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CWOTUS's avatar

I need a word ...

Asked by CWOTUS (26102points) November 10th, 2011

This just came up at work, so naturally I thought of Fluther.

I need to develop a word (which we would probably almost never use) to describe a “required process” ... which would not need to be performed, except that it is required by policy. (Isn’t that elegantly stupid?)

I started to describe the reason why this is necessary, but the explanation was even putting me to sleep; no one would read it, I’m sure.

We have a common system shared between two similar business units operating in different countries. One business unit has modified the process to require a step that the other unit would normally never perform, and which serves no purpose for them. However, if the system is altered, the second unit would be required to perform a completely valueless step (simple and quick, but annoying even so). The system has to be pretty similar between the two business units. (Even though the process is slightly different, the system needs to be similar.)

Be inventive now. What’s the word to describe the process as it would be perceived at the unit that doesn’t get any value from it? (If there’s an existing word that I don’t know, let me know that, instead. We’ve already looked at and discarded make-work.)

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28 Answers

picante's avatar

It’s a fauxmality

rebbel's avatar

Convenient futility

picante's avatar


thorninmud's avatar

You could go metaphorical and call it “saying grace”. Some of the people at the table see it as a necessity; for others, it’s an annoying step between them and the real business at hand, but they do it anyway.

Kardamom's avatar


janbb's avatar

a blodget

CWOTUS's avatar

Excellent start, as I knew it would be.

@janbb for personnel reasons I can’t use yours.

Jaxk's avatar

In electronics we used to call a it a ‘brother-in-law’ circuit. Basically a circuit that performed no function but required components presumably supplied by the designer’s brother-in-law. There is another old adage that says “work expands to fill the time allotted”. A theory used extensively by efficiency experts. Neither of these answers the question directly and I’m having a Rick Perry moment, where I can’t come up with the word I’m looking for. I’ll get back to youy when/if I think of it.

janbb's avatar

@CWOTUS Aha – Mr. Blodget is the CEO of your company?

smilingheart1's avatar

reliability alignment

janbb's avatar

A government efficiency?

ucme's avatar


rebbel's avatar


Kato's avatar

A Short, like a short circuit.

Rapid circuit close step action
Rapid Close Action (RCA)
Rapid Circuit Close (RCC)
Rapid Action Step (RAS)
Rapid Close Step (RCS)

You get the idea

I like @smilingheart1 ‘s reliability alignment.

I suspect for political correctness you don’t want to make fun of other organizations in the company, so through having an innuendo might be funny it will not achieve community with other teams.

CWOTUS's avatar

No, @janbb, not the CEO, but a retired friend.

CWOTUS's avatar

@Kato we have no compunction about poking some fun at the organization who (needlessly) modified the process to require the new step. Maybe I’ll call it a “Stuttgate”.

Kato's avatar

@CWOTUS , Ah, well I never to so I run the more conservative options first. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How about a consultant. They have no reason for existing, other than to prove they need to exist.

Kardamom's avatar

@Jaxk I love “Brother in law circuit” That’s classic!

lillycoyote's avatar

I may have some more later but you could maybe use nutzlos. It means “useless” in German and sound right, even in German, I think.

SavoirFaire's avatar

TPS Report.

Earthgirl's avatar

Preemptive obsolescence or
Kaput-schema (this is so fun to say, just try it)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Densedy program.

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