(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 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 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). 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). The narrow slice of Americans a candidate is hoping to win over with a proposal.
“I care for all Americans! And that’s why, if elected, I will guarantee income tax subsidies for producers of corn-based bicycle seat cushions right here in my home state of Illinois!”
Props to Terry D. for the submission.
(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 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). The people who go out on the battlefield after the war is lost, and bayonet the wounded.
“Okay, team…it sounds like we’ve got the auditors coming in August 1st. Just remember, their job is to find the tiniest, most insignificant thing wrong with the way you do your jobs and then treat it like it put the whole company at risk. Enjoy the rest of your summer!”
Props to Alison A. for the submission.
(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). A specialty or area of expertise. The term is often used to avoid answering a question you don’t know the answer to.
“Well, international taxation of fishing leases isn’t exactly my bailywick, but I have a few partners who’ll be able to help you. I took the liberty of inviting all of them to this meeting.”
(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). A term used by developers to describe a quick and temporary fix for a problem on a website. While the plan is to only have this quick fix up for a few days until the problem can be permanently corrected, it usually remains in place for years and well beyond the tenure of the developer who originally installed it.
“Hey Scott, what can we do about those images not rendering correctly on the site?”
“I’ll have to look into it but I can put a band aid on it for now so that the site functions correctly.”
FAST FORWARD 6 YEARS
“Yea I don’t know this guy Scott who worked here a few years back said he was working on it…images still don’t render correctly.”
(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 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workday, usually used by those who work much longer hours (see lawyers’ hours) in an attempt to look better to their bosses or co-workers than those who don’t.
“Whoa, heading home already, Steve? Guess we’re working bankers’ hours now. I was just about to throw another pot of coffee on. Hey boss, you want a cup? I asked Steve but he’s leaving for the night.”
(1). An acronym for “Business Continuity Plan”, or, a company’s plan to keep working after a hurricane or terrorist attack that looks really good on paper but will never work in a million years BECAUSE EVERYONE WILL BE RUNNING AWAY.
“Hey, team…just wanted to remind everyone of the BCP test we are running this week. Basically, we just want all of you to work from home…yep…that’s the plan…”
(1). Extra, usually unnecessary, features or services that are used to entice a prospect to buy your product or hire your firm.
“So, this is the Superior, our deluxe model. It’s got all the bells and whistles you could want…MP3 player, remote control, bluetooth…it’s pretty awesome. Oh, the flush handle’s right over here…”
(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). A situation in which a group of co-workers meet to decide who will take the fall for a major screw-up for which nobody wants to accept responsibility.
“Okay, team…we, don’t want to create a blamestorm here, but I think we all know Tom was the one that forgot to send out the presentation…am I right?”
Props to Mary D. for the submission.
(1). An initiative undertaken by a company to produce unlimited opportunities. It is, of course, a pipe dream that results in over-diversification and, ultimately, a reversion back to the company’s core competencies (see also cultural evolution).
“We’re planning to adopt a blue ocean strategy for 2013. We’re now going to focus on both importing AND exporting!”
Props to Jack D. for the submission.
(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.
(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 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). 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). 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). 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). People who usually have more direct access to potential clients than you do (usually a bunch of obnoxious lawyers or accountants who love getting free stuff from banks).
“We’re going to be focusing our outreach efforts this year on local centers of influence. That means we’re going to need a larger budget for tote bags, pens and the occasional day planner.”
(1). A fancy way to say “talking to customers”, used by consultants to push some new seminar your bosses think will make you more personable or something.
“Okay team, I want you to welcome Mitch here who’s going to be talking to us about maximizing client engagement. Please give Mitch your full attention for the next three hours as he explains his system for making the most of your client meetings. I’ll be available by Blackberry if anyone needs me … have a nice weekend!”
(1). A way for a salesperson to try to weasel out of following some compliance rule by appealing to everyone’s desire to not lose a client.
“I hear you, Barbara…the SEC requires this disclosure…blah, blah, blah…but, seriously, this is going to be a big client experience issue for us, so can’t we just hold off until after the account comes in to send it out?”
(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 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). A term used when trying to deflect a client’s request for your opinion on the future of the economy or, even worse, his investment performance.
“Look, Brenda, I don’t want to give you some kind of crystal ball analysis about what’s going to happen two, three years from now. What I can tell you is that your overall portfolio could’ve done a lot worse considering all the Facebook stock we bought!”
(1). The attempt by management to institute changes to a company’s infrastructure in order to rejuvenate their dying and obsolete business (i.e. layoffs and store closings).
“Team, as you know, with changes in technology, the spending habits of our customers are shifting. In response to these changing times, our company is undergoing a cultural evolution. Corporate has asked all of us to attend an offsite next week, so they can roll out their new list of ‘Core Beliefs’. Oh, not you, Joe…would you mind coming to my office after this meeting…?”
Props to Alex for the submission.
(1). A term used by Operations or IT to denote a project or enhancement that is considered a low-priority (see nice-to-have), but is promised to be included in a later upgrade. Day 2 projects generally never get started despite repeated promises by IT to allocate future resources to them “in the next release”.
“Thanks for the input there, Don…but I think we’re going to have to consider your plan to rebuild our transaction processing infrastructure a Day 2 Project for the time-being. We have much more important things in the hopper right now…like our new app. People love apps, Don. People love apps.”
(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). 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 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). 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). Some kind of ridiculous psycho-babble about feeling your client’s pain or some crap.
“Alright, team…this is Richard. He wrote a book on how to improve your emotional intelligence. I don’t know what it means either, but it sounds like something we should have, so you’re going to spend the rest of the day hearing about it while I hit the range. Have fun!”
(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). A general term used to describe both positive and negative comments, often during performance reviews. As with actual feedback, the comments are usually painful to hear and often result in headaches.
(1). A last minute scramble to deal with an artificially-created emergency, usually occurring at approximately four o’clock on a Friday afternoon and whose successful completion results in zero thanks and several missed trains.
(1). The metaphorical Thelma and Louise ending to 2012, when Congress will absolutely fail to address all of the wacky sunset provisions they enacted in order to get through the November elections.
“We’re heading for a fiscal cliff in December, and you all know it! And what are we going to do about it, Senators? Well, I don’t know about you, but I vote for a recess!”
(1). The concurrence of all of the guys in Tech about some new enhancement you want to build, followed by the immediate return to World of Warcraft.
“Let me just socialize this around the office to gain a little floor acceptance and then I think we should be good to go.”
(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). 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). An obscure legal penalty that has no real possibility of being imposed, but that lawyers like to bring up to scare their clients into hiring them to do more legal work.
“Don’t listen to Maureen, Patty. She just likes telling ghost stories. There’s no way anyone’s ever going to sue us over our use of the word ‘fee’ in our fee schedule. It’s a fee schedule! What else are we supposed to call it!”
(1). An artificial deadline for an IT or Ops project to be completed, generally ignored by staff and management alike. The “go live date” may actually occur anywhere between two weeks and three years from the original, stated timeframe.
(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). 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). A term used to describe a magical pass to a company’s wealth, longevity and success that is usually reserved for upper management.
(1). Anything that is deemed valuable or profitable after the original goals of a campaign are met.
“Heck, we already met our goals for this campaign, any extra personal information we get and can sell to a third party is just gravy!”
(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). A nautical term describing obstacles to positive results.
(1). The portion of a website that companies usually flood with scrolling pictures of happy people and inspirational testimonials about their products. It is usually used to portray themselves as warm and caring, when they most likely are anything but.
“You know what we need in the hero space, John? More pictures of people in suits succeeding! And….and….whales breaching the water! Nothing says “buy our pharmaceutical supplies” like whales breaching!
(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). A vote to pass a bill that you, Congressman, don’t like, but that your weak, weak party leaders are forcing you to support (or else they’ll take away your chairmanship of the House Parking Spot Committee).
“Well, Joe…I consider this one a hold-your-nose vote. Something don’t smell right in Washington, and this time it’s not Joe Biden’s vodka breath! Wait…are we live?”
(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). A baseball term used to describe a result that has exceeded expectations, usually used when patting oneself on the back.
(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). 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). When management thinks they are smarter than everyone else, including their regulators.
(2). When management thinks they can simply manage their way out of anything.
“Well, Ken…I think there’s a little institutional arrogance coming out of the executive office on this Reg. W thing. If it were me, I probably wouldn’t have opened the meeting by calling the Fed examiners a bunch of pencil-pushing bureaucrats. But, that’s just me.”
Props to Tim P. for the submission.
(1). An expression used by unemployed workers when speaking with former colleagues or in-laws to indicate that you are entertaining multiple job opportunities, when in reality, you have just been submitting your resume to postings on monster.
(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). 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). The number of things you need to do to accomplish a task on your company’s computer system. The term is usually used when proposing system upgrades that will never be approved.
“Megan, if we spend a few dollars now on this upgrade, it will significantly reduce keystrokes for the entire team, meaning we should be able to keep headcount static for at least another year. Bangalore? No, I wasn’t aware we were moving Operations to Bangalore…”
(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). 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). A gauge of viability of a political candidate’s proposals and/or credentials, generally employed by their opponent and the good people at MSNBC (if a Republican) or Fox News (if a Democrat). Historically, neither candidate passes this test…ever.
“C’mon, David…the math behind Mitt’s budget plan doesn’t pass the laugh test! Now, the President’s plan to spend trillions on programs you’ll never hear from again on the other hand…that’s real change you can believe in!”
(1). n – The release of a new product, service offering or application, intended to get empolyees excited about something that likely has no impact on them whatsoever.
(2). v – To release a new product, service offering or application. The term is most often used by IT to allow employees to pretend the application they created (which likely will be used to improve the company’s email inbox capacity) has contributed to the launch of the Starship Enterprise.
(1). An event that coincides with the launch of a particular product or service. While usually occurring weeks, if not months after said launch, it is a great reason to get drunk on the company’s dime and prepare for the inevitable downsizing of the development team.
“Hey everyone, we are having the launch party at Jamesons on 2nd. Mark, Joel and Melissa you guys should totally come! You were crucial to the development and it would be a great networking opportunity for all of you.”
(1). Endless workdays, typically experienced by junior attorneys, which ultimately lead to either (i) a large bonus based on billable hours, (ii) a speedy move to another industry, or (iii) death.
“Still keeping those lawyers’ hours, Bill? Well, I started a website a while back and now I make my own hours…in between visits to the unemployment office anyway.”
(1). How Ops or Tech tells you they have no interest in doing whatever it is you want them to do.
“Hmm … so, you’d like us to take over the quarterly account performance metrics reporting … well, I think the first step is for us to conduct a level of effort analysis to see if we are able to resource that … we’ll get back to you ….”
(1). In out-of-office email replies, a polite way to say “I will not respond to you in any way”.
(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). An attempt to make an unfortunate or ugly situation look good, without success.
(1). Mid-afternoon drinking usually resulting in employees not returning to work for the day.
“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). A euphemism for a low-quality class of prospective clients that the firm believes will be easy to “pick off”. The term is usually used during strategy meetings in which management announces its decision to focus its marketing efforts on higher volume (as opposed to quality of clients) in order to meet its revenue goals.
“Okay team, this year we’re going to focus on the low-hanging fruit out there. How do we do it? VOLUME! That’s how we do it!”
(2). A term that describes “easy wins” used by salesmen to give prospective clients a sense of euphoria that you and only you hold the keys to their success. After the contract is signed, the salesman will then exit the relationship, forever.
“What we’ll do first is go after the low-hanging fruit to give you a leg up on your competition. Once that process is complete, your account manager will explain the plan going forward.”
(1). A way IT guys claim to be making headway on a project even though they can’t produce any concrete evidence that they have done anything at all.
“The system conversion? Well, we’re making macro progress on that and expect to pretty much be on schedule. No, we’re not ready for a test yet… No, you can’t talk to the team… Sorry to cut this short, I’ve got to jump on another call.”
(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 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!”
(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). A call to a competitor or client by a consultant without disclosing who they are working for (and usually pretending to be a prospect) in order to get some information out of them about their business or operations.
“So, we had a no names discussion with the folks at IBM, as you requested…turns out they make computers. It’ll all be in our final report…”
“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). Extraneous or unnecessary imformation (in other words, virtually all information provided at meetings and conference calls).
(1). Ways in which two firms’ services can compliment each other if working together, usually suggested by the weaker party in an attempt to gain access to the other’s client list.
(1). An all-day or multi-day staff meeting which is intended to address major strategic or workplace issues. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, offsites were usually held at a resort or similar location, but are now generally held in a conference room (coffee may even be provided, budget-permitting).
(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). 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). Another way to describe the wish list you are about to present to you boss for that new system you want him to pay for.
“Okay, so this is our paradise analysis for the new custody platform. If we even get a third of this, we’ll be in good very good shape.”
(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). 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). 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!”
(1). A check to make sure the action you are recommending will help your client sleep better at night.
“The important thing to ask yourself, Mrs. Gilchrist, is whether putting your entire retirement savings into shares of Facebook is going to pass the pillow test. Given the commissions I would make on the trade, I would say ‘yes’.”
(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). A misogynistic term that political candidates use when addressing “women’s issues” in an attempt to appear as if they could care less about whatever “women’s issues” are.
“Look, let me be clear…I understand you’re frustrated with the cost of groceries…I do. It’s a real pocketbook issue and I want you to know that I hear you. I also want to take a moment to address the death of soap operas…I’m sorry, do you all still watch soap operas?”
(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). A term used to describe a particularly lavish tie that apparently can tap into the power of Greyskull.
“Hey Mike! What do you think of my new power tie? By the power of Greyskull….I have the powerrrrrrrrr!! Am I right?! Or am I right?!
“I think I need a new job Dave. I think I need a new job.”
(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). A way to refer to a company’s sales force as a collective group without actually using the word “sales”.
(2). An operations term referring to a document or application that is being prepared for release.
“For a change of pace, this year the company is going to focus its hiring and compensation in the production area of the business.”
(1). n. A potential client which is currently being courted by a salesperson. Prospects are generally treated as the most important person in the world during the marketing phase of the relationship. However, once the prospect becomes an actual client, they will receive the same half-interested, annual-meetings-level of service as any of the salesperson’s other clients.
“I’ve got this huge prospect I’m working on right now, Jeff. I don’t want to count chickens, but I’m feeling Bentley right now!”
(2). v. A gold-mining inspired term meaning to seek out new clients, either through direct marketing (i.e. cold calling) or networking (i.e. volunteering for a charity in hopes of meeting new clients). As with gold mining, prospecting often leads to several dead ends, fool’s gold deposits (i.e. clients who lie about their net worth) and occasionally, a gem.
“Sup, Lo-Dawg. I’m gonna need a couple hits for tonight. Going out prospecting at the clubs, yo!”
(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). 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). An IT or Ops term for the release of a new software program or application (see go live); often used to mask the forced retirement of a program that works perfectly well, but that the manufacturer no longer wishes to support now that their new product is on the market.
“We’ll be rolling out the new mailing label system next week, everyone. Now, in order to create a label, you will need to go into the new label generator screen and submit a request ticket to Bangalore.”
(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). The slow, silent expansion of responsibilities by an operations department or, worse, an outsourced service provider. Scope Creep is usually only discovered after you receive an outsized bill or you realize that your job has somehow been centralized in a foreign country.
“Aren’t we a little concerned about scope creep here, Mike? Remember what happened when we centralized our client service reps a few years ago – all of sudden we had 200 guys in Bangalore calling themselves ‘Steve from Dallas’!”
(1). A term generally used when providing negative feedback intended to imply that a particular empolyee is lazy or takes an inordinate amount of time to complete tasks. Over-caffeinated junior stockbrokers often use the term to describe the pace of action by other, non-commission-based areas of the firm (e.g. operations), implying that only they are truly providing adequate service to their clients (when, in actuality, all they really care about is getting paid faster).
“Hi Jim, it’s Pierce. Hope you’re doing well. Just wanted to check in on the hold-up with the Altman account. You know this is a really important client to the firm and I just don’t think you’re showing the same sense of urgency we are about getting this account open. Now, I understand today is Christmas, but…”
(1). A mysterious individual, usually masked, who invests in a business but remains behind the scenes in order to protect their identity. This is usually because:
(a). They do not want to be associated with the product or service if it fails.
(b). They do not want to be bothered with the day to day operations of said business.
(c). They just want to be the “money guy” and make it rain.
(d). It is their brother-in-law’s “business” and their sister really needs the money.
“Hey Jesse, I got this new business idea and I’m gonna let you get in on the ground floor. It’s totally legit and you can be my silent partner. Ok, just close your eyes and think of this, “fireworks”. I can make them in my basement and no one else in New York sells em….it’s foolproof!
(1). Funds placed in relatively safe, income-oriented investments, intended to convince a conservative-minded client to invest other money in much more risky (read: expensive) investment than they otherwise would.
(1). (pronounced “smee”) - Subject-matter expert; used by information technology trainers to denote users who already know how to use the program for which the training is being given, identifiable by their eyes constantly drifting to their blackberries or the low-cut blouse worn by the woman sitting next to them.
(1). Negative ads and rhetoric designed to focus everyone’s attention on some insignificant detail of a candidate’s past (and away from his opponent’s lack of qualifications). So, in other words, every campaign ever.
“This is ridiculous! It’s just a blatant smear campaign by the Senator in an attempt to make it look like I cheat on my wife. It’s disgraceful! I only cheated on my wife that one time…last week…with my secretary…in my kid’s room.”
(1). Common-sense determination of truth.
(1). A reward for reaching a client’s goals which is usually a gift certificate to your local Olive Garden or Applebees. While you can get a steak at both of these establishments, we wouldn’t recommend it.
(1). A term used by salespeople in struggling business units to generally describe their service pitch to clients and intermediaries, meant to impart an endearing and almost human quality on the offering.
“I think we have a compelling story to tell about our expertise in the powdered milk space. Now, let’s hit those phones!”
(1). A period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day in which a company (usually a small business) closes around 3 p.m. on Fridays so the bosses can go golfing.
“Okay, team. Now that we’re into Summer Fridays, I want everyone to stay until at least 7, Monday through Thursday, so we don’t lose the billable hours. Oh, and FYI, I’ll be out for the next couple of weeks with limited access to voicemail and email.”
(1). An extremely douchey way to say Terms and Conditions.
(1). A term used to describe established, non-negotiable beliefs and practices that your firm stands for. Not stakes that you keep on your kitchen table in case of unexpected vampire attacks.
“We have to throw these down as our table stakes, guys. If they don’t like it then they’ll have to find another wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tubeman distributor. While we certainly stand for fun, low-balling us on shipping rates is no laughing matter!”
(1). A nautical term describing favorable conditions which should facilitate positive results.
(1). What you call a charge on your company card for a night at a strip club with two guys from Accounting.
“Oh, hi Alison…the $1,000 charge on my card at Wiggles? …umm…thought I would take the troops out after work for a little teambuilding event. Your office? …sure, I can come down to your office…”
(1). An utterly useless object, akin to a coffee table, that sits in the spaces between groups of non-trader employees trapped at trading desks (or pods) to give them the illusion that they have a conference room or other private gathering place.
(2). A repository for unfiled papers, trade journals and half-eaten office birthday party cake.
(1). Something completely overblown that’s really not a big deal at all.
(2). Something Jamie Dimon really wishes he never said.
“Now Legal wants to get involved with this? That’s ridiculous! This is just a tempest in a teapot. So what if we lost millions of client dollars by betting it all on the pass line! That’s why they call it gambl…investing, isn’t it?!”
(1). What you are going to spread into every corner of your company’s operations, thereby ensuring your job security and, conceptually at least, an easy transition to your boss’s job when he retires.
“I’ve got my tentacles in so many things now, it’s going to be near impossible to get rid of me!”
(1). A corporate shill who incessantly spouts the company line and is always sickeningly positive about everything. He will be your boss within eighteen months.
“Just look at Paul over there! He’s a real thought leader here at the firm. Always looking for ways to find efficiencies and cost-cutting solutions. Come to think of it, almost all of his solutions involve consolidating roles…in him…hmmm…”
(1). An office or desk the company keeps open for employees visiting from other regions. You know, the one where you set up your hot plate and keep all of your unfiled papers.
“Oh, hey Jim. In from Seattle, eh? You can use the touchdown station over there. And if you want something to eat, there’s a fridge under the desk with someone’s yogurt and a couple of Kit Kats from Halloween, I think.”
(1). n – The process of replacing a service provider, usually used by the replacement as a polite euphemism for the sacking of the former when attempting to get information from them.
(2). v – To move an account from one service provider to another, usually used by the new provider during correspondence or conversations with the former in order to avoid reminding them that they have been fired.
(1). A bank employee who’s not exactly a lawyer, but not exactly a broker. He receives no commission for bringing in new business and often is required to say “no” to his clients for seemingly mundane requests. He … oh, who cares? Just think Jane Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies and you’ve got the idea.
“So, Eugene … you’re a trust officer … okay, so what exactly does a trust officer do … ? Hmm … I’m not sure those skills translate to anything we are looking for right now. Thanks for coming by, though, I’m sure you’re a valued part of the team over there at [insert bank name].”
Happy 500th term, CheesyCorporateLingo.com!
(1). Used to refer to a sales team with insufficient resources or seniority. Often used in a self-deprecating way to refer to one’s own efforts to land new clients, while at the same time having the alternative meaning of the sales leader overcoming the insufficiencies of his organization and persisting to win new clients.
“We just completed the European tour. It’s tough man, just two guys and a dog. But we did have good traction with a couple key accounts.”
Props to Adam T. for the submission!
(1). An indeterminate skill or service that is generally considered unimportant or extraneous. Members of unnecessary business units (see nice-to-have) often use the term to justify to management that the service they provide is vital to the company. Value Adds are often difficult to identify and explain, and may provide management with an excuse to liquidate the business unit altogether.
“We need to show the client the value adds we’re bringing to the table here. How else are we going to justify the ridiculous fee we just quoted?”
(1). A term used to describe a pitch by a struggling business unit to try to explain to the firm’s sales force why they should be marketing their product or service (see value add, nice-to-have). Value Propositions often appear desperate, but are useful in providing members of the business unit with bullet points for their resumes, which likely will need to be updated shortly.
“So, let me get this straight. Your firm’s value proposition is that you’re the ‘Pluto’ of the marketing world and you’re making a comeback?”
(1). A term for a business-related market segment to which you focus selling your product or service.
“So, I’m hitting the gun show tomorrow to try to bring these babies to that vertical. Wait…you mean they have actual guns at the gun show? Aw, man…”
Props to Guy G. for the submission.
(1). Just a plain old conference room. No guns. No tanks. Just phones, whiteboards, and co-workers.
(2). A description given to one of your office’s conference rooms, usually the largest one, by management to imply it is only for the most important of meetings….which they are usually anything but.
“Ok people, we are meeting in the war room at 3:00pm for a briefing on CuteCatSweaters.com’s holiday plans. Let’s get in there and sell some sweaters!”
(1). A fancier way for companies to describe their websites, which usually are anything but fancy.
“Gentleman we need to discuss updating our web properties. I don’t think it is in the company’s best interest to have that dancing baby on there anymore. Feels like we are going for a cheap laugh…although it is a good one…ya know what? Let’s keep it up there.”
(1). An individual who acts as the gatekeeper to maintaining and editing a particular website. While virtually impossible to get a hold of, most webmasters usually leave a “Contact the Webmaster” link in the footer of a website that opens an email to the vague “webmaster@” address to toy with the outside world.
“Who’s the webmaster for our website? Can we get them on the phone? I’ve sent this person 20 emails and haven’t heard a thing. I’m starting to believe they don’t even exist!”
(2). A 40-year old man who lives in his parents’ basement and maintains a blog about comic books and D&D.
“I am Lothar of the Hillpeople! The webmaster from the great beyond! Fear the verbal wrath of my blogspot! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!”
(1). An outline of a proposed strategy or other subject requiring in-depth explanation, usually written by multiple parties (see living document) and rarely used by anyone.
“Hey, Tom. Did you happen to read my white paper on the new coffee machine for the office? Either way, I set up a team call to discuss this Friday at 4:30. Hope you can attend.”
(1). Seemingly endless banter back-and-forth between two people at a meeting. With 10 other people in the room. Sitting quietly, checking their blackberries, awkwardly waiting for it to be over.
“Can you believe that ridiculous wiff waff between Sharon and Jim during the 9:30 call this morning? I think they’re sleeping together. Do you think they’re sleeping together? I totally think they’re sleeping together.”
Props to Jan for the submission.
(1). Some kind of new IQ test the government makes kids take to see if they’re going to be doctors or…not doctors.
“My son found the Woodcock-Johnson to be a little overwhelming…I think he definitely needs to have extra time when he takes his SATs…my attorney thinks so, too.”
Props to Katie B. for the submission.
(1). An unemployed individual who dedicates most, if not all, of their free time to making YouTube videos of their cat doing adorable things instead of seeking gainful employment.
“Sir, the problem here is that while you may be a YouTube sensation, you cannot pay your phone bill with adorable cat videos. No, you can’t pay it with hypothetical dollars either.”
(1). A somewhat polite (and yet overly descriptive) way to describe the reason your boss was just fired…and the reason his secretary was recently promoted to vice president.
“People, I wanted to let you know that Mike decided to resign as CFO yesterday…seems he had a bit of a zipper issue earlier this year that we feel may cause some reputational risk to the firm. We’ve named Herman as his temporary replacement. You all know Herman…he’s the guy with the hairy mole on his nose and the moobs…no risks there!”