Radio Silence

& filed under .


(1).  When you haven’t heard back from a prospect in a really long time despite several follow-ups (hint: they did not hire you).


“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…”



& filed under .


(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.


Rattle Sabres

& filed under .


(1).  To make empty threats to your opponent in a litigation in an attempt to get them to back down (and, hopefully, just settle already!).


“Don’t listen to those guys, Mitch.  They’re just rattling sabres trying to make you nervous.  Everyone knows you didn’t kill that prostitute in that motel room.  We DO all know that…right, Mitch?”



& filed under .


(1).  When your company moves everyone’s desks around for no apparent reason.  Result: high cost, low anything else.


“Okay, team.  Everyone needs to get ready for the re-stack this weekend.  So, before you go home today, you’re going to need to pack up all your stuff and carry it to your new desks on the 15th floor.  The company will take care of everything else.”


Reach Across The Aisle

& filed under .


(1).  A successful spitball attack by Congressmen against members of the opposing party.  The current score for this session on Congress is tied.


“I have consistently reached across the aisle on important issues to get things done on Capitol Hill.  Why, just yesterday, I reached across the aisle to ask Paul Ryan if he knew where I could find the men’s room.”


Reach Out

& filed under .


(1). To contact someone, meant to imply a personal or intimate relationship that usually does not exist.


(2). Adds a cheesy and phony new age element to any form of communication, whether E-mail or talk.


“I reached out to Bob this morning to let him know he was termed.”


Props to John D. for the submission!



& filed under .


(1).  When your company decides to change the job descriptions of employees they want out, in hopes that they will just up and quit, thereby avoiding having to pay severance.


“So, Jim, with the current realignment going on, we thought this would be a good opportunity to redefine your role to something more suitable to your skillset.  So, we’re thinking mailroom.  Thoughts?”


Props to Denise M. for the submission.


Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic

& filed under .


(1).  To futilely attempt to stop the inevitable collapse of a business, project or career.


“Mike, all of these personnel changes you’re making is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  No one buys our stuff anymore!  I mean, who the hell needs a beeper in 2012!”



& filed under .


(1).  The act of indiscriminately moving some of your employees to another location to save a few shekels on rent.


“So, we just repotted all of our IRA call center guys to our new high value site in Topeka.  It’s going to save us a ton!”



& filed under .


(1).  To pull people off unnecessary, endless projects to make them work on other unnecessary, endless projects.


“Okay, so I think in order to properly resource this effort, we are going to have to bring in some folks from the servicing team.  Unfortunately, they don’t have anyone to spare right now, so your project is going to happen … possibly ever.”



& filed under .


(1).  A decision made solely based on cost.  So … every decision.


“Ken, we’ve decided to go with another provider this year.  It’s not a reflection on you or your work at all.  It’s basically a resource-driven decision coming down from management.  You’re just charging too much for that coffee, Ken.”


Responsibility Grid

& filed under .


(1).  A project manager’s list of stuff he’s delegating and the poor saps he’s delegating it to.  Somehow, he doesn’t ever seem to do anything … ?


“Okay, guys … so, I worked up a responsibility grid (thanks, Dave, for putting that together!) … Cheryl, you’ll be in charge of T & Es … Henry, you take committee meeting minutes … Frank, you’ll be dealing with the scanning remediation … and, Jim, you’ve got coffee orders.  Thanks, everyone!”



& filed under .


(1).  Reduction In Force – to be laid off, in governnment or teaching parlance.


“The mayor of NYC is calling for thousands of teachers to be RIF-ed but the president of the UFT says it’s all B.S.”


Right the Ship

& filed under .




(1).  A nautical term used by new managers or consultants when describing their plan for turning around a struggling business unit (or, in other words, layoffs).


“Team, Q3 results come out tomorrow and I don’t have to tell you all it’s not going to be pretty.  We need to right the ship or else all of us are going to be looking for new jobs.  Speaking of which…Jim, can I see you in my office after we wrap up here?”



Real Life Lingo


I am not sure why so many of these terms are derived from the sea.  Perhaps it’s because every manager believes they are the captain of some sort of seafaring vessel with a copy machine on deck.  Either way, a few years ago I worked at an upstart .com, and my boss loved to say we are going to right the ship every time things weren’t going too well.  Which pretty much was the entire year I worked there, so I heard that phrase a lot.


My advice to anyone would be two-fold, one, when you’re trying to make your band and musical dreams work, don’t just take the first job that says ok to hiring you, they may go out of business and never pay you.  And two, if your boss is constantly saying that you are going to right the ship in the next quarter, it’s probably time to start looking for a new job.


Fair seas matey!



& filed under .


(1). Used at the end of every sentence by someone trying to state the obvious but who really is just painfully insecure.  Although used by articulate speakers as an infrequent rhetorical tool, the user here actually expects your agreement.  Every.  Single.  Time.


“The end goal here is to improve our net promoter score, right?  So we should survey customers in real time, right?  And that’s going to require resources, right?  So, clearly we should…, right?


Props to Tommy P. for the submission.



& filed under .


(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.


Road Map

& filed under .


(1). A term that compares a project plan to an ill-conceived cross country drive.


“Alright people, let’s lay down a road map for the client so they know where the highlights and bathroom breaks are along the way.”



& filed under .


(1).  A nationwide tour you convince your bosses that you and your new, super-hot assistant should take to market some new product to your regional sales teams.  Be prepared to be fired and/or divorced by the time you get home.


“Hey Ken, I think we need a roadshow to get the word out about the new whatever-it-is we’re rolling out next quarter.  Happy to spearhead the effort on this.  I think we should start in Honolulu and work our way east.”


Rob Peter To Pay Paul

& filed under .


(1). A biblically-inspired phrase describing an action which will result in a net benefit of zero, often used in finance to dissuade clients from making unnecessary investment changes.



& filed under .


(1).  n. Congrats guy! You’re the Eddie Van Halen of reporting.  The Steven Tyler of the boardroom.  You are officially the guy who everyone else in the office envies.  Colleagues want to be you and clients want to be with you.  Your trip up the corporate ladder has been swift and easy.  That corner office and sexual harassment suit are right around the corner!


(2).  n. An individual who happens to be in the right place at the right time…..somehow, all the time.


(3).  adj. A term that is used to describe someone identified by management as a key player to the company’s success.  This person may or may not be doing any real work, but hey, good for them.


“Steve?  That kid’s a rockstar!  He’s in early, and loves to burn the midnight oil.  It’s amazing that every time something goes right, he’s in the room.  It must be him right?  I mean, I see him on Facebook a lot during the day, but that’s probably just him taking a break.  Hmm.  Whatever, let’s give him a company car and an expense account!”



& filed under .


(1).  What everybody wants, but only Amazon seems to get.


“So riddle me this, Sam.  If we invest all of this money into frozen bananas, what’s the ROI going to be?  How will these bananas help this company become…top banana?” (womp womp)


Roll Out

& filed under .


(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.”


Root and Branch Review

& filed under .


(1).  A review of an entire organization from the bottom to the top.


“Mark, the boss wants us to undertake a root and branch review of the company.  He said we can take as long as we need to do it, so long as its ready to go by next month.”


Props to Michael M. for the submission.



& filed under .


(1).  Some sort of account meeting.  95% of the time involves a table that isn’t round.


“So, I had a roundtable with the guys in Accounting yesterday.  It was weird … they all kept saying ‘Ni!’.”


Props to Michael for the submission.


Rusty Bucket

& filed under .


(1).  A guy who cracks under pressure, usually resulting in missed deadlines, poor performance reviews and/or embarrassing nervous breakdowns in the office pantry.


“Boy, what a couple of rusty buckets!  The minute the clients started questioning our fees, Mike and Jim folded like cheap suits!”