“Do the needful and revert” – Not going to happen

By | 27 Nov 2015

Anyone in IT and works with multinational organizations has at some time or another heard the phrase “do the needful” commonly followed with “revert”.  Originating mostly from India (or “Joe” pretending to be elsewhere), this phrase more often than not is preceded/followed with “WebEx” and is like a poke in the side with a sharp dung covered stick.  Simply stating “WebEx”, “do the WebEx”, or “take remote” makes me instantly think there is value in doing a remote session with you, yeah, no chance in hell.  It does however (with about 98% certainty) paint the picture you don’t know what you are doing or are too lazy.  Take the initiative, use google, gather logs, think about why you are calling, put your issue into words that are relevant. I understand you want to report to your boss that you opened a support case so it must be the products fault and not your incompetence to read an Administrator’s Guide, however enterprise software is just that and requires an enterprise level of understanding, it’s not MS Paint!

My advice, stop using “do the needful” and be mindful that “revert” does not mean reply in all English (for example in Australia or the USA).  Sure I can do the “needful” and fix your issue, but do you really want me to “revert” and undo the fix I made?  Go on and google the definition of revert, if you’re surprised when you find the following perhaps you should starting thinking about language in a broader international sense than using your idiosyncrasies.

verb: revert; 3rd person present: reverts; past tense: reverted; past participle: reverted; gerund or present participle: reverting

1.  return to (a previous state, practice, topic, etc.).
“he reverted to his native language”
synonyms:    return, go back, come back, change back, retrogress, regress, default; fall back into, relapse into, lapse into, drift back into; archaic retrograde
“life will soon revert to normal”

There is only one activity in a man’s life that doing the needful is appropriate, and even then I don’t want to hear it.

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