Stalin Returns

3:50 PM -- MSNBC.com reports on a Russian mayor who has solved his administration's problems by disallowing uncertainty:

    The mayor of a Siberian oil town has ordered his bureaucrats to stop using expressions such as "I don't know" and "I can't." Or look for another job.

    Alexander Kuzmin, the 33-year-old mayor of Megion, has banned these and 25 other phrases as a way to make his administration more efficient, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.

    "It's a suggestion to the staff that they should think before saying something," Oksana Shestakova said by telephone. "To say 'I don't know' is the same as admitting your helplessness."

A grave sin.

    To reinforce the ban, a framed list of the banned expressions has been hanging on the wall next to Kuzmin's office for the past two weeks, Shestakova said.

    Some of the other prohibited phrases are "What can we do?" "It's not my job," "It's impossible," "I'm having lunch," "There is no money," and "I was away/sick/on vacation."

Other potentially forbidden excuses include: "I don't even work here," "I was in the penitentiary at the time," and "I died a month ago."

    Officials who disobey the ban while in the mayor's office "will near the moment of their departure," the statement said.

Presumably, from this Earth.

— Red Panda, Don't Know, Don't Care, Light Reading

Mad Ludwig 12/5/2012 | 3:03:07 PM
re: Stalin Returns more insanity, closer to home:

there is a sandwich shop in my neighborhood where employees are forbidden to say the word "no." my latest exchange went like this:

q: "do you have relish?"
a: "we have pickles."
q: "yeah, but do you have relish?"
a: "we have mustard."
q: "are you %&$#ing kidding me?"
Larry, Monkey 12/5/2012 | 3:03:07 PM
re: Stalin Returns Woody Allen spoke of a South Sea Island tribe that lacks a word for "no." Instead, they just smile and nod and say, "I'll get back to you."
Michael Poole 12/5/2012 | 3:03:04 PM
re: Stalin Returns 'Woody Allen spoke of a South Sea Island tribe that lacks a word for "no." Instead, they just smile and nod and say, "I'll get back to you."'

I thought that was American marketing types.

Anyway, my erstwhile Russian colleage used to have a poster on his office wall (in New Zealand) that simply said "Why?" When I asked him if doing that would have been dangerous back in the days of the Soviet Union, he said that it was, but that he did it anyway, just for the thrill.

PetPanda 12/5/2012 | 3:03:03 PM
re: Stalin Returns For those editor-types out there, I've found that "I don't speak English" usually works particularly well.
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