TRW slang

Context: The informant is an American citizen of Indo-Pakistani descent who has worked at the same aerospace and defense technology firm for his entire adult life. The firm has, however undergone several mergers, name changes, etc. The company he work for is currently known as Northrop Grumman, but when he started working there, it was the company called TRW.

To express their dissatisfaction with the inefficient and disorganized management style of the bosses, the informant relays that the workers would refer to these inept managers as TRWs, or “Turkeys Running Wild”.

The informant was moved to a subsector of the company known as Velocium; when TRW was bought out by Northrup Grumman, it became taboo to mention the name of the previous company(s), or to wear or use any merchandise featuring their logos.

Analysis: The acronym is fairly straightforward and seems like a typical response of the frustrated employee to incompetent managers. The informant commented on the “red tape” that often made it difficult or impossible for him and his colleagues to complete assignments on time or satisfactorily, and the often conflicting or unclear instructions given by the higher-ups, resulting in repercussions for the employees. For this reason, referring to the object of their frustrations as “turkeys” gave them an outlet for their feelings, comparing their bosses to confused birds who really had no idea that they were about to become someone’s Thanksgiving dinner.

The taboo on voicing the previous company’s name was probably meant to solidify the new management’s authority among the workers. It was enforced pretty strictly, even down to the pens the employees would use could not have the logo of Velocium or TRW. Giving voice to something gives it power, if only in the metaphorical, philosophical sense, so the new company was probably trying to squash loyalty to the old and ensure no employees would defect to rival companies like Boeing.