(Point Person 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.)
We know what you’re thinking. Wait, why is this one on the list? Isn’t it used correctly?
In fact, isn’t it the proper way to refer to someone who is the liaison, coordinator, lead, or source of information for a project, department, or prospect?
Okay, then what gives? Why is this one on the list?
Point person made the cut for three reasons. First, it’s the people who say it. Second, it’s the way they say it. Third, it’s our book and we wanted it in.
When you write your book of annoying business jargon you can leave point person out, ‘kay?
Unless your business is moving military hardware behind enemy lines, there’s no reason for your manager to go all “war room” as he gesticulates like he’s guiding a plane onto an aircraft carrier while barking, “Troutwine, you’re the point person on this one!”
Wait… come to think of it, we guess there are four reasons it’s annoying. Point person is also irritating given its unclear meaning.
Is the point person the one in charge of the project or just the main point of contact? There is a difference, after all.
Generally speaking, point of contact (not quite annoying enough to make this list) is most often the correct way to designate someone as the point person. To be clear, point of contact almost made the cut because its usage is inching toward the abbreviations POC and SPOC.
So, while point of contact is not as annoying as point person, it could be. Just start saying P-O-C instead of point person. Of course, if you want to go the extra annoying mile, use S-P-O-C in place of single point of contact when referring to the point person.
Feel like being the most annoying manager on the planet? Pronounce these “pock” and “spock” instead of saying the letters. Congratulations; you’ve now graduated to complete imbecile.
Replacement phrases: Liaison; Coordinator; Information source; Point of contact
See also: Run Interference
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon