Boiling Frog Syndrome

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(1).  In HR, this is a term used to describe how to deal with change in the workplace. For example, if you place a frog in boiling water, it will jump out, if you place it in cold water and gradually heat it, it might stay.  Pretty roundabout way to say “grow a pair and deal with it” but it’s ok, we’re into hand-holding, miss.


“Well Jon it sounds to me like you have a little bit of boiling frog syndrome.  Here’s how I see things: you were once the manager of business development.  Over the past year you gradually didn’t sell anything, and now you have become the manager of our telephone service, office supplies & bagel Friday’s.  You have a great new desk right up in front of the office, and get to talk to everyone who comes through the door, whether it be new people coming in for interviews, food delivery folk or the FedEX guy.  The way I see it, it’s a win win for everyone!  That guy?  Oh he’s here for the new business development manager position, can you send him to my office?”



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(1).  That anxiety-inducing term every department faces at comp time.  Will it go up?  Will it go down?  Did we hit our numbers?  Where am I on the performance chart this year?  Yikes!


“So, team, unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to have to reduce headcount this year by at least two.  The good news is, no one likes Larry and Monica, so they’re out.  The bad news is … Larry, Monica, can you please see my in my office after this meeting?  Thanks a bunch.”


Kick The Tires

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(1). A term used in initial talks with clients to show them the benefits of working with your company.


(2). The process of trying to belittle and confuse a prospective employee during an interview to make sure they know what they’re talking about and are a good fit for the company.


“Make sure you kick the tires a little bit this time Lynne, tell him we are looking for top talent to make our sandwich shop successful….if he mentions he used to work in a deli, show him the door.”


Props to Mark R. for the submission.



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(1).  To call upon the resources of other areas of the company in order to arrive at a solution for a client request.


(2).  To employ the assistance of other areas of the firm, usually used by H.R. or management to suggest that the firm operates as one, cohesive unit, when in actuality it operates as several, disjointed and often combative factions.


“Look Susan, I just don’t think your leveraging your resources here enough.  There is absolutely no reason that you can’t ask the person sitting next to you where the bathroom is.”


Petty Cash

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(1). Loose money usually kept in the desk drawer of the head of human resources that is used for miscellaneous office expenses or to buy groceries for your siblings in the off chance the babysitter dies.


(2). Cash money.


“We have to economize Sue Ellen!  There’s nothing left in petty cash, I’ve taken it all!”



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(1).  When the HR department says you can’t use the word “layoff” when referring to cutting staff positions, you say the organization is “rightsizing.”


“Listen Bill, I’m also trying to ‘rightsize’ my clothing, but it doesn’t have anything to do with my budget.”


Props to Kate V. for the submission.


Warm Hold

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(1).  A way to tell a job candidate “no” without actually having to say “no”.  (WARNING: May lead to uncomfortable follow-up phone calls and emails.)


“Yeah, I’m not sure this guy’s firm material, you know what I mean?  Well, let’s put him on a warm hold for now and call in some other candidates.”