Macro Progress

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(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.”


Make Glue Out of a Dead Horse

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(1).  To beat an issue to death over and over again, usually for the benefit of one guy on the conference call who just can’t seem to get it.


“Look, fellas…I don’t want to make glue out of a dead horse here, but I’m still not seeing the benefit to switching to GEICO.”


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!”


Manage Expectations

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(1). To mentally prepare a client, staff member or co-worker for some potentially bad (see sub-optimal) news, often regarding a delay or other inconvience that, while perfectly normal, would likely anger or annoy the client, staff member or co-worker.



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(1).  To plan out connections between systems.


(2).  To plan out connections between businesses.


(3).  To plan out connec…oh, whatever, it’s just some stupid expression tech guys use to make it sound like whatever project they’re working on is going to be way more complicated than it actually will be….


“Okay, so before we can get started on the functional spec for the new GUI, we’re going to have to map the current system flows, inter-custody SEFT protocols and…man, this sounds like a lot of work…any room in the budget for a consultant?”



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(1). To synchronize two documents or presentations in order to create a more impressive and cohesive whole.  As with actual marriages, it is often  difficult to combine documents and the creators of one or both of the originals are usually left feeling disappointed with the finished product.


Mass Affluent

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(1).  A nice way of describing clients who’re not that rich.


“Look, Jim … we’re not really targeting the mass affluent here.  We’d much rather compete with everyone else for the same 400 or so ultra-high-net-worth clients … hopefully score one or two and then retire before they inevitably get bored with us and move on.”


Massage the Data

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(1).  To subtly manipulate figures to produce a more favorable outcome.


“Well, Nick, I’m not going to lie.  You’re going to owe a ton of taxes this year.  Let me massage the data a bit to see if we can find a more efficient way to use some of those ‘business expenses’.”


Media Agnostic

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(1).  Media neutral.  It’s supposed to mean that there is no preference for a given media channel in advertising, but it really just means the agency doesn’t know what it’s doing and doesn’t want to commit to anything lest it appear stupid.


“We’ve been relatively media agnostic for our campaigns these days…why, what are you guys doing…you know…specifically….”


Props to Deb for the submission.


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).  Those useless reports on who does what, how many customers they work with, and so on, and so forth….  The upside: It keeps whole departments of analysts employed.  God Bless America (and/or India)!


“So, Jeremy ran the metrics on our regional sales teams.  It turns out we have more customers in densely-populated areas than in rural ones.  Go figure.”



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(1).  A word used to compare when a website switches servers, IP addresses or ports information from an old version to a new version, to the graceful Barn Swallow migrating south for the winter.


(2).  A process that is done incorrectly 99% of the time and rarely worth the time, effort and money it was supposed to save.


“Hey Tracy, I noticed that since the migration sales have been slumping. did we flip the switch too soon?  How come you didn’t warn us this may happen?  I really don’t appreciate that kind of language, Tracy.”



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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!”


Moving Target

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(1).  An impossible-to-identify goal that keeps shifting and changing with the whims of your client or manager.  Just try to hit it … just try!


“So, Eric … I think we finally have what Ari’s looking for.  It was a bit of a moving target, but it looks like if we just eliminate the ‘liabilities’ line-item, his company’s financials will match what he wanted.”


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.


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?”


My Understanding

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(1). A term often used by lawyers to cover themselves when in reality, they have no idea what they are talking about.


My understanding was that we could pay those customs officials “bonuses” and not expose ourselves to any liability.  Who knew there was a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?”


Props to Jared P. for the submission.