Pig in the Python

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(1). A sharp statistical uptick.  Like every stock price when we thought Trump wasn’t crazy.


“So, last quarter’s net surplus seems to have been a bit of a pig in the python.  After reviewing the annualized numbers, we’re basically flat for the year, mostly due to the drop-off in sales in the northeast region thanks to Larry’s crumbling marriage.”


Props to Kevin for the submission!



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(1).  Your assigned region of coverage.  You know … what they used to just call your “territory”.


“Mike, we’d like your geofocus to be the southeast corner of Lincoln and Barrett.  That falafel guy’s been creeping into the area and we need to remind everyone that’s still gyro country!”


Props to Matthew for the submission!


Bring Up To Speed

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(1).  To update someone (usually your boss or your boss’s boss) on what’s been going on while they’ve been golfing.


“Since I’ve been off-site this past week, please bring me up to speed on what’s happened at the office.”


“I’ll feel better about it when I get up to speed on what’s going on.”


“Please bring me up to speed on this matter.”


“We’ll bring you up to speed on the day’s top stories after this commercial break!”


Props to Pablo for the submission!


Alternative Workflow

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(1). A way of saying “work-around”, but really mean “our product is broken”.


“Thanks for jumping on this call, everyone.  So, it looks like the level of effort to update the commission accounting system came in a bit higher than we expected, so we’ve developed an alternative workflow to get us to the same place.  Commissions accrue daily, so this will need to be implemented after business each day.”


Props to Eric for the submission!




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(1).  A grossly overused filler word whose only purpose is to attempt to make a statement seem smarter than including “um”, “uh” or other unintelligible word/sound.


“I swear I am going to unleash a pack of rabid squirrels on the next person that says basically!”


(2).  An insipid word used to frame, initiate or clarify an opinion, statement, fact, or clarification.


“Our product will basically transform the way you engage with your customers.”  It’s a product and it’s BASIC…..gee whiz!


Also see: literally and actually


Props to Brad for the submission!



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(1).  The ridiculous corporate practice of punishing your employees by assigning them a new desk each day.  One day, you’re sitting next to the hot babe from HR, and the next, it’s Earl from Data Management Tech who likes to sing along to the soft rock station he’s streaming on his Toughbook.


“So, our company started hoteling last month.  It’s supposed to foster the exchange of ideas across different areas of the firm.  The only problem is – all we talk about is how much we hate hoteling.”


Hand-To-Hand Combat

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(1).  When you sit down with a broker one-on-one to go through their book to see if there are any business opportunities … for you.


“So, it was a good trip … attended the weekly office meeting … did a little hand-to-hand combat with some of the advisors … identified one or two opportunities they’re going to think about considering possibly exploring further.”


Flight Plan

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(1).  The list of clients being off-boarded after you fire that lousy third-party service provider of yours.


“So, Vish, it looks like we have about 400 accounts we’ll need to include in the flight plan.  Given the level of service we ‘ve been getting for the last couple of years, I’m thinking no termination fee.  Your thoughts?”



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(1).  When the HR department says you can’t use the word “layoff” when referring to cutting staff positions, you say the organization is “rightsizing.”


“Listen Bill, I’m also trying to ‘rightsize’ my clothing, but it doesn’t have anything to do with my budget.”


Props to Kate V. for the submission.


Short-Fuse Project

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(1).  An enhancement that needs to be rolled out right away because somebody important says its important.


“Okay, team.  We’ve got a short-fuse project that just came down from management.  Now, I know it’s Christmas Eve, but the boss forgot to set his out of office before leaving for Cabo, and it’s our job to get it updated before his wife figures out where he is.”


“Doctor’s In” Time

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(1).  A few hours during a product sales rep’s visit to your office where your staff members can drop in to ask questions that can easily be answered by just reading the FAQs.


“Hey, thanks for making the trip up here, Tom.  So, we have you presenting to the office around 10, then scheduled some ‘doctor’s in’ time before your lunch meeting with Joe and Karl.  Since we decided not to provide them any training on the new system, our people have a lot of questions for you!”


Soft Block

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(1).  Something you build into the system to warn those morons in the business that they are about to bring down the company by punching the wrong keys.


“Oh, don’t worry about that … we’ve put a soft block with a dialogue box before letting you change those kinds of account parameters.  Because, you know, everyone reads pop-up dialogue boxes.”


Hard Block

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(1).  Something you build into the system to prevent those morons in the business from bringing down the company by punching the wrong keys.


“Oh, don’t worry about that … we’ve put a hard block on changing those kinds of account parameters.  Just make sure your people don’t try to hit the ‘any’ key.”


Catch-All Provision

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(1).  A vague term at the end of a contract that seems to obligate everybody to virtually everything they can think of.


“Yeah, so … blah, blah, blah … acts of God … blah, blah, blah … full indemnity … catch-all provision at the end … here’s a pen.”


Kissing Frogs

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(1).  Taking on a bunch of crummy accounts in hopes that one or two of them will turn into a good account.  Some do, most don’t.


“Look, sometimes you just have to keep kissing frogs until one of them turns into a prince!  One of these companies is bound to go public someday!  And when it does, we’ll be ready!”


Break-Glass Solution

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(1).  An emergency, last resort move that no one wants to do, but everyone would do if the alternative is fulfilling French fry orders.


“Yeah, so, it looks like the roll out of the new system didn’t work and none of our fixes … umm … fixed it.  I suppose we could turn it off and then back on again.  It’s kind of a break-glass solution, but it might work.”


Mass Affluent

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(1).  A nice way of describing clients who’re not that rich.


“Look, Jim … we’re not really targeting the mass affluent here.  We’d much rather compete with everyone else for the same 400 or so ultra-high-net-worth clients … hopefully score one or two and then retire before they inevitably get bored with us and move on.”


Baseline Suitability Obligation

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(1).  The absolute minimum you need to do to not get in trouble with the Feds.


“This sounds like it’s going to cost a lot of money to get this done.  What’s our baseline suitability obligation here?  Do we really need to have a system that works THAT good?”


Kissing Frogs

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(1).  To take in a bunch of crummy accounts, hoping one of them will eventually turn into a good account.


“No, no … we’re definitely going to have to kiss some frogs along the way, but if just one or two of them convert … now, that’s a good business!”



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(1).  Something everyone expects and no one takes.


“Hey Steve … thanks for taking ownership of this project.  Now, if you wouldn’t mind doing a little work on it as well, that would be great.”


Mental Detective Work

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(1).  Something your boss doesn’t want to have to do … ever.  So, keep it simple, stupid.


“Look, Jim … sounds like a great idea, but you really need to flesh out these requirements a bit more before we can propose this as a new project.  We can’t have our development team doing a lot of mental detective work to try to figure out what you’re driving at.”


Hand-To-Hand Combat

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(1).  When you sit down with a stockbroker to see if you can glom onto his book of business (or … ahem! … “look for potential synergies“).


“So, I went through a little hand-to-hand combat with Ken and I think we were able to identify a couple of accounts where we could be helpful.  He wants us to do it at no charge, of course, which may be a bit of a challenge.”



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(1).  Some sort of account meeting.  95% of the time involves a table that isn’t round.


“So, I had a roundtable with the guys in Accounting yesterday.  It was weird … they all kept saying ‘Ni!’.”


Props to Michael for the submission.


Huddle Meeting

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(1).  Yet another term for a team meeting, named as such to make it sound more cuddly and team building.  Really just another opportunity to throw stats and numbers at you.


“Hey guys, so we’ve got our huddle meeting in a few minutes, but wanted to give you all a preview of what we’ll be discussing.  Basically, we want revenue to go up and expenses to go down.  Hope that’ll help you frame your questions.”


Props to Michael for the submission.



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(1).  When your company moves everyone’s desks around for no apparent reason.  Result: high cost, low anything else.


“Okay, team.  Everyone needs to get ready for the re-stack this weekend.  So, before you go home today, you’re going to need to pack up all your stuff and carry it to your new desks on the 15th floor.  The company will take care of everything else.”


Profit Center

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(1).  That department where the people who make all the money work.  Click here for your department.


“So, are we a profit center or not?  The last five accounts you guys brought in were priced so low, we’re basically paying them!  No, go out there and get some clients who pay us!”


Diplomatically-Challenged Conversation

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(1).  An awkward, and ultimately heated, exchange where someone inevitably says something wildly inappropriate, often ending the conversation with a call to HR.


“Yeah, so … let’s just say it was a diplomatically-challenged conversation from start to finish.  I don’t think Mike is going to be going on any more client calls anytime soon.”


Cultural Intelligence

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(1).  The P.C. way to say “don’t giggle at your IT guy’s funny accent”.


“Guys, we really need to work on your cultural intelligence here.  You just can’t go around calling our helpdesk ‘Bollywood‘.”


Apples and Oranges

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(1).  Two things that can’t be compared … like Anchorman and the lowly Anchorman II.


“It’s apples and oranges.  We build gizmos, they build doohickies.  Totally different businesses.”


Heavy Lift

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(1).  Something “the business” needs that’s going to be difficult (read: expensive) to code.


“Yeah, we may need to include that requirement in a later release.  It’s a bit of a heavy lift for the team and might impact the project timeline.”


Next Steps

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(1).  Something you pledge to work on, something you will (probably) work on, and something you have no idea how to work on.  Good way to get off the phone, though.


“Okay, well, thanks everyone for joining the call today.  I’ll take what we discussed away and come back with next steps.”



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(1).  To send the guy you just spoke with an outline of the conversation you just had to make sure he doesn’t somehow forget what you just agreed to.


“Yeah, so I’m just going to memorialize this conversation in an email.  You know, just so we’re all on the same page about next steps.”


Keep in the Loop

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(1). To make sure you have sufficient air cover for whatever you’re working on by cc-ing everyone you can think of on your emails.


“Well, I’ve been keeping Jim in the loop on this the whole time, so he’s definitely aware of what’s going on.  Definitely.”


Warm Body

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(1).  An open position you need to fill so badly, it doesn’t really matter who you get as long as you get them in soon.


“Look, with Aaron and Frank both quitting three weeks apart, we need to get a warm body in here to start punching keys ASAP.”


Off The Reservation

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(1).  To have drifted (maybe significantly) from what your colleagues may consider “normal behavior”.


“Yeah, so I think Patty may have gone off the reservation a bit on this one.  She’s been telling everyone we can get it done in two weeks.  Since I’m not exactly sure we can get it done at all, I’m a little concerned about her timeline.”



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(1).  A giant picnic table in the hallway with computer screens where about fifteen people get to enjoy listening to every, stinking word the guys on either side of him are saying all day long.


“So, this is the pod where your screen will be.  Oh, and this is Joe, Mike, Kimmie, Sarah and George.  One word of advice – I wouldn’t go talking to your doctor or girlfriend or anything here.  George is a serial tweeter.  Welcome aboard!”


Differentiating Factor

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(1).  That little something that makes you marginally better than those guys in the hallway waiting to be interviewed after you.


(2).  That little something that makes your firm marginally better than your competitors (each of which is probably being interviewed right after you).


“Well, I think our differentiating factor has to be our sharp suits.  I mean, everyone basically does the same thing, right?  We simply just look better doing it.”


In The Kill Zone

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(1).  An unnecessarily aggressive way to tell your client your market projections were on target.


“So, if you flip to page two, you’ll see that our numbers were in the kill zone for 2014.  BOO YEAH!”


Responsibility Grid

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(1).  A project manager’s list of stuff he’s delegating and the poor saps he’s delegating it to.  Somehow, he doesn’t ever seem to do anything … ?


“Okay, guys … so, I worked up a responsibility grid (thanks, Dave, for putting that together!) … Cheryl, you’ll be in charge of T & Es … Henry, you take committee meeting minutes … Frank, you’ll be dealing with the scanning remediation … and, Jim, you’ve got coffee orders.  Thanks, everyone!”


The Day After Thanksgiving

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(1).  Also referred to as “Leftover Day” and/or “Hangover Day”, the national holiday commemorating the day the Pilgrims woke up at two in the afternoon (a) under a picnic table, or (b) next to some Native American chick they didn’t even remember talking to last night.


Americans today celebrate by (a) showing up late for work, (b) not showing up for work at all, or (c) running out of an 8 a.m. meeting to throw up.


Happy Turkey Day, everyone!



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(1).  That underselling new competitor that’s going to run your little mom-and-pop operation right out of business.


“Let’s be a disruptor in the sector, that’s where we want to be.”


Props to R. James for the submission.


Negative Consent

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(1).  When you tell your client (usually in an innocuous letter they’re not going to read) you’re going to do something unless they tell you not to.  Why, you sneaky, little ….


“Yeah, go ahead and sell.  We gave them a chance to object already.  That’s negative consent, in my book.  Fire away.”



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(1).  “Policies and Procedures Manual”; or in other words, an endless document no one reads that outlines a bunch of rules no one follows.


“Okay, guys, so we’re rolling out the new PPM for check presentments this week.  I’d like everyone to read through it and let me know if you have any questions.  It’s only 247 pages, so it shouldn’t take you more than a weekend.”


Chase the Hot Dot

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(1).  To always go for the trendy, new investment of the moment.  You’ve got a long road to retirement, my hipster friend.


“So, a lot of folks out there are just chasing the hot dot, you know?  We take a much more measured approach.  Well, “measured” in terms of measuring how much we can charge!  Am I right?!  So, anyway … bless me, Father, for I have sinned ….”


Pound the Table

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(1).  To argue with (or complain to) management about something you feel passionate about (i.e. your comp).


“Look, Jerry … Pete’s just not going to sign off on a ten percent commission for this one.  You can pound the table all you want, but it’s not going to happen.”


My Hands Are Tied

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(1).  What your boss says right after your comp discussion and right before he drives home in his Maserati.


“So, there it is, Jim.  I’m sorry we couldn’t do more for you this year, but my hands are tied.  Something, something … down year … something, something … we all have to share the pain … something, somethi … hey, what’re you doing with that letter opener?”