Calculus

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(1).  A term used to explain to management how difficult it was to accomplish a particular task or transaction and that their input is neither appreciated nor wanted.

 

“The calculus of the deal is such that, we risk losing the entire contract if we hold out for a soda machine.”

 

Props to Jared P. for the submission.

 

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Can of Worms

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(1).  Something you always end up opening just by asking a simple question.  I mean, how were you supposed to know that Rick’s wife wore an eye patch?  You didn’t even know Rick was married!

 

“Look, Steve … I don’t want to open up a can of worms here, but shouldn’t we be paying taxes on the money we’re making?”

 

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Can’t Catch A Falling Sword

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(1). A hokey, colloquial phrase intended to dissuade clients from selling out of a declining investment due to short-term market fluctuations.  Clients are often puzzled as to the phrase’s meaning, leading them to take no action, which was, of course, the speaker’s intent.

 

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Can’t Fax A Handshake

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(1). A term used by upper management to politely tell an employee that they don’t give their clients enough face time, and how disappointed they are with them about it.

 

“Well Scott, you should consider going into the city and taking the client out to lunch.  You know, you can’t fax a handshake!  Seriously though, go take them out to lunch.”

 

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Capacity

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(1).  n.  The workload of an employee or team, which is always too much for them to handle, even when it is less than the previous time they complained about it.

 

(2).  adj.  A term used by an employee or team to indicate that their workload is too high and too much for them to handle, even when it is less than the previous time they complained about it.

 

“Listen guys, I am soooo over capacity here, there is no way I am going to get to everything this client needs.  I mean, who’s going to plan karaoke night if I don’t?  Bill’s not gonna do it!  He’s already covering me so I can plan karaoke night!”

 

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Carbon-Based Error

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(1).  A human error or screw-up.

 

“Hi, this is the Helpdesk.  Frozen Outlook, eh?  Sounds like a carbon-based error to me.  Just turn it off and back on again and you should be fine.”

 

Props to Eileen R. for the submission.

 

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Care and Feeding

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(1).  Ongoing client relationship management.  The term is generally used to describe the absolute smallest amount of work you think you can do to avoid the client firing you.

 

“Now that the client’s accounts are all in and invested, it should really just be down to basic care and feeding at this point.  As I always say – Get ‘em in, get ‘em invested, then see you in January!”

 

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Case Study

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(1).  An unnecessary (but so necessary) document a company uses to tout previous accomplishments and put stars in the eyes on new prospects so that they hire them.  Usually they are only created around well-known brands, because nobody cares that you helped that company down the hall do great…what do those guys do again?  Something with David Bowie memorabilia right?

 

“We’d like to show you a case study that we did for a company that sells David Bowie memorabilia.  Wait a minute, Mike!  I told you to make a case study for the Chloé site, not the David Bowie site!  When we get back to the office we’re gonna be making some ch ch ch changes!”

 

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Catch Up Live

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(1).  A suggestion made over email intended to indicate that something should not be discussed over email.

 

“Let’s catch up live when you have a moment to discuss the issue with the Smith account.”

 

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Center of Excellence

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(1).  Somewhere hot and humid where labor costs are more than reasonable.

 

“That’s right…we’ve just recently expanded our center of excellence in Bangalore.  Now we have even more “Steve from Dallas”-es ready to tell all of our customers to turn their computers off and then back on again!”

 

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Centers of Influence

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(1).  People who usually have more direct access to potential clients than you do (usually a bunch of obnoxious lawyers or accountants who love getting free stuff from banks).

 

“We’re going to be focusing our outreach efforts this year on local centers of influence.  That means we’re going to need a larger budget for tote bags, pens and the occasional day planner.”

 

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Central Casting

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(1).  Where guys in blue shirts with white collars come from.

 

“Boy, did you see that guy who just interviewed with us?  Right out of central casting!  There must’ve been a sale at Brooks Brothers yesterday or something!”

 

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Changing Behaviors

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(1).  Something every new manager thinks they can do, when in reality they are the only ones who end up changing.

 

“I see part of my new role as changing behaviors around here.  From now on, everyone needs to be at their desk by 8 o’clock.  Well, not everyone…not me, anyway….”

 

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Circle the Wagons

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(1).  A Western-inspired term that makes an emergency meeting between team members when an account goes into crisis mode, feel like an unfortunate run-through of Oregon Trail.  Which is pretty much every run-through of that game.

 

“We need to circle the wagons on the Silverstein account, it may have just died of dysentery.”

 

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Client Engagement

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(1).  A fancy way to say “talking to customers”, used by consultants to push some new seminar your bosses think will make you more personable or something.

 

“Okay team, I want you to welcome Mitch here who’s going to be talking to us about maximizing client engagement.  Please give Mitch your full attention for the next three hours as he explains his system for making the most of your client meetings.  I’ll be available by Blackberry if anyone needs me … have a nice weekend!”

 

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Client Experience

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(1).  Something everyone talks about, but very few care about.

 

“Don’t you think sending out a 350-page disclaimer may result in a bad client experience?  Anyone?”

 

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Client Experience Issue

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(1). A way for a salesperson to try to weasel out of following some compliance rule by appealing to everyone’s desire to not lose a client.

 

“I hear you, Barbara…the SEC requires this disclosure…blah, blah, blah…but, seriously, this is going to be a big client experience issue for us, so can’t we just hold off until after the account comes in to send it out?”

 

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Client Onboarding

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(1).  What they used to just call “account opening”.  It’s still just “account opening”.

 

“So, I reached out to our client onboarding team today to see when we should expect the account to be open.  They asked us for a few missing things, which I was hoping you could get from the client.  Let’s see: birth certificate … mother’s maiden name … and … umm … urine sample.  That should do it.  Thanks a bunch!”

 

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Client-Driven

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(1).  An excuse made by employees to management or other co-workers for a seemingly ridiculous or blatantly time-wasting request or project.

 

“Okay team, we need to run a full analysis of every transaction in the Smith account since 2002.  This is a client-driven request, so let’s roll up our sleeves and bang this out as quickly as possible.”

 

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Client-Facing

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(1).  An employee who deals with customers regularly.  While usually the highest paid employees, these guys really try to do as little actual work as possible so they can spend more time sleeping with their way-hotter interns.

 

“Well, I don’t care what you heard.  I didn’t want to be client-facing anymore.  Not enough challenge.  I felt my skills would be better suited to the letter management department.  Luckily, my bosses agreed.”

 

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Close the Loop

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(1).  An idiom that is used when an email is sent to a group of people solely for the purpose of confirming something is complete (so you can all get off my case about it already!).

 

“Hi everyone – Just to close the loop on this, the wire went out today, so we should be all set.  Great job getting this done for his Royal Highness, the Prince of Nigeria, so quickly.  I can’t believe we were holding all of his money in someone else’s account all this time!”

 

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Color Inside The Lines

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(1).  To be careful in your work.  You, I’m looking at you.

 

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with Michelle.  She’s been working here for three years and still can’t seem to be able to color inside the lines on anything!  I think it may be time to find a new Michelle.”

 

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Connect

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(1).  To call or email someone, usually with the intent of asking for something, but rarely just to say hello (see reach out).

 

“Hey Bill, just wanted to connect with you about that proposal that’s due later today.  Yea the email I sent a few minutes before I called was just to make sure you got the message.”

 

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Consider Me Swiss On This

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(1).  A cop-out used by chronically impartial employees and/or managers so that they can remain comfortably in the middle of an argument.

 

“Sorry guys, but you’re going to have to consider me Swiss on this issue.  I just can’t say that investing the rest of our company’s bailout money in Spanish doubloons is a good or bad idea.  On the one hand it’s a risky investment, on the other hand that guy from Pawn Stars is always in the market for doubloons and seems to have an endless supply of cash.

 

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Cool Uncle

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(1).  When a third party is called in (usually your friend) to say the same exact thing you are saying to a long-standing client who no longer trusts your opinion.

 

“Hey Paul, I’ve hit a wall with one of my clients and I’m going to need you to be the cool uncle for me.  Can you write me an email saying that you think it’s a great idea to shut down the website for 30 days to build some mystery around the brand?  I think it’s a home run!

 

Props to Stephan B. for the submission!

 

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Core Competency

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(1).  An essential skill or expertise, often found not to be possessed by that guy you hired a couple of weeks ago.

 

“So, Brad…I’m not sure math is one of your core competencies.  You might want to start considering other options.  You know, not with us here at KPMG.”

 

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Corporate Citizen

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(1).  Something your company claims to be after paying someone to plant a few trees in Paraguay, despite the fact that they continue to dump gallons of caustic chemicals into the canal behind that plant of theirs in New Jersey.

 

“As you all know, we strive to be a good corporate citizen, which is why we are requiring all of you to commute to work in Chevy Volts.  I, of course, will continue to commute in my G IV.”

 

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Corporate Jargon

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(1).  Terms those guys in your IT department keep using over and over again.

 

“What the hell was Ron even saying on that call?  He was just babbling a bunch of corporate jargon.  I’m not even sure what language he was speaking!”

 

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Cost Center

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(1).  A department which doesn’t produce any revenue … you know, like the one 90% of you work in.

 

“So, we all know it’s been a tough year.  The good news is that layoffs are going to be focused in the cost centers … as always!  Now, give each other a high five and let’s go sell some bonds!”

 

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Credentialize

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(1).  To take expensive and time-consuming exams and classes (see credentializer) in order to add impressive-sounding letters after your name on your resume.

 

“You’ve got to credentialize that resume, Tom.  I mean, look at me.  I’ve got my CFP, CLU, CTFA, ChFC, AIAF and Series 7, 63 and 24 licenses.  Where did I go to college?  Well…that was a long time ago…umm…”

 

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Credentializer

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(1).  An exam or class taken in order to get some neat-sounding letters after your name.

 

“So I’m taking my 5th credentializer next week.  They don’t make business cards wide enough for me!”

 

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Crisis Mode

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(1).  A term used to indicate that you or your team are much too busy to respond to any additional requests (when you are acutally enjoying a liquid lunch in a bar down the street).

 

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Critical Mass

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(1).  A term used in an attempt to compare the results of a marketing effort to a nuclear event.  It’s not, by the way, a nuclear event … it’s not even going to be mentioned at next month’s town hall meeting.  Worth it!

 

“Well, I think we’ve achieved critical mass at this point so we can move on to the next stage … did somebody say ‘roadshow‘?!”

 

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Cross Party Lines

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(1).  When a Congressman votes with the opposing party, thereby generally spelling the end to his or her career.

 

“I crossed party lines on this issue and we got it done for the American people.  Enjoy your new federally-issued, GPS-tracking implants, America!”

 

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Cross Training

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(1).  A term used by companies to trick employees into doing two or more jobs for no extra pay.

 

(2).  A ruse companies use to give employees a sense that they are adding value to their resumes by learning a new skill when in actuality they are filling in for an employee who just quit until a replacement can be found.

 

“Hey Pat, now that Justin is gone we think it would be a great time for you be sit in on some cross-training sessions for paid search. The more you learn the better, right?”

 

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Cross-Pollination

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(1).  A sexually-charged euphemism for forcing employees to plug their company’s other products or services to their existing clients.

 

“Team, for the coming fiscal year, we are going to be focusing on the cross-pollination of the firm’s other products.  So, get out there and make sure your clients are all opening new checking accounts!  Toasters for all!”

 

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Cry Wolf

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(1).  To habitually create a crisis where none truly exists.

 

“What?  Lou said we have a huge accounting error in our quarterly earnings report?  I’m sure it’s fine.  Lou just likes to cry wolf to bring attention to himself.”

 

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Crystal Ball Analysis

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(1).  A term used when trying to deflect a client’s request for your opinion on the future of the economy or, even worse, his investment performance.

 

“Look, Brenda, I don’t want to give you some kind of crystal ball analysis about what’s going to happen two, three years from now.  What I can tell you is that your overall portfolio could’ve done a lot worse considering all the Facebook stock we bought!”

 

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Cultural Evolution

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(1).  The attempt by management to institute changes to a company’s infrastructure in order to rejuvenate their dying and obsolete business (i.e. layoffs and store closings).

 

“Team, as you know, with changes in technology, the spending habits of our customers are shifting.  In response to these changing times, our company is undergoing a cultural evolution.  Corporate has asked all of us to attend an offsite next week, so they can roll out their new list of ‘Core Beliefs’.  Oh, not you, Joe…would you mind coming to my office after this meeting…?”

 

Props to Alex for the submission.

 

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CYA

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(1).  In most industries, an acronym for “cover your ass”.  The term is most often used when describing an email or voicemail sent to your boss about some problem before anyone else beats you to it (see post).

 

“You should send Tim an email about this right now, Joe.  Just as a CYA.  Better he hear it from you before anyone else…”

 

(2).  In accounting, an acronym for “call your accountant”.  The term is usually used after receiving some kind of letter from the IRS.

 

“I would CYA on this, Ken.  It says you haven’t filed a return since 1987.  I know you’re backing Ron Paul for president, but…”

 

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Kleenex Issue

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(1).  When your product or service becomes synonymous with it’s function. (i.e. Kleenex is a brand of tissue, not the tissue itself, and Google is a search engine, yet people use the brand name as the actual action of searching.  See, now you get it, and if you don’t and are upset about not getting it, then grab a Kleenex and go Google it, lady).

 

“You see Ted, your problem is that you have somewhat of a Kleenex issue on your hands.  On one hand, everyone knows your product and brand, on the other, nobody can differentiate between the two and your competitors use both in all of their marketing material.  Guess that patent idea I gave you 10 years back makes a whole lot of sense now, doesn’t it Ted?”

 

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