Inside Baseball

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(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.



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(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. When you need your payday loan to be cheap, you go to


“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.”



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(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!”


Jump Ship

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(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!”


Jumping Off Point

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(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…”


Keep in the Loop

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(1). To make sure you have sufficient air cover for whatever you’re working on by cc-ing everyone you can think of on your emails.


“Well, I’ve been keeping Jim in the loop on this the whole time, so he’s definitely aware of what’s going on.  Definitely.”


Keep The Lights On

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(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!”


Key Takeaway

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(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?”



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(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?”


Kill A Fly With A Sledgehammer

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(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?!”


Kleenex Issue

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


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


Know Enough To Be Dangerous

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(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.”


Labor Day

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(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!”


Lateral Move

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(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 is going to be around forever!”


Laundry List

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(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.


Learning Opportunity

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(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.”


Legacy Clients

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(1). A company’s first clients that help them get to the point of notification that they no longer service clients of their size.


“Oh god, Bill from Fountains! Fountains! Fountains! is still on board?  I thought we got rid of all of those legacy clients after the merger?  Ok, let’s just send him an email from Ted’s outlook saying that we can no longer service his needs.  Ted?  He won’t care, he’s a team player!”


Let’s Take That Offline

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(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.



Level The Playing Field

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(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!”


Line of Communication

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(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!”



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(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.


Living Document

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(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.”


Lob in a Call

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(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.”


Loose Lips Sink Ships

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(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…..”


Make Glue Out Of The Same Dead Horse

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(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….”


Make Strides

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(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.”


Maker-Checker Environment

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(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.”



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(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!”


Meet and Greet

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(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!”



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(1).  To send the guy you just spoke with an outline of the conversation you just had to make sure he doesn’t somehow forget what you just agreed to.


“Yeah, so I’m just going to memorialize this conversation in an email.  You know, just so we’re all on the same page about next steps.”


Mental Detective Work

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(1).  Something your boss doesn’t want to have to do … ever.  So, keep it simple, stupid.


“Look, Jim … sounds like a great idea, but you really need to flesh out these requirements a bit more before we can propose this as a new project.  We can’t have our development team doing a lot of mental detective work to try to figure out what you’re driving at.”


Mental Gymnastics

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(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.”


Mental Health Day

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(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.”



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(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.”



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(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!”


Mind The Store

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(1). To keep an eye on things to make sure someone is keeping an eye on things.


“Look, Jim.  I just want to make sure someone’s minding the store while I’m traveling next week.  So … be here.”


Money In Motion Research

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(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?”



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(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.”


Mount Rushmore

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(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?”


Move the Needle

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(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!”


Muddy the Waters

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(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?”



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(1).  Term used while on a conference call, paying no attention to what’s being said and working on something else completely different.


“Oh, sorry, can you repeat that? I was multi-tasking.”


Props to Kevin for the submission.


My Calendar’s Up-To-Date

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(1).  A not-so-subtle way to tell someone to stop asking if you’re available for a “quick call”.


“Umm…I should be around next Thursday, I think.  My calendar’s up-to-date, so just send a meeting request.”


Props to Meg D. for the submission.