(Drink from a Firehose is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Drink from a Firehose
This one annoys us for two reasons: First, its overuse; and, of course, its needless exaggeration.
To literally attempt to drink from a firehose would, at the very least, rip the skin from your face. More likely, it would decapitate you. Either way, the imagery is disturbing.
Managers love to throw this one around when they’re presented with or presenting a vast amount of information in a relatively short time. They believe that attempting to ingest an excess of data is analogous to trying to drink from a firehose.
It never is. It’s never even been close.
While some presenters are prone to share more information, advice, or opportunities than an individual or team can easily assimilate and put into practice, no one has ever delivered the equivalent of a firehose worth.
This makes drink from a firehose an unnecessary exaggeration. If only it stopped there.
Managers, as you know from multiple entries in this book, tend to compile and forever employ sayings they should otherwise discard. This leads them to overuse and even shoehorn these phrases into virtually every situation – making the exaggerations even more egregious.
If you’re a manager who feels like every delivery of information you receive is akin to taking a drink from a firehose, then perhaps you’re just not very smart. Perhaps, as most of your employees probably already know, you’re just a little slow on the uptake. Stop confirming this with your annoying sayings.
You sound a lot smarter to the rest of us when your mouth is closed.
Replacement phrases: No replacement needed; just stop saying it.
See also: Trying to Boil the Ocean
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon