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.”


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’”.



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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.”



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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.”


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.


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.”


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.”



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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.”



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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.”


Back of the Napkin

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(1).  A colloquial expression used to indicate that the analysis you are about to provide was completed very quickly, with little forethought, and will likely prove to be incorrect.


“This is totally back of the napkin, but I think we can increase your sales 300% this year.”


Bait and Switch

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(1).  The deceptive practice of enticing a new customer with empty promises (read: low fees) only to spring the real deal on them after it’s too late for them to back out.


“What is this, some kind of bait and switch?  You’re sign says ‘All You Can Eat’ and, goddamnit, I want more shrimp!”


Baked In

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(1).  A cooking-inspired term that is used to compare low-cost services that are included in a contract at no extra cost (wink wink), to a bundt cake.


(2).  Miscellaneous line-items included in a contract to make the client feel good about paying you more than they want to.


“The technology fee and set-up fee are baked in to the contract.  I have no idea what those are but we have to put something in there to justify our fee.”


Baptism By Fire

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(1).  Overwhelming new employees by not having a game plan for training and just throwing them into meetings and projects.


“Glad to have you on the team, Megan.  Well, I’m out for the next couple of weeks, so I guess it’ll be a bit of a baptism by fire for you.  The manual is on that pile on my desk, I think.  Good luck!”


Props to Lara for the submission.


Be Additive

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(1).  A term used to describe one’s involvement in a certain matter or project, usually as a way to suggest someone else’s involvement would be unnecessary or undesirable.


“I’m not sure Mike’s 50-slide presentation on our office’s battery-recycling program would be additive to the board meeting.”


Behind the Eight Ball

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(1).  To be under intense pressure.


“Dude, Mike is really behind the eight ball this week.  He’s got three client meetings, two presentations and a date with the hot chick in Accounting who thinks he’s the V.P. in charge of Marketing…which he’s not.”


Belt and Suspenders

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(1).  To do way more than you need to do to make sure your a** is covered from every angle you can think of.


“Well, it may seem like a lot, but we really want to take a belt and suspenders approach to this issue.”



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(1).  Unnecessarily customized.  Like iPhone cases.


“I just can’t believe we can’t figure out how to provide annual fee summaries in some kind of automated fashion, Don.  Having your team create some kind of bespoke document for every account is lunacy.  Can you see if the Tech guys have some kind of solution here?  I’m going to let Jim know I’m on top of this, in the meantime.  Thanks a bunch.”


Best Efforts

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(1).  A caveat added to a promise to complete a task requested after a known or stated deadline, often used by operations to pre-emptively excuse the fact that they have absolutely no intention of completing the annoyingly last-minute request in the first place.


“Well, given that it’s 4:30 on a Friday, running a report of all your transactions since 1996 by the end of the week is going to be on a best efforts basis…”


Best in Class

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(1).  A self-promoting way to describe a firm’s customer service or products, meant to imply that the firm is number one in the industry (a claim for which there is likely no basis and is highly disclaimed in the fine print at the back of the promotional material).


“Team, we’re rolling out our new value proposition to reaffirm to the world our best in class status in the industry.”


Bio Buddy

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(1).  That guy who you always see in the office bathroom who (I guess) drinks coffee at roughly the same pace as you do.


“So, I saw my bio buddy again today.  I’ve got to say, I really would prefer that he leave his Blackberry on his desk.  It’s just gross, man.”



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(1).  A method of passing legislation by agreement of both political parties.  It is usually used to describe legislation which has failed to pass at all.


“We have appointed a bipartisan sub-committee to review the findings of the bipartisan special commitee on the actions of the bipartisan standing committee appointed by Congress in a bipartisan manner to investigate allegations that the bipartisan sub-committee manipulated their findings for partisan purposes.”


Black Hat

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(1).  Shady Internet optimization practices usually performed by nondescript people in Russia, India, Romania, Slovenia, etc….really any country that ends in “ia” applies here.


(2).  Manipulating search engine results by obtaining links from porn sites and gambling sites…or porn sites you can gamble on.


Black hat, white hat…is all the same as long as you get page one of Google result pages.  Have you been on the Ebay lately?  I see missile silo for sale, crazy things!  I update on the Facebook now!


Blue Ribbon

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(1).  A way to make it sound like the members of your team are all winners, and that, by hiring you guys, the client will be a winner, too.


“Our blue ribbon team of experienced professionals will make sure you are receiving the highest level of attention and service every day.”


Bogey Golf

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(1). A golf reference used to describe piss poor performance on any particular dealing with a client.


“That was really bogey golf right there Scott.  You left the flash drive with the presentation on it in your car, you wore a Spuds MacKenzie tie and to top it all off you didn’t even offer them a Fresca.  Everyone loves Fresca!”



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(1).  An acronym for Buy One, Get One.


(2).  In retail, a term used to describe a sale that lures naive customers into buying surplus, out of season products they will never use, by offering them 2 of these items for the same price.


“Hey Steve, did you see that BOGO sale going on over at Dick’s Sporting Goods?  I know it’s May and the season just ended, but I think I am totally going to get into snowboarding next year!  And if I buy one pair of snow pants, I get a second pair for free!  How can I go wrong?



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(1).  All of that “standard” mumbo jumbo lawyers stick into contracts and other legal documents, usually without thought and often with negative consequences.


“Okay, so Frank, you agree that if you and Rachel get divorced, you need to pay her blah, blah, blah … then blah, blah, blah … you can just skip past pages 3 through 78, it’s all just a bunch of boilerplate legal stuff.  If you could just sign on page 79, we can still make our reservation at Le Bernardin.”


Bomb Thrower

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(1).  Someone who always asks some embarrassing “gotcha” question just before a decision’s about to be made.


“So, we had the prospect on the ropes, ready to sign us up, and his lousy, bomb thrower consultant asks us to walk him through how we pass along our costs to customers.  I have no freakin’ idea how we do that!  I’m a salesman, not a goddamned accountant!”


Bread and Butter

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(1).  A term used to describe a low-margin business unit (see keep the lights on) which will never, ever be a major profit center, resulting in mediocre pay for its staff, further resulting in mediocre staff.


“Urinal-mint manufacturing is a bread and butter business, people.  We may not be flashy, but we’ll always be able to say that business doesn’t stink.”


Bricks and Mortar

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(1).  To have an actual office in another location (Psst!  It’s just a broom closet with a phone!), allowing the company to advertise a local presence (see boots on the ground) when, in fact, there is none.


“We want to start looking into expansion into that Appalachian Outlaws place on TV.  Now, we’re going to need bricks and mortar down there, so…Steve!  Congratulations!  You’re our new Regional Director!  Now, go get packed!”


Bright Spots

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(1).  Cool stuff somebody other than you did (see best practices).


“Some of the bright spots from this year came from our billing department, so kudos to them.  That new practice of getting invoices out with the correct mailing addresses really helped our bottom line.”


Props to David P. for the submission.


Business Of People

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(1).  Something you can use as an excuse when someone majorly screws up. (see also: Carbon-Based Error)


“Listen Mike, I understand you’re upset, but you have to understand that we’re a business of people.  “Sandy deleted the database”, “Sandy cost me tens of thousands of dollars”, tomato tomato…these things happen.  Cream?  Ok, no cream.”



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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!”


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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(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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(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.”


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!”


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‘?!”


Dead Fish

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(1).  A term describing a type of handshake that can best be compared to holding a dead trout and shaking it about awkwardly.


“Did that guy just slip you the dead fish?  It was like try to grab a live salmon.  I tried to reel it in, but he just wasn’t having it.”



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(1).  Someone who is a little bit behind the technological times, like Bill from accounting.  He can never understand why The Home Depot “follows” him around the internet, and is flabbergasted every time he accidentally hits the SIRI button on his iPhone his kids got him for Christmas and is asked how it can help him.  Oh Bill, bless his heart.


(2).  If “The Google” got you to this page, then you are a dinosaur.


(3).  If Bing got you to this page, then you are a dinosaur.


“So get this kids, I opened up the Internet Explorer and Binged how to properly stain a deck like you told me, and wouldn’t ya know it, a video popped up and played right in front of me.  Didn’t have to pay a nickel for it, amazing!  Dinosaur no more, am I right?!”


Done Done

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(1).  Completed to the point that it no longer requires discussion, or in other words, 100% completed.


“Thanks for your feedback here, Mike, but this presentation is done done at this point, so next time you might want to respond to my request for comments a little quicker than three months later.”


Props to Josh B. for the submission.


Doom And Gloom

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(1).  When things aren’t going great for your company, this term starts to pop up in every meeting and water cooler conversation to liken the often not so bad situation to the coming apocalypse.


“Well folks the reports coming down from the mothership are all doom and gloom.  Sales and revenue may be at a comfortable level, but it sounds like the company retreat is going to be in Tampa this year.  Tampa!  Can you guys believe it?  Hard times.”


(2).  A term used to describe the curmudgeonly HR director’s attitude when things aren’t going well for the company.


“I can’t even talk to Lynne when she is like this, it’s all doom and gloom with her!  I mean, the bagel guy said he was only going to be on vacation for a week!”



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(1). Fishing term used to describe unknown issues that may arise as a result of a system change, often occuring in other, related systems.  The term is often used by IT as a catch-all excuse for avoiding making any improvement to the current system.



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(1).  Mysterious secrets known only to business consultants which are intended to make a company operate in a more proficient and cost-effective manner (see achieve scale).  Usually referenced by project managers to indicate to their superiors that they are adding value, when in reality, they are simply maintaining an endless “to do” list.


“Look, Tim, my job here is to find efficiencies that will make us a better business.  Now, if you don’t mind, I have to get back to re-writing our coffee break policies and procedures.”


Empty Suit

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(1).  Any corporate executive, financial advisor, lawyer or accountant who adds no substance to any situation and are usually present for the purpose of (1) running up fees, or (2) making the client feel important.


“Okay guys, Dave and I will be running the meeting.  Steve, you and Sean are just some empty suits in the room to make the team look bigger.  Sell it!”



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(1). A term that compares the final stages of a project, to the fight to the death between Jacob Kell and Duncan MacLeod in Highlander.


“Well I don’t get it Vito, what’s their endgame here?  Do they want to be the best dog grooming truck on the market or don’t they?  There can be only one!”


Every Finger And Toe Is In The Dike

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(1). A ridiculous term that compares resources being spread too thin, to a human trying to plug a dam that is structurally unsound with their extremities.


“Sorry guys, we just don’t have the bandwidth to pull this damn (pun!) project off.  Every finger and toe is in the dike at the moment.”


props to Sean C. & Jeff L. for the submission.