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I was watching this TV show, Unstable on Netflix. In that scene in episode 2, the CEO and CFO were trying to persuade the board that they will meet the benchmarks that the board set. I found the definition of the word, "benchmark". So I understand what the word means.

The thing is, I can't follow what they mean by benchmarks when they talk about a good friend who will pick you up at the airport. To help you read the context, this is what they said to the board:

CEO: We've been kicking life in the goddamn balls.

Board: What about the benchmarks?

CEO: Let me talk about benchmarks. Not only are we going to meet them, we're going to become their friends. Such good friends that if we ask for a ride to the airport, they'd say yes without hesitation.

CFO: And they'll be all, "What time is your returning flight?" And we'll say, "It's okay. We'll Uber." They'll say, "No, don't be silly. We're picking you up. What are benchmarks for?"

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  • I assume that "what the benchmarks for" in the title was just a mistake?
    – stangdon
    May 1, 2023 at 11:23
  • [grammar correction: What does "benchmarks" mean in etc.] benchmark basically has one meaning in English in business which you can look up.
    – Lambie
    May 1, 2023 at 13:53

1 Answer 1

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From the excerpt you've provided, it seems like the CEO and CFO don't want to provide a straight answer to the board about whether they have met the benchmarks, so instead they are spinning out a metaphor where the benchmarks are their "friends."

It is also a little bit of a pun. The CEO is playing on the word "meet" used in "meet benchmarks" to mean "reach", compared with "meet" a person to mean "become acquainted." The CEO says not only will they "become acquainted" with the benchmark, they will get to know them so well they become friends.

"What are friends for?" is an idiom people use in response to thanks, or to say "it's no problem" when they offer to do a favor. The writers just replaced "friends" with "benchmarks."

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    +1 And to be crystal clear, the metaphor means "We're not just going to meet the benchmarks, we're going to greatly exceed them."
    – gotube
    May 1, 2023 at 2:36
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    I don't think he's trying to avoid giving a straight answer, he's just being flippant in the way he answers. It's a comedy show, after all -- people often use silly language.
    – Barmar
    May 1, 2023 at 15:31

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