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(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.


“I love these boondoggles.  Nothing but golf, booze and time away from the kids.  By the way, did anyone go to that ‘Ethical Financial & Banking Practices’ seminar?  No?  Ok good, I didn’t either.  2008 is going to be a great year!”


Boots On The Ground

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(1).  Actual people who staff one of your branch offices.  Did you ever see “The Office”?  It’s like that.


“So, we’re looking to expand into Uzbekistan.  We’re going to need boots on the ground over there, so…Steve?  Up for a road trip?”


Bottom Feeder

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(1).  That stockbroker who keeps calling you.


(2).  Most of us.


“Over there?  Oh, that’s Sam.  He hangs around churches at night scoping grief support groups for potential clients.  ‘They always have life insurance’, he says.  Real bottom feeder.”


Brainstorming Session

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(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?”


Bread and Butter

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(1).  A term used to describe a low-margin business unit (see keep the lights on) which will never, ever be a major profit center, resulting in mediocre pay for its staff, further resulting in mediocre staff.


“Urinal-mint manufacturing is a bread and butter business, people.  We may not be flashy, but we’ll always be able to say that business doesn’t stink.”


Break-Glass Solution

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(1).  An emergency, last resort move that no one wants to do, but everyone would do if the alternative is fulfilling French fry orders.


“Yeah, so, it looks like the roll out of the new system didn’t work and none of our fixes … umm … fixed it.  I suppose we could turn it off and then back on again.  It’s kind of a break-glass solution, but it might work.”


Bricks and Mortar

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(1).  To have an actual office in another location (Psst!  It’s just a broom closet with a phone!), allowing the company to advertise a local presence (see boots on the ground) when, in fact, there is none.


“We want to start looking into expansion into that Appalachian Outlaws place on TV.  Now, we’re going to need bricks and mortar down there, so…Steve!  Congratulations!  You’re our new Regional Director!  Now, go get packed!”


Bridge The Gap

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(1).  To advance (at least in the mind of your HR department) to the “next level” through some kind of training or seminar or some other crap.


“Jim, we’d like to send you to Binghampton, New York for a week to attend the company’s Leadership Capability Strategic Initiative training.  We think this will help you bridge the gap between your current meaningless role to the all-new meaningless role we have in mind for you.”


Bright Spots

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(1).  Cool stuff somebody other than you did (see best practices).


“Some of the bright spots from this year came from our billing department, so kudos to them.  That new practice of getting invoices out with the correct mailing addresses really helped our bottom line.”


Props to David P. for the submission.


Bring Up To Speed

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(1).  To update someone (usually your boss or your boss’s boss) on what’s been going on while they’ve been golfing.


“Since I’ve been off-site this past week, please bring me up to speed on what’s happened at the office.”


“I’ll feel better about it when I get up to speed on what’s going on.”


“Please bring me up to speed on this matter.”


“We’ll bring you up to speed on the day’s top stories after this commercial break!”


Props to Pablo for the submission!


Bring Your Child To Work Day

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(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.”


Brown Bag

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(1).  To attend a conference or seminar that encourages you to bring your own food.  You should think about getting on some better mailing lists or something, dude.


“So, I’m going to this talk about how to land clients tomorrow.  They told everyone to brown bag it, so I guess I’m bringing my lunch.  Come to think of it, they don’t seem very good at landing clients….


Brown Bag Lunch

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(1).  A marketing event for which your company is too cheap to spring for food.


“So, we’re all really excited about next Tuesday’s brown bag lunch.  We have a couple of speakers lined up … well, me and Jim here … and we’re hoping for a great turnout.  Just remind all the people you invited that there’s a Subway across the street … *sigh* ….”


Burning The Midnight Oil

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(1).  A term that can be taken in two very different ways.  On one hand, you are the rockstar employee who works late often to better the firms footprint within your industry.  On the other hand, you are that kiss-ass employee who works late often because you don’t have kids, friends, or anything worthwhile going on, which alienates your co-workers.  Work is great.


Boss – “Hey Matt, great to see that even on a Friday night you’re still here working and burning the midnight oil, thanks for all your hard work.”


Everyone Else in the Office – “Matt is such a dick.”


Business Of People

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(1).  Something you can use as an excuse when someone majorly screws up. (see also: Carbon-Based Error)


“Listen Mike, I understand you’re upset, but you have to understand that we’re a business of people.  “Sandy deleted the database”, “Sandy cost me tens of thousands of dollars”, tomato tomato…these things happen.  Cream?  Ok, no cream.”


Busy Work

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(1).  What you’re currently doing.


“I don’t know Vito.  I don’t really categorize what I do as busy work.  I mean, someone has to make sure we have toner, right?”



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(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.”



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(1).  Something everyone wants to get from everybody, especially when you have no idea what you’re doing (see air cover).


“Looks good, Alex, but I’d like to get Fred’s buy-in before we send it out.  I’m not sure either of us really know the downstream impact of this enhancement.”