(Touch Base 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.)
Most commonly an annoyance uttered by a cold-calling salesperson, touch base is a soft (and maddening) way to request an unnecessary contact.
You’ve likely received the typical unwanted voicemail or email: “It’s Joey over at The Lewis Company and I just wanted to touch base with you on our new widget.” In other words, this salesperson wants to chew up your time to demo their worthless product or service via what feels like an innocuous attempt to touch base.
It’s not innocuous; it’s a timewaster of the highest order… run!
If Joey was confident in his offering, he’d ask for a firm meeting. Because he’s not, he settles for some base-touching.
Keep your fingers on your own base, Joey.
When your annoying manager uses touch base, it’s to signify a similarly unnecessary contact; though, with a cover-his/her-ass connotation added in: “Be sure to touch base with Grace on the new contract.”
Translation: “I’m too weak to approve or deny whatever it is we’re talking about, so I want you and another underpaid coworker to make the final decision. This way, I can keep my job if everything implodes.”
No worries; we’ll touch base all right. We’ll touch base to compare notes about our weak manager.
Replacement phrases: Contact; Speak
See also: Connect With; Reaching Out
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon