Russian Mayor Bans Phrase ‘I Don’t Know’

By Bagila Bukharbayeva, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW (AP) — 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.”

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.” Read the story here.

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