Failing Up

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(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!”


Fair Point

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(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.”


Fee Relief

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(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 ….”



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(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!”


First and Foremost

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(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.


Fish Or Cut Bait

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(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?”


Flesh It Out

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(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.


Flesh Out

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(1).  To go back and add more detail to some half-assed idea you mentioned during last Monday’s staff meeting (not to be confused with “flush out”, which probably means something else entirely).


“Hey Dan, thanks for your input here.  I’d like you to flesh out your proposal a bit more, though.  Do you think you can have a functional spec ready for us by next Tuesday?  I know you’re getting married the next day, but this could really help us shave some pennies from our P&L.”



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(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!”



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(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.


Former Life

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(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.”


Friendly Reminder

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(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.


Front Office

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(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!”


Game-Time Decision

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(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…”



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(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!”



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


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


Props to Matthew for the submission!


Get into Bed

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(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.”


Get Some Headlights On That

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(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.


Glass Half Empty

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(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.”


Glass Half Full

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(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.”


Go Behind The Website

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(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.”


Go Postal

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(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.!”


Go-Forward Basis

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(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.”


Going Concern

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(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.


Golden Shackles

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(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…”


Golden Springboard

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(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.”


Got Legs

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(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!



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(1).  A term used to describe a boring, plain person you work with.  So everyone.


(2).  A project, idea, suggestion, or project idea suggestion that you have come up with that is met with a less than stellar reception (read: It’s a nice way to say your idea sucks).


“Thanks for this Pat, but I am not sure we are really hitting the mark here.  The whole thing feels a bit granola.  I can’t help but think that someone, somewhere, has already handed out stress balls at a conference.  Although I commend you for somehow creating a 35 page deck around this idea, I don’t think we’ll be moving ahead with this.”



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(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.


Graybar University

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(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.



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(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.”


Happy Friday!

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(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!!”


Hard Stop

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(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!”


High Fives

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(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!”


High Value Site

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(1).  An overcrowded, battleship-gray building in an office park outside of Dubuque where you forced all of your ops guys to move to a couple of years ago.


“Don’t worry, Sam.  You’re going to love the new location.  It’s got all the amenities you could ask for – a Sunglass Hut, Macaroni Grill, and I heard they might be building a Walgreens, like, less than a mile away.  A real high value site for us!”



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(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.”


Holding Pattern

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(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…”


Housekeeping Item

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(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…”


Huddle Meeting

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


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


Props to Michael for the submission.


Hump Day

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(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!!”


Hurricane Sandy

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(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…”


Hurry Up And Wait

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(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?”


Hybrid Approach

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(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.”



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(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.


Ingest Assets

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(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.