A Man With No Country

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(1).  A term used to describe an individual who does not work for any particular department within a company.  Therefore this person is either your boss, or the first person to get fired when things go south.

 

(2).  Salesmen.

 

“Ross is a man with no country, a loner Dottie, a rebel.  He also didn’t make his quota, so please hand him this box to collect his things.”

 

ABC (Always Be Closing)

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(1).  In the sales world, ABC is an acronym for “Always Be Closing”.  Made famous by Alec Baldwin screaming at the sales team in Glengarry Glen Ross in 1992,  it is nearly impossible to avoid mentioning that first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado, second prize is a set of steak knives and third prize is “you’re fired”.

 

“A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing.  Always Be Closing.” (We would keep going here and try to insert some different names and words here to get a cheap laugh, but there are simply too many curses in this speech, and let’s face it, it’s hysterical just the way it is.  Go here for a full transcript.)

 

Absent Father

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(1).  The manager who’s never around to manage.

 

(2).  Your boss.

 

“Boy, Jim sure is an absent father these days.  He blew off his own meeting because, in his words, it was ‘too nice out’”.

 

Achieve Scale

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(1).  The mysterious art, lost since ancient times, of combining the right amount of staff and technology to efficiently and cost-effectively conduct your business.

 

“Team, we’re never going to achieve scale if we don’t make some sacrifices.  That’s why I’m cutting your salaries and laying off all of your assistants.  Okay, with that out of the way,  I just wanted to remind you that I’m going to be in St. Croix for the next couple of weeks on my new yacht.”

 

Achieving Elegance

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(1).  Bringing multiple disciplines together to build a more comprehensive and competitive offering.  In other words, making your website slightly nicer-looking at tremendous cost.

 

“People, we want to focus on achieving elegance in the way we market our services.  I want at least one idea from everyone in this room on how we can do this.  Everyone except Greg.”

 

Props to Denise M. for the submission.

 

Action

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(1).  To prioritize (and possibly even work on) a task (see action item).  The term is usually used when reassuring your boss that whatever they’re talking about is at the top of your list of things to do.

 

“Sure, boss, I’ll action that mail merge project for first thing in the morning.  Right after I figure out how to do a mail merge…”

 

Action Item

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(1).  A task yet to be completed.  The term is usually used to suggest the task’s completion is a high priority (see sense of urgency), when in actuality, it can likely be completed at any time.

 

“Alright everybody, we’ve got a lot of action items to move on for this client before our next meeting.”

 

Actioning

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(1).  To allegedly focus on an assigned task (or, at least, to tell your boss you’re focusing on an assigned task).

 

“Oh…hi, Tim…yep, we’re actioning that budget analysis right now.  That noise in the background that sounds like a bar?  No, that’s just CNBC on the TV…”

 

Active Listening

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(1). The art of pinpointing the important points your client is trying to get across (unlike most of us, who just wait for them to stop talking so we can say whatever we think they want to hear).

 

“You’re doing a good job, Rick, but I think you need to do a little more active listening during client meetings.  We really can’t be saying ‘sounds good’ after a client tells us his wife just died…”

 

Add Value

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(1).  To justify one’s involvement in a certain matter or project.

 

(2).  A term used in response to meeting requests in an attempt to politely suggest that you do not wish to attend.

 

“Thanks for including me in Friday afternoon’s meeting about the office’s new water cooler, Mike.  But, I don’t think my participation will add value.”

 

Administrative Professionals’ Day

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(1).  The annual festival where the streets are paved with Starbucks gift cards.

 

“Hey, Paul … how much are you putting in for the Administrative Professionals’ Day gift?  …  it’s Secretaries’ Day … so, twenty bucks, right?”

 

Adorable

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(1).  In real estate listings, a house that is way too small for you and your seven kids to live in.

 

“I think you’re just going to love this next one!  It’s an adorable three-bedroom cape right on a quiet, little corner lot.  Those lights?  Oh, it’s just the 7-Eleven parking lot.  Don’t worry, almost no one ever tries to jump the fence.”

 

Adult in the Room

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(1).  A way for compliance, operations and/or legal department employees to put a positive spin on their role in losing a piece of business.

 

“Well, someone had to be the adult in the room here!  I mean, just because they have millions of dollars in potential business doesn’t justify giving them more than one toaster for opening their account with us!”

 

Agent of Change

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(1).  Someone your company hires to “modernize” its business practices and operations.  This person is generally loved by management and universally loathed by staff.

 

“Well, congratulations on your new role, Donna.  I hear you’re going to be an agent of change over there, with all of the new procedures you’re implementing.  I wouldn’t expect too many fruit baskets at Christmas this year, though.”

 

Props to D. M. for the submission.

 

Aggressive

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(1).  To be a little too ambitious or solicitous, usually when trying to land a new client (see prospect).

 

“Umm, Nick…isn’t saying we’re able to handle over 200,000 transactions a day a bit aggressive?  I mean, it’s just you and me here and you can barely type.”

 

Aha! Moment

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(1).  The instant at which your boss realizes the wisdom of what you’re telling him, followed shortly thereafter by the instant when he decides to take credit for it himself.

 

“I think Dan had a bit of an Aha! moment during our call today after Tom pointed out that promoting your secretary to vice president in exchange for sex is generally frowned upon by our regulators.”

 

Air Cover

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(1).  A military-inspired term describing techniques for ensuring the consequences of one’s actions fall on one’s boss or other senior manager (see CYA).

 

“The Greenberg account is about to fall through.  Let’s make sure to mention Scott’s part in this to provide some air cover for our department.”

 

Align

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(1).  A synonym for making sure everyone is on the same page.

 

“This a great idea, Steve.  We should set up a conference call with Tech, though, just to make sure the commercials for this project align.”

 

Props to Daniella for the submission.

 

All Americans

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(1).  The narrow slice of Americans a candidate is hoping to win over with a proposal.

 

“I care for all Americans!  And that’s why, if elected, I will guarantee income tax subsidies for producers of corn-based bicycle seat cushions right here in my home state of Illinois!”

 

Props to Terry D. for the submission.

 

All Over It

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(1).  A claim made when your boss asks for the status of a project you totally forgot about.  See on top of it.

 

“The Grossman account?  I’m all over it, boss.  Should have it all wrapped up soon.”

 

All the Way to Bright

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(1).  A bright spot that’s not ready for prime time, and needs further development to be duplicated elsewhere.

 

“Really love the new macro, Nick…unfortunately, I think you need to make a few tweaks to get this all the way to bright.”

 

Props to David P. for the submission.

 

Allergy

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(1).  Something a company seems to develop when faced with the possibility of trying something new or spending money on something that will benefit its employees.

 

“Management seems to have an allergy to upgrading to Windows ME.  Don’t you think it’s about time…?”

 

Always On

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(1).  A way for a self-promoting, over-caffeinated worker to make others believe he works way more hours than they do.

 

“Are you serious?  I may leave an hour earlier than you guys, but I’m always on.”

 

Analysis Paralysis

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(1).  An alliterative term describing the cessation of progress on a project due to over-thinking and endless discussion.

 

“Boy, this is the seventh conference call we’ve had this week on this!  Have you ever seen more analysis paralysis in your life?!”

 

Ankle Doctor

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(1).  A specialist … well … someone who believes he’s a specialist.  Really, just a guy who only knows how to do one thing.

 

“Look, we’re ankle doctors here.  We sell RV insurance.  That’s it.”

 

Anticipate Excellence

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(1).  A term used by senior management during an internal brain-washing session (see drink the Kool-Aid) to suggest something is voluntary, when it is, in fact, mandatory.

 

“Team, the company volunteer program is taking place next Thursday.  While no one is required to participate, we anticipate excellence from each and every one of you.  Performance reviews will be held the following Monday.”

 

Appetite

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(1).  The inclination of management to support a certain project, usually involving the allocation of firm resources (a.k.a. money).

 

“Look, guys.  There just isn’t an appetite right now for a new company car.  I’m sorry, Shaggy, but you’ll just have to make do with the current Mystery Machine for now.”

 

Props to Paul A. for the submission.

 

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.”

 

Apples-To-Apples

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(1).  A kindergarten-style way to suggest that two concepts or items being compared are not able to be compared.  The term is often used as a polite way to suggest that the presenter needs to re-do their work.

 

“Sorry Tom, I just don’t think comparing your work on switching us to FedEx to the moon landing is an apples-to-apples analysis.”

 

ASAP

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(1).  Acronym for “as soon as possible” often used to impart a sense of urgencyIn an effort to appear even shorter on time (and really important), many workers pronounce the acronym as an actual word.

 

“Hey Jeff, sorry to do this but I totally forgot Jonathan was coming in today so I am going to need those mock-ups ASAP.”

 

Ask

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(1).  A request to management for the funding of a project (usually some kind of technology enhancement), which is somehow always just not able to be squeezed into the budget this year.

 

“Sure, $5,000 for new printers is a huge ask, but we’re running out of dot matrix paper and eBay’s tapped out!”

 

Astroturfing

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(1).  The creation of an artificial political movement by a corporation or special interest group designed to look like an actual “grass roots” movement.

 

“Occupy Wall Street?  That was just a clever bit of astroturfing by Moveon.org.  Unlike the Tea Party, which is totally legit…”

 

Auditors

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(1).  The people who go out on the battlefield after the war is lost, and bayonet the wounded.

 

“Okay, team…it sounds like we’ve got the auditors coming in August 1st.  Just remember, their job is to find the tiniest, most insignificant thing wrong with the way you do your jobs and then treat it like it put the whole company at risk.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!”

 

Props to Alison A. for the submission.

 

Automagically

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(1).  A totally lame tech-sales way to describe straight-through processing … whatever that is.

 

“So, all you have to do is click ‘send’ and the email automagically is sent to the address you typed in!  Automagically!”

 

Props to Denise M. for the submission.