Failure to Communicate

I work with a lot of recent college grads. On the other hand, there are quite a few people who are closer to retirement than college. It's interesting when you are sitting around talking with them; sometimes it's me staring at one of them with a blank look when what they say makes no sense to me; sometimes it's the other way around.

For instance, do you guys know what YOLO means? Yeah, I didn't either. It means, "you only live once".

There are so many other things where I have no idea what people are talking about. I don't watch TV, so I already have a gap when it comes to that kind of stuff, no matter what the era, but if it's in the past few years especially, I am so out of the loop. I was informed of several shows that were "so good" that I just "had to watch" so I went and watched one of them and was baffled by what was going on.

One of my coworkers keeps talking about Roadhouse. Have you seen it? Yeah, me neither. Apparently it's about Patrick Swayze and a bar and a bouncer and there are a couple of one liners that these guys keep throwing out. Like this one: I want you to be nice until it's time to not be nice. Apparently that works for my line of work as well as being a bouncer. So I am just like a bouncer.

I was talking to some different coworkers the other day and they were talking about how the reason something wasn't working was because there was bad communication and I threw out this line: What we've got here is failure to communicate. Do you know where it comes from? Neither did any of my coworkers. It was first coined in Cool Hand Luke and was later put into the G&R song Civil War, which is what I was quoting.

It's funny how people have different phrases, movies or music that were popular when they were growing up, as well as different things that they are interested in now. These things can separate us sometimes, but they can also bring us together. I mean, now I know a couple of lines from a bad Swayze movie and a very useful phrase in acronym form.

What topic, phrases or lines have people said to you lately that went over your head? or What have you said to them that they didn't understand?


  1. Fun read! I knew all of your examples. Living with 2 teens there are very few trendy terms like YOLO that I'm not familiar with.

  2. So funny! I had no idea what YOLO was, either. Like you, I'm not a big tv person and tend to be a little behind the trends... but I'm okay with that. :)

  3. I just found out what Yolo means from SNL...makes me feel old and out of touch.

  4. If you're working with people that don't know Cool Hand Luke then you need to get the hell out of there. Anyone caught making horseplay or playing grabass gets a night in the box.

  5. I'm pretty stuff goes over my head on a daily basis. I'm a pretty simple gal and need a lot of very simple things broken down even more for me to understand them. (And, you think I'm kidding.)

  6. love this post! I had no idea what YOLO meant either. Never saw Roadhouse. Nor did I know that phrase came from Cool Hand Luke.

    I haven't owned a TV since my son left for college 14 years ago. 14 years of bliss! (I'm referring to the TV not my son being gone from the house) I just look at people blankly when they say "did you see that commercial?"

    I used to be more current w/movies & music before my son left home - but I'm guessing after 14 years I'm way dated. Tho he does continue give me wardrobe advice. I feel like i dress too young for my age - but he keeps telling me I can pull it off....besides skinny jeans are easy to tuck into boots! ;)

  7. I work at a college and watch way too much TV, so I keep myself pretty much in the loop.

    And I totally knew that was from Cool Hand Luke. Great movie.

  8. I was playing 'Catchphrase' in a group this past weekend. One of the gals was 27 and I was shocked at many of the phrases and references she didn't get. She didn't know who Florence Henderson is!

  9. My parents LOVE Cool Hand Luke, so I have seen that multiple times and would have known exactly what you were referencing!

    I didn't know about YOLO... I don't know about most of the popular shoes or movies or what people wore to the Golden Globes or which movies are up for Oscar (nor do I know what the movies up for Oscars are probably about).

    I confuse people when I talk in terms of finance. Like when I explain that I depreciate the cost of some clothing purchases in my mind if I think I will get many uses out of them. I also get strange looks when I say things like, "what's her toes" instead of "what's her name" when I can't think of a person's name (but I don't know where I got that or why I say it!).

  10. Well I have seen both Cool Hand Luke and Roadhouse and recognized those lines but would never have been able to say that they came from THOSE movies. YOLO nono...Sounds like something you should eat.

    And here is one I would LIKE to start... you know when things are on sale and are called BOGO ? I would like to say BOGOHO... you will get that I am sure.

    We say 'what's her face?' instead of 'what's her name?' but I like 'what's her toe' too !! Funny

  11. It's so funny that you mention YOLO because just minutes ago my husband asked me if I'd heard of it. I had no idea what it meant. The last few years I've noticed these gaps- things people say that I don't get-- reminds me that I'm so much older than I actually feel. This happens all the time when I'm teaching dance. My kids say things or like things and I feel like that idiot grownup who is totally out of touch. They like to tease me all the time about it.

  12. I've got a 12 year old, so she constantly educates me on popular culture. YOLO is a favorite among the pre-teen crowd. :-)


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