My Hands Are Tied

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(1).  What your boss says right after your comp discussion and right before he drives home in his Maserati.


“So, there it is, Jim.  I’m sorry we couldn’t do more for you this year, but my hands are tied.  Something, something … down year … something, something … we all have to share the pain … something, somethi … hey, what’re you doing with that letter opener?”


Naked Resignation

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(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.


Name and Shame List

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(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!”


NASCAR Approach

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(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!”


Neck Beards

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(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.”


Net Net

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(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.


Next Steps

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(1).  Something you pledge to work on, something you will (probably) work on, and something you have no idea how to work on.  Good way to get off the phone, though.


“Okay, well, thanks everyone for joining the call today.  I’ll take what we discussed away and come back with next steps.”



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(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.”



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(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 ….”


No Brainer

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(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?”


Nodding Heads

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(1).  A way to describe virtually everyone in a meeting where the new boss says he’s going to “turn this ship around” by “identifying efficiencies“.  By the way, you’re all going to be fired.


“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.”



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(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.”


Off The Reservation

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(1).  To have drifted (maybe significantly) from what your colleagues may consider “normal behavior”.


“Yeah, so I think Patty may have gone off the reservation a bit on this one.  She’s been telling everyone we can get it done in two weeks.  Since I’m not exactly sure we can get it done at all, I’m a little concerned about her timeline.”


Office Bunny

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(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.”



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(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!”


On Top Of It

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(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?”



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(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….”


Only Child

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(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.



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(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.”


Organizationally Successful

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(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!”


Out of Pocket

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(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.


Outdoor Citizens

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(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.



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(1).  Something everyone expects and no one takes.


“Hey Steve … thanks for taking ownership of this project.  Now, if you wouldn’t mind doing a little work on it as well, that would be great.”



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(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.


Paper the File

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(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.”


Paperless Environment

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(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.”


Parking Lot

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(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.


(2).  A polite euphemism used in meetings to scuttle the train wreck of an idea that everyone sees except the one who just raised it.


“That’s a good point, Bill.  Let’s put that in the parking lot and discuss it after the meeting offline.” (Here “offline” means never.)


Props to Tommy P. for the submission.


Path of Least Resistance

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(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 concert show.”


Peel Back The Onion

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(1).  To drill down into the underlying causes of the issue you’re probably covering up.


“So, while our year-end numbers look a little light, if you peel back the onion you’ll see that our longer-term fundamentals are strong to quite strong.”


Pen and Ink

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(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!”



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(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**”


Personal Brand

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(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.”


Personal Day

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(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.”



Pick Your Brain

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(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…”



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(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.”



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(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.”



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(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!”


Plaid Suit

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(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!”


Play Devil’s Advocate

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(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?”


Play Hide The Ball

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(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!”


Play Phone Tag

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(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…”



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(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 mean, it’s not like they are watching us or anything. **ring** **ring** Hmm, another unknown number.  Ya know it’s strange, every time I say that, my phone rings.  Weird.”



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(1).  A giant picnic table in the hallway with computer screens where about fifteen people get to enjoy listening to every, stinking word the guys on either side of him are saying all day long.


“So, this is the pod where your screen will be.  Oh, and this is Joe, Mike, Kimmie, Sarah and George.  One word of advice – I wouldn’t go talking to your doctor or girlfriend or anything here.  George is a serial tweeter.  Welcome aboard!”


Possibility Plate

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(1).  A simply adorable way to say you just can’t do it.


“I’m afraid I’ll have to push that off the edge of my possibility plate.”


Props to Helen S. for the submission.



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(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’.”