my one-word, cure-all

Job history for me:




Non-profit coordinator

Job history for A:

Furniture lugger and tosser

Mechanic’s apprentice

Crane builder

So, when we trade the “how was work?” conversation at the end of the day, we have very little input on each others’ occupations.  He stares at me blankly when I discuss the best strategy to combat office politics, and I stare at him with a horrified expression when he tells me that someone’s mistake at work could have caused DEATH.

Most of A’s work-related conversations have to deal with technical lingo about wrenches and pulleys and grease.  And, because he very patiently listens to me whine about the weird phone calls I got and the endless spreadsheets I have to juggle, I attempt to chime in with helpful insights when he starts discussing welding and building and stuff.

I was very rarely successful about saying anything of substance, until I discovered the magic word:


Now, I have no idea what “torque” actually means, but it sounds manly and I feel like I am contributing when I work it into conversations.


1. “So Bob didn’t fasten that last fixture on the crane hooklift?  What a bummer.  Torque.”

2.  “Got really dirty from greasing the pins?  Sounds like you need some torque.”

3.  “Maybe a little extra torque would have stopped that guy from making a mess of your work space.”

4.  “Boring mandatory safety meeting today?  Ugh.  … Torque.”

I am prepared to say it could be useful in other situations as well:

1. “So you say Mr. Barky needs a neuter?  Do we need torque?”

2. “What is my greatest strength you ask, potential employer?  Well … torque.”

3. “Your grandson is premiering his original composition at Carnegie Hall?  Well, mine is harnessing torque on a daily basis.”

4.  “From a torque standpoint, I would say that the car is totaled … you could always buy mine from me!  Real cheap, for a friend.”

Feel free to borrow this priceless word one if you wish; it is unbelievably successful.  Or, offer your magic words below, as a backup for when this one wears out … from the torque.



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