(1). How douchebags end all of their emails.
“Hey Tim, I know it’s almost 5, but do you think you could pop by? I need you to get something out the door before you leave. Thanks…“
(1). How douchebags end all of their emails.
“Hey Tim, I know it’s almost 5, but do you think you could pop by? I need you to get something out the door before you leave. Thanks…“
(1). An unnecessarily long and painful process requiring co-workers to “anonymously” highlight each other’s shortcomings to management. While many people graciously decline to say anything too damaging, some use the review as an opportunity to settle personal scores or to climb the corporate ladder in the traditional way (i.e. by crushing their co-workers).
“Okay, team. It’s time for 360 reviews again. You need to ask at least 10 people and, remember, I don’t really read these things, so feel free to say anything you like.”
(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.
“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.”
(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’”.
(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.”
(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…”
(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.”
(1). A term used to describe data taken from Google Analytics, Omniture or some other reporting platform, that can be used to create busy work.
“Hey Steve, can we extract some actionable data from Google Analytics to create some deliverables for the client?”
Props to Ross G. for the submission.
(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…”
(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…”
(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.”
(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!”
(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.
(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.”
(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.”
(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.”
(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.
(1). A command to staff by senior managers to mobilize.
“This is the largest project that has ever come through the doors so we are all hands on deck until further notice.”
(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.
(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…?”
(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.”
(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.”
(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.”
(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.
(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.”
(1). Acronym for “as soon as possible” often used to impart a sense of urgency. In 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.”
(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!”
(1). Another way to say “when all is said and done” or “in the end”.
“At the end of the day, what really matters is that I have taken ownership of this project.”
Props to T-Bone for the submission.
(1). To take away all but one option, usually resulting in someone lashing out publicly at work (bad) or simply getting drunk after work and lashing out publicly then (worse).
“So, I feel kinda bad, but I totally backed Josh into a corner today on the Hendrickson account. He just wouldn’t do what I wanted, so I just looped in the client and asked him again. It worked, but I don’t think I’m getting invited to his summer barbecue anytime soon.”
(1). See back of the napkin.
“This is just back of the envelope, but I think we can get this done for only a couple thousand bucks. Wait, you’d like to see our rate sheet? Gotta go!”
(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.”
(1). A stupid word used in place of “history”.
“Hey Mike, why don’t you give him the back story on the Collins deal?”
Props to Lisa for the submission.
(1). To gradually change your opinion after receiving a negative response (see push back) from either your boss, your client or someone in Legal.
“Mike said we should price this account at fifty bips with no discounts, but now he’s backpedaling on that after the client threatened to call his golfing buddy the CEO.”
(1). A series of empty promises made to a prospective client, designed to entice them to hire your firm.
“I hear what you’re saying, Al, but we can’t just sell these people a bag of goods and then have them find out we can deliver on about 2% of what we promised! What are we, iPhones?!”
(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!”
(1). To include (but not necessarily disclose) certain information (usually fees) in a presentation or report.
“So, love the proposal, Ron. Let me ask you a question … I’m not seeing your commission on this anywhere … am I missing something or is that already baked into these numbers?
(1). The day when that obnoxious prospect schedules presentations from several firms for their business. The main purpose of the bake sale is to reinforce the prospect’s own sense of self-worth (oh, and also to waste all of your time since he already hired his brother-in-law’s firm to do the work).
“Well, I think there’s, like, two other firms pitching for this business today. The good news is I got us the last time slot, so I feel pretty good about our chances. You always want to be the last thing they eat at the bake sale, ’cause that’s the only thing they’re going to remember!”
(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.”
(1). An expression used to imply that you have a lot of things you are working on right now (see juggling), often to indicate to someone that you are going to refuse whatever assignment you are about to be given.
“Sorry Ross, I don’t think I have time to help out on that, I have a lot of balls in the air right now….and no, that’s not what she said.”
(1). Yet another way to tell someone you aren’t going to do any more work than you absolutely have to.
“Sorry, Ned…I just don’t have the bandwidth right now to take on any more accounts. Hey, I’ve got an idea, why don’t you start working a 40-hour week? That might do it!”
(1). A hip way of saying you’re going to half-a** an assignment just to get it done.
“Don’t worry about the Siegel presentation, Jim. I can bang it out tonight and get it to you by tomorrow morning.”
(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.
(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.”
(1). A preliminary set of sales meetings where the prospect forces all of the different firms to perform their dog-and-pony show one after another, all in the same day.
“Yeah, so we’ve got a meeting with a prospect today at 1. I think it’s just a beauty contest at this point. Pretty sure there are at least three other firms in the running.”
(1). To add content to a presentation or white paper. Usually suggested by those who believe length equals quality.
“Your proposal really lays out the plan perfectly, Don. But I think we should try to beef up the technical portion a bit. The boss will really enjoy wading through pages and pages of technical jargon. I just know he will!”
(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.”
(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.”
(1). A sports related term used to describe the depth of talent a company possesses, and then used again to justify bringing every single one of those people to a meeting.
“I know bringing 15 people seems a bit excessive, but I want to show that we have bench strength back at the office. I think it totally makes sense to have Kathy come! Bringing the secretary shows we’re organized in my opinion.”
(1). An unofficial procedure that a small, smug subset of employees deems better than those of their peers.
“Well, as a best practice, my team always sends each of our clients a personalized holiday card and a little tin of cookies. Our client retention rate is 0.1% better than the firm average, so it’s clearly worth it.”
(1). A term often used during long meetings as a euphemism for stopping said meeting so everyone can take a leak.
“Okay, everyone…while this presentation on which design we should use on our promotional flash drives has been riveting, it’s time for a bio break. Anyone else have to use the big boys’ room? That’s right, I call it the big boys’ room….no need for lies.”
Props to Kevin B. for the submission.
(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.”
(1). Getting back to the basics of the job.
“Look, Joe…I think it’s really great that you are writing all of these articles lately. But, I think you really need to focus on blocking and tackling for a while. When was the last time you gave any of your clients a call?”
Props to Joyce G. for the submission.
(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!”
(1). To try to do too much at once, usually resulting in total, abject and complete failure.
“I like where you’re going with this, Jim, but let’s not try to boil the ocean on our first pitch. Let’s just focus on phase one of the proposal and see where it goes.”
(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!”
(1). A conference (1) that requires travel to a hotel or resort (usually connected to a golf course), (2) whose sessions can be easily avoided, and (3) which includes multiple occasions to generously partake of the hotel bar, usually in the form of sponsored cocktail hours.
“I love these boondoggles. Nothing but golf, booze and time away from the kids. By the way, did anyone go to that ‘Ethical Financial & Banking Practices’ seminar? No? Ok good, I didn’t either. 2008 is going to be a great year!”
(1). An internal meeting (see pow wow) intended to generate ideas, which quickly devolves into (1) a complaint session about the company, (2) a general discussion on last night’s American Idol results, or (3) one employee explaining all of his or her ideas in detail while the others quietly nod and check their blackberries.
“Team, I really just want this to be a brainstorming session about the direction we want to go in this year, so please feel free to speak your minds. Okay, to start, Ed will be informing you all of the direction we are going to go in this year. Ed?”
(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.”
(1). To have an actual office in another location, often just an unstaffed closet with a phone, allowing the company to advertise a local presence (see boots on the ground) when, in fact, there is none.
(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.
(1). A day in which the lies parents tell their kids about their job are tested, with moderate to no success.
“Ok Danny, when daddy said he “worked with Derek Jeter”, he didn’t so much mean he played for the Yankees, as he cleans the locker room at Yankee Stadium.”
(1). A marketing event for which your company is too cheap to spring for food.
“So, we’re all really excited about next Tuesday’s brown bag lunch. We have a couple of speakers lined up … well, me and Jim here … and we’re hoping for a great turnout. Just remind all the people you invited that there’s a Subway across the street … *sigh* ….”
(1). A term that can be taken in two very different ways. On one hand, you are the rock star employee who works late often to better the firms footprint within your industry. On the other hand, you are that kiss-ass employee who works late often because you don’t have kids, friends, or anything worthwhile going on, which alienates your co-workers. Work is great.
Boss – “Hey Matt, great to see that even on a Friday night you’re still here working and burning the midnight oil, thanks for all your hard work.”
Everyone Else in the Office – “Matt is such a dick.”
(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.”
(1). What you’re currently doing.
“I don’t know Vito. I don’t really categorize what I do as busy work. I mean, someone has to make sure we have toner, right?”
(1). Something everyone wants to have, but no one wants to get.
“This proposal looks great, Alex, but I’d like to get some buy-in from the team before presenting it to the board. I’m sure they’ll go along with your plan to cut costs by moving everyone into cubes and getting rid of the coffee machine.”
(1). Something everyone wants to get from everybody, especially when you have no idea what you’re doing (see air cover).
“Looks good, Alex, but I’d like to get Fred’s buy-in before we send it out. I’m not sure either of us really know the downstream impact of this enhancement.”
(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.
(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?”
(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.”
(1). You can’t, you know.
“No, Henry … I want you to close this deal in person. You can’t phone a handshake. Now, get out there and sell some toilet seats!”
(1). n. The workload of an employee or team.
(2). adj. A term used by an employee or team to indicate that their workload is too high.
“Look, I am so over capacity right now there is no way I’m getting to those TPS reports anytime soon.”
(1). An unnecessary document a company uses to outline previous accomplishments with an existing client to win new business.
(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!”
(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!”
(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….”
(1). See circle back.
(1). To stop paying attention to work during the two-week period after you give notice.
(1). See revert.
(1). A Western-inspired term that makes an emergency meeting between team members when an account goes into crisis mode, feel like Oregon Trail.
“We need to circle the wagons on the Silverstein account, it may have just died of dysentery.”
(1). See check in.
(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.”
(1). To send an email 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!”
(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.”
(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.
(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!
(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.”
(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.”
(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!”
(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‘?!”
(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!”
(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…”
(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.”
(1). Having so many things to do, that you end up at the bar around the corner, having done none of them.
alt. death by a thousand paper cuts (for you pencil-pushing office rats out there)
“Dammit, Greg! This project is like death by a thousand cuts! I have so many to-do’s on my list, I don’t even know which one to do first! Arghh!” (window breaking… …thud… …)
(1). A term for a presentation or pitchbook (let’s face it, it’s a PowerPoint presentation), mainly invented to give marketing peeps a cool, new term for a presentation or pitchbook.
“Alright guys, let’s get this deck together for tomorrow’s meeting! Pat, you take care of the slides for your department. Dave and Dave, same for you. Pam can you throw together some thoughts around the analytics piece? I’ll work on the agenda and our logo slide. Aaaannnddd break!”
(1). A nautical term used by management (as well as operations or IT…..really anybody) to describe further meetings or presentations which focus on a particular area.
(2). A term used as a defense mechanism by account managers to deflect clients’ questions and/or concerns about a particular topic that they have no answer or solution for.
“Hey guys, we are going to have to take a deep dive into this subject and get back to you with more in-depth findings. Let’s pick it up on our next bi-monthly meeting.”
(1). A term used to indicate item(s) due at the end of a project.
“Oh, hey Tom…yeah, I know I still have a couple of outstanding deliverables on the conversion project. Sunday? Hmm…not sure that’s gonna happen. I think Jim’s around this weekend, though. Hey, Jim! Tom says you gotta come in on Sunday!”
Props to Guy G. for the submission.
(1). When a project that you really want approved just kind of finds itself left off of the budget committee agenda over and over again until it is eventually forgotten altogether.
“I don’t understand it…it wasn’t a huge spend. I guess it just kind of died on vine…”
(1). A miscommunication, usually resulting from one employee checking email while speaking with another employee and/or not writing down whatever it is he is supposed to do.
(1). An oft-repeated question asked at meetings by someone who thinks everyone else in the room are a bunch of mouth-breathing imbeciles who can’t understand the painfully obvious point he is trying to make.
“So, the idea is to cut costs by upgrading our OS from Windows 3.1 to Windows 8…does that make sense? Okay, fine…we’ll convert to Mac…”
Props to Bill E. for the submission.
(1). Your standard presentation to a prospect where you showcase all of the hot chicks in your office and a couple of grayhairs who should be able to answer hard questions, assuming they stay awake during the meeting.
“Jim, you and Ashley have to meet with this prospective client tomorrow at the W in Times Square. Just give them the old dog-and-pony show and get out. I don’t see this as a short-term prospect.”
(1). A term derived from the saying “Eating Your Own Dog Food”, which is when a company (let’s face it, it’s probably a software company) uses itself as the guinea pig for it’s own product to demonstrate how great it is. Ya know, kinda like what Microsoft should have done before it released Windows ME.
“I dunno Bill, you realize that everyone hates dogfooding this crap, right? Y2K? Like that’s really gonna happen. That’s like saying BlackBerry won’t be around in 15 years. Let’s just push this one out.”
Props to @Jeremiah for the submission!
(1). A term used to discourage overzealous salesmen from overselling themselves and/or their company’s services.
“Ok guys, I’m sorry, but I am going to have to stop you there. While I find it fascinating that you have an office Roomba and have named it ‘Keith’ and treat it like it’s alive, I really need you to get to the point of this conversation. Dogs and ponies stay outside, ya get what I’m sayin’?”
(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.
(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!”
(1). Something used in management reporting that probably means you’re intentionally double-billing your clients every now and then.
“Okay, and if you’ll all flip to page 3, you’ll see our double revenue numbers for this year. Not as solid as we would have liked, but we’re looking to ramp it up for next year. Some kind of bundling fee or customer service charge or something…”
Props to Hilari for the submission.
(1). A statement suggesting that wearing that Pearl Jam t-shirt to work probably isn’t the best path to management.
“Hey Dave, I saw you applied for the director’s position, that’s great! One thing though. ”Ten” came out like 20 years ago so you might want to start throwing a button-down on once in awhile. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have! Ya know what I mean?”
(1). To discuss a topic in more detail; usually suggested during staff meetings by knowledgeable employees in an attempt to draw the group’s focus to them.
(1). To accept corporate propoganda as truth, often feigned in an attempt to curry favor with one’s superiors.
(2). To blindly follow what other companies are doing regardless of how silly and/or unprofitable the move may be.
“Alright, team, we’re just going to drink the Kool-Aid on this one. I have a tee time in an hour.”
“It’s always scary to drink the Kool-Aid, but it’s far scarier to be different!”
(1). Too much information, too much data to even digest.
“There are so many issues, poor Hank is drinking from the fire hose.”
Props to Lisa M. for the submission.
(1). Expression used to imply someone has not taken proper action when prompted (i.e. shirking or neglecting one’s duties).
“Scott really dropped the ball on that project when he skipped the conference call. He never referred the information to the client and now they’re irate at us!”
Props to Brad for the submission.
(1). Taking the proper amount of a time (read: an exorbitant amount of time) to vet through a current prospect, acquisition, project, endeavor, thought, initiative, yadda, yadda, yadda.
“Alright everybody, as Sandy always says, we have to do our due diligence on this. I put the timeline at 4-6 months to decide whether or not we are going to buy 1% milk or whole milk for the common kitchen area. Andrea, you have 2 weeks to put a deck together on the pro’s and con’s for this initiative.”
(1). When two people are working on overlapping projects that will basically get you to the same place in the end.
“Now, I don’t want to duplicate effort here, so I think we should let Tom put the presentation for the Honolulu conference together… Ken, why don’t you focus on booking Tom and I flights and hotels for the trip to Hawaii…?”
(1). A national holiday commemorating the first time companies started putting a bin in the pantry for old RSA fobs (see WFH-ing) and Blackberry batteries.
“Happy Earth Day everyone! Today marks the beginning of our green initiative and we will begin to send out all of our invoices electronically. Clients who still prefer to get a paper copy of their invoice will still receive one of course. You know what they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day!”
(1). A gimmick crafted by the devil himself (Staples) to give people who frequent American Idol concerts and display Troll Dolls on their desks a reason to talk about how hard their job is.
(2). A plastic red button that people display on their desk as an unfunny, out of date conversation piece.
“Oh man, I can’t believe how much work I have to get done today! Wish I had an easy button to just do it for me! I’ll bet ya Phil Phillips doesn’t have work like this! Kelly Clarkson?? She has people doing it for her!! Cat Deeley is so pretty…..”
(1). A customer’s business environment taking into account all exogenous factors (otherwise known as: reality).
“What we really want to do is get a sense of the ecosystem in which you operate, Sal. So, what can you tell us about your waste management business?”
Props to Vannprime for the submission.
(1). To work on something known to be futile.
“Oh, hi Jim … the Hanson account? … umm … yeah, we’re efforting to get that through the pipeline this week, but … you know … with year-end and all, it might be delayed a bit … umm … sure, I know it’s a really important client … I’ll touch base with you on Monday, okay? … yep, Merry Christmas to you, too…”
(1). It’s supposed to be a 15 to 30-second speech that pitches your company to a fictitious prospect you meet in an elevator. Everyone’s sucks and only speakers in marketing seminars think they work.
“Alright, John … so, your elevator speech could use some work. First off, when someone asks you where you work, you should avoid saying ‘Hell’.”
(1). When you only hire people in your department who will never, ever pose a threat to you. That’s one way to find the “best people”, champ.
“So, we’ve had four people come through here that were perfect for the job. But Florence rejected every one of them. Trying a little empire-building, I think. The joke’s on her, though … we’re just going to take away the req.”
(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!”
(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!”
(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.
(1). A job interview your dad got you with a company that’s not hiring.
“Next steps? Well, Jim, this is just an exploratory interview right now, but if something opens up down the road, I’d love to continue our conversation.”
(1). Inexplicably continuing to advance in your career irrespective of results, skill, judgment or intelligence. Good for you, boss!
“I don’t understand it! Fred is months behind schedule, way over budget and they just gave him another huge project to manage! Man, talk about failing up!”
(1). A polite way to acknowledge a suggestion or idea that you actually think is completely irrelevant or incorrect.
“That’s a fair point, John, and thanks for raising it. Although, I’m not sure getting back into the subprime mortgage game is the way to go right now.”
(1). An forced acknowledgement by one of your vendors that they’ve been gouging you for years. They’ll give you a little discount to promote the strong inertia pulling you to stay with them for at least one more year of excellent service!
“Sure, Rita … we’ll take a look at our engagement to see if we can find you a little fee relief. I have to say, though, we’re operating at breakeven as it is, so ….”
(1). Hidden, yet obvious, indications that you had something to do with this, you lousy, conniving ….
“Yeah, well … this report may have Mike’s name on it, but it has Andy’s fingerprints all over it!”
(1). A way to signal to everyone in the meeting that this is the only agenda item you want to talk about and that all of the other stuff is meaningless to you.
“Okay, team, well, first and foremost, I want to address 2012 compensation. I understand many of you may have booked vacations for after the New Year…well, you might want to rethink those plans for now…”
Props to Jerry G. for the submission.
(1). Make a decision or get out of the way, New Boss with No Management Experience!
“Look, Jim, you’ve been ‘considering’ our proposal to switch to all-black pens for a week now. Time to fish or cut bait, you know what I mean?”
(1). Taking a simple outline and providing all of the details to support it.
“Okay, now picture this…Return of the GO BOTS! What do you think? Doesn’t matter…Tom, why don’t you flesh it out and get back to us with a proposal for our Monday morning meeting. Well, have a good weekend, everyone!”
Props to Ross G. for the submission.
(1). A term used to describe a senior manager’s brief attendance at a client meeting in hopes of sufficiently impressing the client so that they stay with the company for at least another year.
“I’m going to take a leak, do a fly-by for the meeting with Jonathan, then it’s off to Cabo!”
(1). When information, documents, papers, emails, etc. are placed into a physical or digital folder for organizational ease of use.
“My secretary will folderize all of my invoices according to month so she can file them away appropriately.”
Props to Brad for the submission.
(1). See touch base.
(1). A euphemism for “my old job” used by people trying to make it look like they have way more experience than they really do.
“In my former life, I used to manage a team responsible for lavatory paper management. It was a lot of responsibility, but I think I handled the pressures of leadership fairly well.”
(1). A term used by upper management to politely tell employees that their work is late and/or not up to par.
“Just a friendly reminder that your time sheets are due on the end of each week and that it is NOT ok to mark any time as “miscellaneous”. We’re all looking at you Matt.
(1). The client-facing employees in your company (a.k.a. the guys making all the money).
“Whoa, whoa, whoa…there’s no way Ops is going to push some kind of data entry project on the front office. You tell those guys to stop playing World of Warcraft in the office and start typing!”
(1). A last minute decision made by someone who can’t commit to anything in advance.
“Drinks after work? Hmm…I’ll have to make it a game-time decision. Might have a couple of emails to send out today…”
(1). The individual on a project that holds the key to getting everything done on time and on budget. Unfortunately, this never happens due to this person being completely inept, much like LouisTully.
(2). Dana Barrett
“Are you the gatekeeper?”
“No, Thomas the Manager is. He will come in one of the company approved, pre-chosen forms. Once at a company outing, the manager came as a large and moving Consultant! Then, during quarterly reviews, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant D-Bag! Many peons and part-timers knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of HR that day, I can tell you!”
(1). To take on a new client that you know is going to cause trouble for you down the road, but is just too lucrative right now to pass up.
(2). To hire a service provider (read: outsource firm) that will be next to impossible to unload once they’re in place.
“You know once we get into bed with these guys, we’re never going to be able to get rid of them. Like the Kardashians.”
(1). To make something a priority or renew focus on a particular issue.
“What did you just say, Tom? ‘Get some head lice on that’? Gross! … Oh, get some headlights on that … got it … yeah, we should totally do that.”
Props to Kyle B. for the submission.
(1). You’re going to die … soon.
“I want you guys to go through the client list and try to find anyone getting ready for final exams. We need to get them signed up for cemetery insurance asap!”
(1). What your office looks like the day after Thanksgiving.
“Man, this place is a ghost town today! Wow, even Dave’s not here!”
(1). This term, unlike its ladylike counterpart glass half full, is used to describe an individual who sees every minute mistake and misstep as nothing short of the apocalypse. These individuals usually ascend the corporate ladder at a meteoric pace and usually wind up running large conglomerates.
“Well guess what everyone? I’m a glass half empty guy. So no, I don’t think Scott sneezing on the managing partner was a sign that we are “comfortable with them.”
(1). A term used to describe an overly optimistic person whose double rainbow point of view usually becomes bothersome to upper management, as well as the rest of the office, and is terminated.
(2). See glass half empty.
“I dunno guys, I think that presentation went pretty well! Call me a glass half full kinda guy, but I thought it was actually a good thing when Scott sneezed on the managing partner…showed we were comfortable with them.”
(1). To try to find out what a company’s really all about. Turns out, they do way less than they say they do … and cost way more.
“Look, Tom, this is all great stuff, but we really need to go behind the website here to find out what we’d really be paying for. Sounds like a lot of ‘will do’s’ but not a lot of ‘can do’s’ to me.”
(1). A spectacular event in which an employee completely loses his or her marbles and goes all Michael Douglas on the office.
(2). A far less exciting event involving an embarrassingly loud rant about something or other by a disgruntled employee in the breakroom.
“It was crazy. One minute, Judy and I were talking about last night’s Survivor tribal council and the next minute – blagh! – she goes all postal about something Nick said to her about timesheets or whatever. Like that’s what I need at 9 a.m.!”
(1). The time period for which you are going to correct that egregious accounting error your new associate just discovered.
“Thanks for pointing this issue out to us, Caitlin. Even though this has clearly been a problem for years, I think it’s best that we adjust our practice on a go-forward basis.”
(1). A successfully operating business or a problem with your plumbing.
“Look, Stan…this business is a going concern now. We can’t just close the office every time you need to go to Staples.”
Props to A3 for the submission.
(1). When your company gives you just enough money to make you think twice about leaving. Most situations involve some kind of deferred compensation that never seems to vest.
“God, I hate this place! But what am I going to do? They put the golden shackles on me again this year and I don’t see anyone matching it anywhere else…”
(1). Using the huge company you work for’s reputation to get a big job at a lesser firm. Your interviews generally include phrases like “more advancement potential” and “looking to expand my horizons” or some other euphemism for “because I’m never getting promoted here ever”.
“I’m totally gonna use this place as the golden springboard to big bucks at some start up somewhere. I just don’t think I’m able to really spread my wings here anymore.”
(1). A half-cocked idea that you came up with, blurted out at the last company sponsored happy hour and your boss accidentally overheard….and loved. It is now your primary function.
“Yes Stan! I love that idea, its definitely got legs! I can’t believe we never thought about selling cigarettes and lighters at the pump!
(1). To explore a topic in more detail, usually during internal training sessions or strategy presentations, mainly to allow the speaker to show off his knowledge on a mundane topic that likely is of interest only to him, and possibly, his boss.
(1). Where Jeffrey Skilling and Bernie Madoff now go to school.
“Hey, Gil … you should probably stop telling people at the bar that our returns are going to be down next quarter. I’m pretty sure that’s a one-way ticket to Graybar University for a CEO ….”
Props to Tim P. for the submission.
(1). The person on your team that you parade in front of clients to make them feel more comfortable that you all have actual experience.
“Let’s get Dan in on the meeting next week. I think having a grayhair in the room will give our pitch a little more gravitas.”
(1). Something the annoying woman with the pictures of her cats in her cube says to you every, stinking Friday.
“Hey, Andy! Happy Friday! I’m trying to catch up on my T and Es, so I’m going to need all of your receipts for the last six months by lunchtime. Thanks!!”
(1). A time at which a participant in a conference call or meeting needs to leave, usually due to dinner reservations or a tee time.
“We’ve got a hard stop at 11, team, it’s Bagel Friday!”
(1). Acts of public self-congratulation among co-workers, often after being notified of an increase in compensation, and almost always in front of people who did not share in that increase.
“Oh sure, while those guys are giving each other high fives over in Sales, we’re stuck here in Accounting doing the real work!”
(1). To bring a proposal to the boss for approval.
“I’m not sure we have the budget to add another CRM enhancement to our Outlook servers. We’re going to have to high-level this one to make sure it’s okay with the powers that be.”
(1). An aviation-inspired term indicating nothing is happening with a prospective client. No calls, no messages, no nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
“Hey boss. Yeah, the Jenson account…umm…we’re in a bit of a holding pattern right now on that, so…last time I called them? Umm, well, uhh…”
(1). Something that needs to be done that absolutely no one cares about.
“Hey, Rick…just got a little housekeeping item for you…we’re going to be sending you a couple of forms to sign…nothing important…new fee schedule…just feel free to sign and send it back when you get a chance…”
(1). A term that compares Wednesdays to two teenagers dry humping each other on the dance floor at a sweet sixteen to UB40′s “Red, Red Wine”.
(2). A term used by lonely, single office clerks who usually display troll dolls, pictures of their dog and an easy button, to signify that it’s the middle of the week, the weekend is almost here, and that they can’t wait to “tear up the shore” this weekend with their girls.
“Happy hump day everyone! OMG I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already, weekend’s almost here!! I am going to get so drunk this weekend down at the shore, like totally destroyed. Maybe I’ll meet someone this weekend. OMG maybe I’ll meet Pauly D!!”
(1). A fierce windstorm that caused millions of dollars of damage to the New York metro area.
(2). A wonderful excuse used by workers for weeks and weeks to justify leaving work early, working from home, not getting back to people, etc. etc.
(3). An excuse used by gag website creators for the delay in getting their fans’ submissions up on the site.
“Hey, George…yeah, sorry about not getting back to you last week…Hurricane Sandy really did a number on us here…yeah, I should be able to get it done this week…probably…”
(1). To be given an extremely tight deadline to get something to a client, only to end up sitting around for weeks afterward while the client decides what they want to do.
“Well, Jeff, the client called and thanked us for getting the documents out to them, but told me they are having a meeting about them next week, so we won’t hear anything until after that…hurry up and wait, right?”
(1). In marketing, a way to describe your expertise in an area in which you have no expertise.
“We like to take more of a hybrid approach with this type of engagement. We’ll be leveraging several strategic partners to assist our team here with the management of your account. While those providers will bill you separately, we feel this combination will bring to bear the best in class level of service you are looking for.”
(1). Yikes - it means somebody is constipated. And what’s wrong with “affect” for “impact”?
“You know, Tim, I’m just not sure the project you’ve been working on all year has been impactful to the company in the way you thought it would be. You probably should’ve focused on your actual work instead…”
Props to Priscilla W. for the submission.
(1). A synonym for all over it, or more likely, another way to say “Oh crap, I totally forgot about that!”.
“Oh, hey Sue. My proposal…? It’s in flight!”
Props to Denise for the submission.
(1). To upload electronic files.
“We’re reaching out to our offshore partners, asking them to ingest our assets after lunch.”
Props to D. M. for the submission.
(1). Usually unseen, behind the scenes or behind the curtain dealings (in other words, the way real business gets done).
“I don’t know, Tom…I think Jim’s playing inside baseball on the Simmons deal…he knows something. Let’s get Niedermeyer on this…he’s a sneaky little….”
Props to Bob D. for the submission.
(1). A word that compares an individual who excels in their particular field to Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and that other guy Samuel L. Jackson played in the awful Star Wars prequels.
“Pat here is our resident SEO jedi and by far the best option to achieve your websites organic goals. So these other guys aren’t the agency you’re looking for, move along.”
(1). To work on multiple tasks or assignments at once (see balls in the air), often used during stress-induced nervous breakdowns occurring after a new, unexpected additional assignment has been given.
“I’m juggling so many things right now, I can’t take it! If Fred gives me one more thing to do, I’m going to go postal!”
(1). To quit your job after learning (or strongly suspecting) your company is going down.
“So, I heard Aaron jumped ship last week. That’s the second guy to go in the last two weeks! And guess who’s getting all their accounts? Go on, guess!”
(1). A nice way to tell someone their proposal (which they thought was great) needs serious revisions.
“Thanks for that, John. I think it’s a great jumping off point for us to nail down how to handle this project. Eric, why don’t you run point on this going forward…”
(1). A way for members of a steady, but weak business unit to justify their continued existence to the rest of the firm.
“C’mon, Larry, cheer up. Here at Best Buy, there’s no shame in being assigned to the wire department. Sure, it’s not like it’s TVs, but it keeps the lights on!”
(1). The main point you gleaned from a relentlessly long and confusing conference call. A key takeaway is generally addressed within the first three to five minutes of the call, followed then by an hour or so of irrelevant fluff.
“Thanks for making the call, everyone. I think it’s safe to say the key takeaway is that we need to have another call. How does next Wednesday look for everyone?”
(1). n. Football-inspired term often used to describe the first presentation of a new product or service offering, intended to provide employees with a feeling of excitement.
(2). v. To voluntarily start a conference call, mainly in an effort to look important and/or in charge.
“Does anyone know the date of the kick-off meeting? Does anyone know the name of the client?”
(1). To grossly overreact to a minor error or mishap, resulting in unproductive meetings, useless checklists, indecipherable procedures, overlapping layers of approval and other bureaucratic nonsense.
“Talk about killing a fly with a sledgehammer! After Sam double-billed that client last month, they now want us to have two managers review and approve all our bills before they go out! Why do I have to be punished because Sam can’t send out mail properly?!”
(1). A term used when an individual isn’t an expert in your particular field, but knows enough about it to get you in trouble when you screw up.
“So Scott, I’m certainly no IT expert, I mean, I know enough to be dangerous, but don’t you think setting the password to the server as “server password” could have led to that virus? Boss wants to see you by the way.”
(1). Declared a federal holiday in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland, Labor Day (according to Wikipedia, at least) was originally intended to commemorate the social contributions of the labor unions. Today, it is the unholy declaration of the end of summer for millions of children and teachers everywhere. As for the working man, it just means his morning commutes are about to start getting colder and colder each day.
“I can’t wait for Labor Day this year! It means all of my kids are going back to school and my weekends will now be filled with soccer games and gymnastics competitions which for some reason are always scheduled for Sundays at 1 pm! Hooray!”
(1). The act of quitting a job in favor of the same job at a different company, resulting in zero career advancement and, likely, little to no increase in salary. Lateral Moves are only acceptable when (1) you are about to be fired, (2) you just got divorced and need to relocate, or (3) you work in Wilmington, Delaware and your new job is in a real city.
“Yeah, so I’m happy…I know it’s kind of a lateral move for me, but I think Pets.com is going to be around forever!”
(1). A list with no laundry items included.
“Hey Boss, I got a guy on the phone over here with a laundry list of complaints about our site. The question I got is – why does a porn site have a customer service number anyway?!”
Props to JG for the submission.
(1). A nice way to say “failure”.
“Well, Rob … I would consider losing that $100 million account a great learning opportunity for you. Wherever you end up, I’m sure they’ll appreciate the experience you gained here.”
(1). Spectacularly failing to perform as expected or live up to a responsibility.
(2). Selfishly putting your needs and wants before the clients and your co-workers.
“You really left the keys in the mailbox on this one, Andrea.”
(1). A company’s first clients that help them get to the point of notification that they no longer service clients of their size.
(1). What the host of a conference call says to try to regain control after the call has been hopelessly sidetracked by an irrelevant issue or question.
“Hey Tom, thanks for raising that issue, but let’s take that offline so we can get back to actual topic of our call today.”
Props to Terry D. for the submission.
(2). May be used to let the room know that leadership is not willing to talk about the subject at hand.
“This has been a great discussion, but let’s take that topic offline and move on.”
Props to Rob for the submission.
(1). To try to make your offering measure up to your competitors. It doesn’t.
“So, to level the playing field a bit, we revamped our marketing materials. Now, we’re using glossy paper and … wait for it … color!”
(1). Another way of describing the sporadic and (most likely) canned emails you send your clients every few months to make it look like you’re regularly in touch with them.
“Great talking to you, Richard. Let’s be sure to keep the line of communication open on that mortgage you’re thinking about. Remember – I’m here for YOU!”
(1). To get most or all of it.
“We are positioning the company to take the lion’s share of the market.
Props to N. Craig for the submission.
(1). The opposite of “literally”.
“If Bob asks that question again in this meeting, I’m going to literally blow my head off!”
Props to T. P. for the submission.
(1). A presentation, website or white paper continuously edited and tweaked by multiple parties with no end in sight, often resulting in resentment and conflict among the writers (see pride of authorship).
“Thanks, everyone, for joining this call to walk through our wastebasket management matrix again. I think we’re getting close to finalizing it. As you all know, this is a living document, so please feel free to suggest any changes or edits you might have.”
(1). To follow up (again) with someone who has repeatedly not gotten back to you. The term is usually used in response to your bosses asking for a status update.
“Sure, Jim, I’ll lob in a call to the attorney to see where he is with our documents. Although, I’m starting to think it might have been a bad idea to pay him in advance.”
(1). It’s decided on and ready to go.
“Our new sales plans are locked and loaded, so let’s get out there and sell!”
Props to Lisa M. for the submission.
(1). A term coined during World War II warning people to not openly talk about secure military information that is now used in fear campaigns by The Coca-Cola Company among it’s employees to guard it’s secret formula.
“Shhhh, Bryan!! Listen man, I know you’re new here, but you can’t just go around telling everyone that it’s Pellegrino & Aunt Jemima’s mixed together. Loose lips sink ships around here, big cola is watching…..”
(1). To keep mentioning the same thing over and over during a meeting or call.
“Now, I don’t want to make glue out of the same dead horse, but we really need to consider whether we should be allowing Ned to talk to clients anymore…he seems to keep telling them how great our competitors are….”
(1). A way to say “we haven’t made any progress” without actually saying “we haven’t made any progress”.
“As to our penetration into the fast-moving app space, we continue to make strides in that arena. We’re looking for the coming fiscal year to be a major contributor to the growth cycle of that part of our business.”
(1). A fancy way to tell someone they need someone else to check their work … all the time.
“Hey Evan, I’m thinking we need to establish a maker-checker environment for depositing the cash from the register at the end of the day. I’m just finding it hard to believe it when you tell me everyone in here yesterday was just browsing.”
(1). Assigned tasks with no obvious goal and with seemingly no end, usually assigned to new hires, interns or anybody working in a bank these days.
“Oh, c’mon Lisa! This is just makework and you know it! There is absolutely no reason we need to take information off of our system and put it into this spreadsheet. I mean…it’s on the system! Just go look there!”
(1). A brief, substance-less client meeting intended to introduce an additional member of the team to the client (see face to face). Meet and Greets often turn into in-depth discussions on substantive topics which the newly introduced team member neither expected nor prepared to discuss.
“Don’t worry, Tim. This is just going to be a meet and greet. That said, you might want to read up on complex tobacco-industry litigation techniques before the meeting. See you tomorrow!”
(1). Something your boss doesn’t want to have to do in order to figure out whatever it is your 25-page spreadsheet is trying to get at.
“Look, Marie. I want this presentation to be short and simple…we don’t want John to have to go through a bunch of mental gymnastics to figure out what we’re showing him here.”
(1). A day you take off when you just don’t feel like going into work. Like tomorrow.
“Hey Gladys, I’m going to take a mental health day today. Just tell the boss I called with a bad cough or something.”
(1). A word used in a game commonly played by salesmen to spice up sales pitches. The only rule to this game is to say the word “Mesopotamia” in the meeting. Good times.
“So as you can see, our firm’s services offer a virtual Mesopotamia of opportunities for your business.”
(1). A way to indicate to co-workers the personal benefit you are deriving from a single achievement or project, usually used in a self-promoting yet deprecating manner in order to appear modest.
“Boy, I sure am getting a lot of mileage out of that macro I created! Thank you, Basic Understanding of Excel!”
“We need to mobilize on the new holiday offer this week.”
(1). A fancy way of saying “check our P & L’s”.
“So, I did a little money in motion research and found that our biggest cost is your salary, Bob. So … how’s your 401(k) lookin’ these days?”
(1). A term that compares taking on side work, to the 80′s TV series ‘Moonlighting’ starring the ever popular Bruce Willis & Cybill Shepherd.
“So I think David may be moonlighting. I can’t prove anything, but I have found a troubling amount of graphic design work for “Blue Moon Shampoo” in his staff folder.”
(1). A way to describe the important people of a company by likening them to the gargantuan granite sculpture of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt & Lincoln in South Dakota.
“So Dan, if you had to make a Mount Rushmore for the company, who would be on it? More importantly, where would I be on it?”
(1). To positively impact or move a project forward, generally used when providing negative feedback in order to imply that someone is being neither impactful nor moving anything forward.
“Thanks for your input here, Tom. Unfortunately, I just don’t think adding more slides about how you are personally trying to go paperless is really going to move the needle on the firm’s cost-cutting project. I mean, really, you work in the mailroom!”
(1). To introduce new information into a discussion, causing confusion and distraction from the issue at hand.
“Not to muddy the waters here, but shouldn’t we address John’s tie? Kids holding hands? Really?”
(1). Quitting your current waste of a job without having a new job lined up. Good for you, champ!
“Jim, I quit. I hate this place so much that I’d rather hand you a naked resignation than work another minute in this dump! Oh, and if you hear of anyone hiring, would you mind shooting me an email?”
Props to Jack D. for the submission.
(1). An email sent out to the entire company with the names of the employees who forgot to complete some kind of required training or something.
“What?! Thirteen people didn’t take the ‘Avoiding Appearances in Page Six” online course? Let’s send out an email with a name and shame list to get these morons to do what we tell them to do!”
(1). When a firm (usually an agency) shamelessly flaunts ‘big’ brands that they have ‘worked’ with in the past to make themselves look more attractive to prospective clients. Usually this is represented by a slide within a powerpoint presentation that looks strikingly similar to Dale Earnhardt’s car during a race.
(2). The corporate way to say “Name-dropping”.
“Listen everyone, to get this account we are going to have to take a NASCAR approach to this deck. Throw every client and project we have done in the last 20 years at them. If we still send them a Christmas card, then their logo is going on that slide!”
(1). Those lovable, less-then-presentable guys who work in your tech department. While we all know they are making fun of us behind our backs, we can all take solace in the fact that they are all a stone’s throw away from being Hobbits, and will always fix our computers after we “accidentally” open that porn site.
“Hey Dave, have you seen any of the neck beards around? Do you think you can call them for me? I opened up ANOTHER email, which took me to ANOTHER porn site. Weird right? Third time this month. I would ask them, but every time I screw my computer up and ask them to fix it, they look at me like I just deleted their level 80 dark elf in World of Warcraft.”
(1). The end result after everything is taken into consideration…supposedly.
“So the net net of this sandwich is that I will not be making the meeting this afternoon.”
Props to Sam for the submission.
(1). How fancy, snooty business men concluded meetings in England in the mid 1800′s.
(2). How fancy, snooty bankers & Wall Street folk currently conclude meetings.
“Old business?! No? On to new business then..”
(1). A very expensive and highly marketed service offering or product that would likely be the first thing to be cut in a downturn.
“Time Warner Cable is a real nice-to-have.”
(1). To be able to adapt quickly to different situations … even when you have no idea what you’re doing.
“Okay, team … now if we’re going to hold ourselves out there as a nimble wealth manager, we’re going to have to cut a few corners for our clients. So, I’d like to get your thoughts on SEC reporting avoidence strategies ….”
(1). An obviously beneficial action to be taken, often used during staff meetings by sycophantic employees (see yes man) to curry favor with a manager who just suggested the action as if it were a stroke of genius.
“Selling those children was a no brainer. What’s next on the agenda?”
“So, after Alex went into his bit about ‘we’re going to make us the Bank One of banks’, all I saw was a bunch of nodding heads in the room. I didn’t have the heart to say anything, so I just nodded my head, too.”
(1). A proposal or suggestion for something that your boss is never, ever going to agree to.
“Sorry, Ted. Adding another body in Operations is a non-starter. If this system enhancement is going to move forward, you guys are going to need to allocate your resources a little better.”
(1). That hot, new assistant they just hired in the accounting department. Thank goodness the copy machine is right next to your desk … right, tiger?
“So, did you check out the new office bunny down on the 2nd floor? I bet I could tag ‘er. Think I could tag ‘er? I totally think I could tag ‘er.”
(1). We get it. Everyone does it. Just take it easy on the drinks there, dad.
“Man, did you see Tom and Susan at the bar last night? I think they take officeflirting to a whole new level!”
(1). How fancy, snooty business men began meetings in England in the mid 1800′s.
(2). How fancy, snooty bankers & Wall Street folk currently begin meetings.
“Old business?! No? On to new business then..”
(1). A transparent lie you tell your boss when asked about a project you don’t even remember being assigned. See all over it.
“The system conversion? I’m on top of it, boss. Just so the rest of the team is in the loop, would you mind going over what we’re supposed to be doing again?”
(1). An unsolicited, often recurring, meeting with your boss intended to (a) make it appear to your co-workers like you are more important to the business than you actually are, and (b) make it appear to your boss like you are more important to the business than you actually are.
“Sorry, Tom. Can’t make the 2 o’clock call. I’ve got my one-on-one with Jim. Yeah, you know, gotta go over some numbers, some of the things I’ve been working on, big picture stuff….”
(1). Your top priority or, more often, your only choice.
“I told the IT guys to think of me as their only child when it comes to allocating resources this year.”
(2). The prima donna on your staff who you tend to give all of the plum assignments to just so they will stop bothering you about how they have no “career path”.
“Bob knows I’m an only child when it comes to assigning the top accounts.”
Props to Denise for the submission.
(1). An acronym for “out of office” usually used when an individual is “working from home“.
“Hey everyone, I’m gonna be OOO for the next few days. If you need to get in touch with me, well, don’t actually.”
(1). Able to integrate into the company’s elite circles, generally leading to higher pay and numerous (often perplexing) promotions.
“You know, Dan may be prominent in the industry, but he just isn’t organizationally successful, so I think it’s time for the gold watch!”
(1). Paying for some work-related expense yourself with an expectation that your company will pay you back…in six to eight weeks…maybe.
“Okay, Alicia…here are my receipts for my Atlanta trip. I had to go out of pocket on the cabs to and from the airport. What do you mean that looks like my handwriting…? Just process the lousy reimbursements, please…”
(2). Not being reachable by email, phone, text, etc.
“I’m out of pocket for the rest of the day.”
Props to Mary K. for the submission.
(1). The homeless.
“There has been an increase of outdoor citizen activity near the south end of the property. Please call security if you encounter any outdoor citizens on the property.”
Props to Andrew C. for the submission.
(1). An indication of approval from your Australian masters. (Wait…why are we picking on the Australians…? They’re like Americans, but without all of those pesky Kardashians.)
“OZ-some. Just OZ-some. You guys really put something great together here. Now, all we need is a spokesman. I’m thinking Russell Crowe. Isn’t he the guy who hit another guy with a phone? ‘Member that?”
Props to John T. for the submission.
(1). To endlessly add things to your records in an attempt to avoid liability (see CYA).
“Yeah, I have no idea what we should do, so let’s just paper the file so it looks like we made a thoughtful decision and bury the issue in a committee meeting somewhere.”
(1). A term used by companies to describe a mythical place full of rainbows and lollipops where files are readily accessible online, nothing ever gets lost or misfiled and machines collect dust in darkened copy rooms.
“Everybody, I have big news. This office will be a completely paperless environment by Q1 of 1998.”
(1). At conferences you are invited to write out questions/ideas/concerns on a sticky note and place it on a board called the parking lot. You are told someone (from the company running the conference) will go through them and group them into like categories to avoid repetition and then your topics will be addressed.
Translation: Slick guise to placate participants, weed out undesirable topics and zero in on what corporate wants to address.
Props to Cynthia E. for the submission.
(1). The easiest way to get at least some of what you want without getting a lot of grief (see push back) for your effort.
“I know asking Melanie to cover my shift sucks, you know, ’cause Melanie sucks…but, she still kinda wants to sleep with me, so it’s the path of least resistance if I want to still hit the Pantera
(1). The act of quickly revising a document by hand and then giving it to someone else to type up. Well done, boss!
“Let me just pen and ink this real quick and I’ll get it right back to you. Sorry in advance about my handwriting…I can barely make it out! Have a nice weekend!”
No sentence needed. It’s just you.
(1). When a freelance worker is hired by a large company to work on a project for years, but is not entitled to (or offered, for that matter) health benefits.
(2). Kinda like having a job….kinda….
“Permalancing is great! It’s like I work for the company, but I really don’t. I mean, they can let me go at any moment, without any notice, but I still think it’s the right thing for me. **cough** **cough** Oh this cough? Don’t worry about it, I’ve had it for about a month but I’m sure the Tylenol Cold & Sinus will take care of it eventually. **cough** **cough**”
(1). A collection of work-related achievements you add to your “bio” (read: resume) whose only purpose (now that you’ve moved on to another company) seems to have been to allow you to add them to your bio.
“I think writing an article in our trade journal is a great idea, Kenny. It’ll sure help you increase your personal brand…and be good for the company’s reputation, of course.”
(1). Something my assistant seems to have a lot of, especially when we’re really busy.
“Hi, Tom…I’m going to take a personal day today. What’s going on? I have an interv…umm…dentist appointment…yeah, that’s it…a dentist appointment.”
(1). This expression is used to take ownership of a task or project.
“Mary is going to pick up the ball and run with it and visit the client and help them.”
Props to Brad for the submission.
(1). A request to waste your time educating me about something you may know slightly more about. Fortunately, your vanity allows you to take this request as a compliment.
“Hey, Jerry, do you mind if I pick your brain for a second? I’m trying to figure out how you keep your hair so manageable…”
(1). See circle up.
(1). The list of prospective clients your company maintains that never seems to change. You really need to hire better sales reps.
“Well, we have about 50 prospects in the pipeline right now, so we’re doing okay. Well, I suppose we could cull some of these 2003 ones… …okay, well we have about 15 prospects in the pipeline right now, so we’re doing okay.”
(1). A standard PowerPoint presentation used for all prospective clients in which the prospect‘s name is inserted in two or three places to make it appear as if it was prepared just for them.
“Hey Courtney, can you email me a copy of the most recent pitchbook? I just want to make sure all of my phony baloney certifications are listed in my bio.”
(1). To opportunistically change direction or focus (see shift gears).
“I think we should pivot towards mobile this quarter. Why yes, we do happen to have a mobile department!”
(1). That guy on your sales team that just oozes “used car salesman”. He actually probably drives a Maserati.
“Ugh…Dan is such a plaid suit! He’d try to sell you his mother’s house if he could…with her still in it!”
(1). To annoyingly raise hypothetical arguments whose only purpose is to prolong already endless conference calls.
“Before I let you go, let me just play devil’s advocate here…what if we didn’t change the filter in the coffee machine…? What would happen then?”
(1). To omit some critical piece of information during a sales pitch (i.e. fees, your actual capabilities, etc.).
“Look, Dean … we’re not trying to play hide the ball here! We can’t NOT tell this guy we don’t actually know how to build his website and that your little brother – who’s sixteen by the way – is going to be doing it for us!”
(1). To repeatedly go back and forth on voicemail without ever actually connecting. You eventually just email the guy with whatever it is you want.
“Hey, it’s Phil again…sorry for playing phone tag the last few days…give me a buzz when you have a moment…well, I’ll be out of the office the rest of the day, so try you on Monday…”
(1). A term that compares stealing talent from another company to illegally hunting African rhinoceroses for their ivory.
“I have no problem poaching talent from Google. I know last time we hired a wizard it didn’t go exactly as planned, but I got a good feeling about this guy.”
(1). To inform your boss (usually by voicemail) of an error or other issue before he receives the inevitable angry call from your client.
“Hi, Tom. This is Gil. Hope you’re enjoying your vacation. Umm…just wanted to post you on an issue with the Pupier account. Turns out it’s pronounced ‘pupi-ay’.”
(1). A private staff meeting or other euphemism for a group of employees complaining about their co-workers and/or clients in a conference room or office.
(2). A meeting or brainstorming session to come up with ideas and strategies for a particular client…who may or may not be Native Americans.
“We all need to get into a room and have a pow wow. Who’s bringing the cigars?”
(1). You know who these guys are. You also know you’re never going to be one of them. So there.
“Well, we tried to get our proposal approved today. Unfortunately, the powers that be think it’ll be a much better use of firm resources to hold another ‘top producer’ offsite in Maui. We’re never going to get that new coffee maker now!”
(1). Resentment of co-workers for edits they have made to something you wrote.
“No, please. Make changes. No pride of authorship here. I just worked on it for three months, no big deal. Looking forward to your thoughts.”
(1). Something no one ever has time to be.
“You know, team, we’ve really got to be more proactive with our clients. Anticipate their needs. Call them before they call us. Oh, who am I kidding…get back to filling out that spreadsheet I sent you!”
(1). A way to attack an issue from multiple fronts, usually suggested by people who can’t decide what to do and try to just throw everything at the problem in hopes that one of their ideas will work.
“Okay, team…we are going to use a three-pronged approach to resolve our recent data security problem. Step 1: Everyone now needs a password to log in to the system. Step 2: Jeff in IT should not have a password. Step 3: Fire Jeff in IT.”
Props to Carlos B. for the submission.
(1). A software application, program or service offering that is unique to a company (and usually subject to patents or copyrights), often strikingly similar to a dozen other software applications, programs or service offerings by the company’s competitors (and probably designed using pirated software provided by disgruntled ex-employees).
“Alright everyone, we have finally rolled out our proprietary dashboard. It took two years, countless hours and thousands of dollars, but I think we are finally going to be able to pull in Google Analytics! What? Yes, that’s pretty much all it does. No, I don’t think it makes more sense to just log in to Google Analytics. This thing has our logo on it!”
(1). Word incorrectly used to describe making a decision when the subject matter situation changes, affecting the original plan. Should instead referred to as ‘calling an audible.’
“If that doesn’t work out, we’ll have to punt.” (Facepalm)
Props to Cosgrove for the submission.
(1). n. A repeated attempt to obtain a different answer or result, often used while feigning guilt, and even more often resulting in something being escalated to management.
(2). v. To annoyingly attempt to obtain a different answer or result, often (depending on how pushy you are) resulting in some sort of successful outcome.
“Sorry for the push back, Andy, but I really think we should be able to get this done for twenty bips. I’ll take this all the way up the chain of command, if I have to.”
(1). To dump a ton of work on someone else’s lap.
“I would love to go out for drinks tonight, but I have a ton of work to get done. Let me see if I can push it out on the new associate and I’ll call you back.”
(1). To refuse to allocate resources to a project or expenditure, often used by management to avoid telling their employees that the company is never, ever going to spring for new computers.
“I think color monitors are a great idea, Ken. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to put that on the back burner for now. We really need to focus on new company cars for the partners.”
(1). An expression used to imply that you have been dealing with crises all day, in an attempt to (1) passive-aggressively complain about your job, (2) make yourself seem more important than you actually are, or (3) avoid taking on more work.
“Man, the bigger clients I almost exclusively work on are so demanding! I’ve been putting out fires all afternoon. I wish I worked on smaller, less meaningful clients like you, Jaime. My life would be so much easier!”
(1). The guy who takes the client out to lunch occasionally, but does no real work on the account.
“So, Steve will still be the quarterback of your relationship, but you should feel free to reach out to any of us if you have any specific questions relating to the management of your accounts. He likely will be out of the office when you call.”
“Boy, ever since our initial meeting, it’s been radio silence from those guys. Maybe I should send them a fruit basket or something. I don’t know…”
(1). A term used to describe someone who develops business for themselves or their company. They are a key person who keeps new business coming in the door.
“Ross is a rainmaker! The guy is like Dustin Hoffman in the boardroom!”
Props to Mark R. for the submission.
(1). To contact someone, meant to imply a personal or intimate relationship that usually does not exist.
(2). Adds a cheesy and phony new age element to any form of communication, whether E-mail or talk.
“I reached out to Bob this morning to let him know he was termed.”
Props to John D. for the submission!
(1). When your company decides to change the job descriptions of employees they want out, in hopes that they will just up and quit, thereby avoiding having to pay severance.
“So, Jim, with the current realignment going on, we thought this would be a good opportunity to redefine your role to something more suitable to your skillset. So, we’re thinking mailroom. Thoughts?”
Props to Denise M. for the submission.
(1). To futilely attempt to stop the inevitable collapse of a business, project or career.
“Mike, all of these personnel changes you’re making is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. No one buys our stuff anymore! I mean, who the hell needs a beeper in 2012!”
(1). A decision made solely based on cost. So … every decision.
“Ken, we’ve decided to go with another provider this year. It’s not a reflection on you or your work at all. It’s basically a resource-driven decision coming down from management. You’re just charging too much for that coffee, Ken.”
(1). See follow up.
(1). A nautical term used by new managers or consultants when describing their plan for turning around a struggling business unit (or, in other words, layoffs).
“Team, Q3 results come out tomorrow and I don’t have to tell you all it’s not going to be pretty. We need to right the ship or else all of us are going to be looking for new jobs. Speaking of which…Jim, can I see you in my office after we wrap up here?”
(1). Laying off employees to balance the budget (see also RIF-ed).
“We had to right-size our company last month by about 20%.”
Props to RC Lations for the submission.
(1). A term that compares a project plan to an ill-conceived cross country drive.
“Alright people, let’s lay down a road map for the client so they know where the highlights and bathroom breaks are along the way.”
(1). A nationwide tour you convince your bosses that you and your new, super-hot assistant should take to market some new product to your regional sales teams. Be prepared to be fired and/or divorced by the time you get home.
“Hey Ken, I think we need a roadshow to get the word out about the new whatever-it-is we’re rolling out next quarter. Happy to spearhead the effort on this. I think we should start in Honolulu and work our way east.”
(1). What everybody wants, but only Amazon seems to get.
“So riddle me this, Sam. If we invest all of this money into frozen bananas, what’s the ROI going to be? How will these bananas help this company become…top banana?” (womp womp)
(1). A review of an entire organization from the bottom to the top.
“Mark, the boss wants us to undertake a root and branch review of the company. He said we can take as long as we need to do it, so long as its ready to go by next month.”
Props to Michael M. for the submission.
(1). A guy who cracks under pressure, usually resulting in missed deadlines, poor performance reviews and/or embarrassing nervous breakdowns in the office pantry.
“Boy, what a couple of rusty buckets! The minute the clients started questioning our fees, Mike and Jim folded like cheap suits!”
(1). What you always call something you’ve been doing for years that you now suspect no one else does anymore, in an attempt to make it sound like they’re the ones who’ve got it wrong.
“Wait a minute…isn’t it still S.O.P. to keep a second set of books for all of the cash-only sales we close?”
(1). To bug, bother, and otherwise annoy customers who have already said their purchase decision is months away to see if you can squeeze a purchase order from them anyway. Frequently used at month or quarter-end.
“Boy, Drew…you’ve been on the phone all day today. Trying to scrub the funnel before comp day, eh?”
Props to Sean for the submission!