“Doctor’s In” Time

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(1).  A few hours during a product sales rep’s visit to your office where your staff members can drop in to ask questions that can easily be answered by just reading the FAQs.


“Hey, thanks for making the trip up here, Tom.  So, we have you presenting to the office around 10, then scheduled some ‘doctor’s in’ time before your lunch meeting with Joe and Karl.  Since we decided not to provide them any training on the new system, our people have a lot of questions for you!”


“Sell” Dinner

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(1). That hot night out with a prospect intended to close the deal.


“Hey, Tom.  Got my “sell” dinner tonight with that big hedge fund guy and I want to show him a good time.  You still got that friend over at Jiggles?  I really want this guy to leave with a smile on his face!”


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(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


360 Review

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(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.”


A Man With No Country

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(1).  A term used to describe an individual who does not work for any particular department within a company.  Therefore this person is either your boss, or the first person to get fired when things go south.


(2).  Salesmen.


“Ross is a man with no country, a loner Dottie, a rebel.  He also didn’t make his quota, so please hand him this box to collect his things.”


Absent Father

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(1).  The manager who’s never around to manage.


(2).  Your boss.


“Boy, Jim sure is an absent father these days.  He blew off his own meeting because, in his words, it was ‘too nice out’”.


Achieve Scale

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(1).  The mysterious art, lost since ancient times, of combining the right amount of staff and technology to efficiently and cost-effectively conduct your business.


“Team, we’re never going to achieve scale if we don’t make some sacrifices.  That’s why I’m cutting your salaries and laying off all of your assistants.  Okay, with that out of the way,  I just wanted to remind you that I’m going to be in St. Croix for the next couple of weeks on my new yacht.”



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(1).  To prioritize (and possibly even work on) a task (see action item).  The term is usually used when reassuring your boss that whatever they’re talking about is at the top of your list of things to do.


“Sure, boss, I’ll action that mail merge project for first thing in the morning.  Right after I figure out how to do a mail merge…”


Action Item

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(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.”



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(1).  To allegedly focus on an assigned task (or, at least, to tell your boss you’re focusing on an assigned task).


“Oh…hi, Tim…yep, we’re actioning that budget analysis right now.  That noise in the background that sounds like a bar?  No, that’s just CNBC on the TV…”


Active Listening

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(1). The art of pinpointing the important points your client is trying to get across (unlike most of us, who just wait for them to stop talking so we can say whatever we think they want to hear).


“You’re doing a good job, Rick, but I think you need to do a little more active listening during client meetings.  We really can’t be saying ‘sounds good’ after a client tells us his wife just died…”


Add Value

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(1).  To justify one’s involvement in a certain matter or project.


(2).  A term used in response to meeting requests in an attempt to politely suggest that you do not wish to attend.


“Thanks for including me in Friday afternoon’s meeting about the office’s new water cooler, Mike.  But, I don’t think my participation will add value.”


Adult in the Room

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(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!”


Agent of Change

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(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.



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(1).  To be a little too ambitious or solicitous, usually when trying to land a new client (see prospect).


“Umm, Nick…isn’t saying we’re able to handle over 200,000 transactions a day a bit aggressive?  I mean, it’s just you and me here and you can barely type.”


Aha! Moment

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(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.”


Air Cover

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(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.”



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(1).  A synonym for making sure everyone is on the same page.


“This a great idea, Steve.  We should set up a conference call with Tech, though, just to make sure the commercials for this project align.”


Props to Daniella for the submission.


All the Way to Bright

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(1).  A bright spot that’s not ready for prime time, and needs further development to be duplicated elsewhere.


“Really love the new macro, Nick…unfortunately, I think you need to make a few tweaks to get this all the way to bright.”


Props to David P. for the submission.



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(1).  Something a company seems to develop when faced with the possibility of trying something new or spending money on something that will benefit its employees.


“Management seems to have an allergy to upgrading to Windows ME.  Don’t you think it’s about time…?”


Alternative Workflow

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(1). A way of saying “work-around”, but really mean “our product is broken”.


“Thanks for jumping on this call, everyone.  So, it looks like the level of effort to update the commission accounting system came in a bit higher than we expected, so we’ve developed an alternative workflow to get us to the same place.  Commissions accrue daily, so this will need to be implemented after business each day.”


Props to Eric for the submission!



Always On

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(1).  A way for a self-promoting, over-caffeinated worker to make others believe he works way more hours than they do.


“Are you serious?  I may leave an hour earlier than you guys, but I’m always on.”


Ankle Doctor

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(1).  A specialist … well … someone who believes he’s a specialist.  Really, just a guy who only knows how to do one thing.


“Look, we’re ankle doctors here.  We sell RV insurance.  That’s it.”


Anticipate Excellence

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(1).  A term used by senior management during an internal brain-washing session (see drink the Kool-Aid) to suggest something is voluntary, when it is, in fact, mandatory.


“Team, the company volunteer program is taking place next Thursday.  While no one is required to participate, we anticipate excellence from each and every one of you.  Performance reviews will be held the following Monday.”



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(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.


Apples and Oranges

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(1).  Two things that can’t be compared … like Anchorman and the lowly Anchorman II.


“It’s apples and oranges.  We build gizmos, they build doohickies.  Totally different businesses.”



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(1).  A kindergarten-style way to suggest that two concepts or items being compared are not able to be compared.  The term is often used as a polite way to suggest that the presenter needs to re-do their work.


“Sorry Tom, I just don’t think comparing your work on switching us to FedEx to the moon landing is an apples-to-apples analysis.”



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(1).  Acronym for “as soon as possible” often used to impart a sense of urgencyIn an effort to appear even shorter on time (and really important), many workers pronounce the acronym as an actual word.


“Hey Jeff, sorry to do this but I totally forgot Jonathan was coming in today so I am going to need those mock-ups ASAP.”



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(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!”


Back Into A Corner

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(1).  To take away all but one option, usually resulting in someone lashing out publicly at work (bad) or simply getting drunk after work and lashing out publicly then (worse).


“So, I feel kinda bad, but I totally backed Josh into a corner today on the Hendrickson account.  He just wouldn’t do what I wanted, so I just looped in the client and asked him again.  It worked, but I don’t think I’m getting invited to his summer barbecue anytime soon.”


Back of the Napkin

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(1).  A colloquial expression used to indicate that the analysis you are about to provide was completed very quickly, with little forethought, and will likely prove to be incorrect.


“This is totally back of the napkin, but I think we can increase your sales 300% this year.”


Back Story

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(1).  A stupid word used in place of “history”.


“Hey Mike, why don’t you give him the back story on the Collins deal?”


Props to Lisa for the submission.



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(1).  To gradually change your opinion after receiving a negative response (see push back) from either your boss, your client or someone in Legal.


“Mike said we should price this account at fifty bips with no discounts, but now he’s backpedaling on that after the client threatened to call his golfing buddy the CEO.”


Bag of Goods

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(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?!”


Bait and Switch

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(1).  The deceptive practice of enticing a new customer with empty promises (read: low fees) only to spring the real deal on them after it’s too late for them to back out.


“What is this, some kind of bait and switch?  You’re sign says ‘All You Can Eat’ and, goddamnit, I want more shrimp!”


Bake Into

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(1).  To include (but not necessarily disclose) certain information (usually fees) in a presentation or report.


“So, love the proposal, Ron.  Let me ask you a question … I’m not seeing your commission on this anywhere … am I missing something or is that already baked into these numbers?


Bake Sale

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(1).  The day when that obnoxious prospect schedules presentations from several firms for their business.  The main purpose of the bake sale is to reinforce the prospect’s own sense of self-worth (oh, and also to waste all of your time since he already hired his brother-in-law’s firm to do the work).


“Well, I think there’s, like, two other firms pitching for this business today.  The good news is I got us the last time slot, so I feel pretty good about our chances.  You always want to be the last thing they eat at the bake sale, ’cause that’s the only thing they’re going to remember!”


Baked In

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(1).  A cooking-inspired term that is used to compare low-cost services that are included in a contract at no extra cost (wink wink), to a bundt cake.


(2).  Miscellaneous line-items included in a contract to make the client feel good about paying you more than they want to.


“The technology fee and set-up fee are baked in to the contract.  I have no idea what those are but we have to put something in there to justify our fee.”


Balls in the Air

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(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.”



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(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!”


Bang It Out

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(1).  A hip way of saying you’re going to half-a** an assignment just to get it done.


“Don’t worry about the Siegel presentation, Jim.  I can bang it out tonight and get it to you by tomorrow morning.”


Baptism By Fire

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(1).  Overwhelming new employees by not having a game plan for training and just throwing them into meetings and projects.


“Glad to have you on the team, Megan.  Well, I’m out for the next couple of weeks, so I guess it’ll be a bit of a baptism by fire for you.  The manual is on that pile on my desk, I think.  Good luck!”


Props to Lara for the submission.



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(1).  A grossly overused filler word whose only purpose is to attempt to make a statement seem smarter than including “um”, “uh” or other unintelligible word/sound.


“I swear I am going to unleash a pack of rabid squirrels on the next person that says basically!”


(2).  An insipid word used to frame, initiate or clarify an opinion, statement, fact, or clarification.


“Our product will basically transform the way you engage with your customers.”  It’s a product and it’s BASIC…..gee whiz!


Also see: literally and actually


Props to Brad for the submission!


Be Additive

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(1).  A term used to describe one’s involvement in a certain matter or project, usually as a way to suggest someone else’s involvement would be unnecessary or undesirable.


“I’m not sure Mike’s 50-slide presentation on our office’s battery-recycling program would be additive to the board meeting.”


Beauty Contest

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(1).  A preliminary set of sales meetings where the prospect forces all of the different firms to perform their dog-and-pony show one after another, all in the same day.


“Yeah, so we’ve got a meeting with a prospect today at 1.  I think it’s just a beauty contest at this point.  Pretty sure there are at least three other firms in the running.”


Beef Up

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(1).  To add content to a presentation or white paper.  Usually suggested by those who believe length equals quality.


“Your proposal really lays out the plan perfectly, Don.  But I think we should try to beef up the technical portion a bit.  The boss will really enjoy wading through pages and pages of technical jargon.  I just know he will!”