Not Intended to Be a Factual Statement

(We interrupt our regularly scheduled schedule of blog posts for something a little different. Sorry, this was just too good to pass up.)

Don’t know if you heard, but Jon Kyl (Senator from my increasingly politically wacky state of Arizona) was recently caught quoting a statistic that did not appear to have any bearing on the truth. When caught in the misstatement (or, as they call them in the Senate, breathing), Kyl responded that the statement was “not intended to be an actual fact.” Stephen Colbert has run with this. Using the hashtag “notintendedtobeanactualfact”, he is posting innocuous misstatements about Kyl such as “Jon Kyl developed his own line of hair care products just so he could test them on bunnies” and “Jon Kyl thinks no one can see him when he puts a paper bag on his head.” With the use of the hashtag as an “excuseplanation”, even the most outrageous statement becomes permissible.

What a boon for us in internal audit. In fact, I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before. The use of this phrase will open up all types of opportunities for us.

Immediately you can see the value in issuing reports. No longer do we need to test. All we need to do is issue the report with the phrase #notintendedtobeafactualstatement. Even better, we can say what we really want to say in our reports. Imagine that auditee who you never really liked. You go do the audit, but you can’t find a single thing wrong. Not a problem. Issue it with an ineffective opinion and #notintendedtobeafactualstatement. Or, say you’re doing an audit of your good friend (you know, the one who got you front row, on the glass, for the hockey playoffs), but your audit reveals exactly how he is paying for those tickets. Again, not a problem.   Issue it with an “A+, Effective, and Nothing Will Ever Go Wrong” rating followed by #notintendedtobeafactualstatement.

But let us not limit ourselves to just our written reports. Face it. It is always tough delivering bad news. And what is harder than a performance review where you have to tell the employee he is not performing up to standards. Simple solution. “You are an excellent employee #notintendedtobeafactualstatement. In fact, you set the standard for all other employees #notintendedtobeafactualstatement. You will be getting a raise, a bonus, a promotion, a company car, and the keys to the executive washroom #notintendedtobeafactualstatement.”

Yes, this can be the solution to so many of our problems. Following are a few more areas where it might be used:

  • E-mails – “Thank you for your question #notintendedtobeafactualstatement”, “I will have that for you by tomorrow  #notintendedtobeafactualstatement“, and “Please contact me if you have any further questions #notintendedtobeanactualfact”
  • PowerPoint Presentations – “My credentials #notintendedtobeafactualstatement “, “Important points to consider #notintendedtobeafactualstatement’, and “Questions “#notintendedtobeafactualrequest” (Note how the hashtag can be changed to fit any situation.)
  • Any statement in a resume
  • Meeting Minutes – “All necessary people being present, the meeting commenced on time #notintendedtobeafactualstatemnt”, “The action plan will be completed by the end of the quarter #notintendedtobeafactualstatement “, and “The meeting ended with the entire staff giving the manager a standing ovation #notintendedtobeafactualstatement”.

And, let me end by saying, this has got to be the best blog post I’ve ever written #notintendedtobeafactualstatement.

Posted on Apr 15, 2011 by Mike Jacka

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  1. Just a lame Arizona update on an original (by Little Ricky as I recall): "To tell you the truth, I lied."
  1. To let everyone else in on it, Dave and I worked together a long time ago (I believe it was the Neoproterozoic Age).  While doing an investigation, the person under investigation actually said to us "To be quite honest, I lied."   The sentence made our heads hurt for quite a while.

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