How to decipher a Corporate Memo



Memo to all employees, Corporate Headquarters(1)

From: The Office of the Chairman(2)

Re: Outsourcing of certain central services(3)


In our constant effort to serve our shareholders in every way possible(4), we are ever examining ways to produce value by limiting our cost structure(5) without negatively impacting(6) products, services or the lifestyle of our employees(7).


In that regard, we have decided to place the catering function here at HQ under a new management paradigm(8), ceding fiduciary control to a private vendor(9).  This company, which is called Foodarama(10), has a long and distinguished history of providing food, beverages and a variety of hospitality services to private industry(11).  They are, as we are, dedicated to quality in everything we do, and we look forward to working with them as a genuinely fitting partner(12).


There will be no retrenchments associated with this change in food-provision strategy(13), although the kitchen and dining room on the thirty-eighth floor will be turned into a visitors’ conference room and office.  Edna, who has served with distinction since the Fifties, will continue on, but work mostly in cold cuts and things that can be microwaved(14).


This, by the way, is the extend of any planned outsourcing we may be contemplating at this time(15).    While cost containment and zero-based operations are our goal and our commitment(16), we believe that essentially our operations should remain right here, where they can do our communities the most good(17).



Here is how to decipher a Corporate Memo  (and what the bloke who was writing the memo actually means…

  1. “You are very nervous.”
  2. “Drop everything!”
  3. “Okay, not so central, which is why we are outsourcing them.”
  4. “And we do mean in every way.”
  5. “At least as it applies to people who cost us next to nothing.”
  6. “Bam! That’s right, I use ‘Impact’ as a verb.  You are completely buying this, aren’t you?”
  7. “We’ll still need you to stay late and work weekends, however.”
  8. “Management paradigm. Ha!  I’m so frikkin clever.”
  9. “Also private: the fact that my son-in-law runs the outfit.”
  10. “I really need to talk to him about changing the name.”
  11. “Don’t ask why you’ve never heard of them.”
  12. “For the first time in the history of the world, cheaper will be better.”
  13. “But other layoffs are fair game.”
  14. “No one is expecting me to eat that crap, right?”
  15. “And by ‘this time’, I mean the period of time ending… now.”
  16. “Please don’t Google ‘zero-based operations’.”
  17. “Especially for our shareholders who live in this communities.”



Author: Shaun De Kock

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