferences and reading optometric and optical journal articles, now comes a method to change all that, by playing B.S. Bingo.
How to play
1. Prepare your B.S. Bingo card by drawing a 5-inch-by-5-inch square. Divide this square into five columns and five rows. This will give you 25 1-inch blocks.
2. Write one of the following words/phrases in each block:
- price point
- profit center
- grow your profits
- channel your resources
- aggressive expansion
- time frame
- players in the market
- point of sale
- optical retail player
- crunch the numbers
- optical (as a noun)
- cutting edge
- market driven
- drive your profits
- mind set
- meaningful game plan
- core competencies
- bottom line
- fashion driven
3. Check off the appropriate block when you hear or read one of these words or phrases.
4. When you check off five blocks horizontally, vertically or diagonally, stand up and yell, "B.S.!"
Not just for lectures
I find the game works as well or better with articles written in optical journals. It doesn't give the satisfaction of competing with other players present in the audience, but it's interesting seeing how long it takes to achieve a bingo.
"We had to channel our resources," I once read a quote from an optical chain executive in an optical journal. "This will be a year to emphasize profitability, rather than another year of expansion. This year will focus on building store volume to bring our bottom line to where it has historically been."
Translated into simple terms what he said was, "We lost our rear ends this past year. We're in deep 'you know what' if we don't turn things around next year."
From whence it cometh?
Some of this pomposity and gobbledygook has its source in MBA-type folks who've entered the field from other industries. Their background is in product sales, so it may be understandable that they see optometric offices as "retail outlets" that exist to sell products, rather than as professional healthcare centers.
B.S. Bingo can help you enjoy their pretentious verbiage.
RUNNINGER, OUR CONSULTING EDITOR, LIVES IN ROME, GA. HE'S ALSO A PAST EDITOR OF OM.
Optometric Management, Issue: July 2002