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(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.


Call Option

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(1).  A small, unprofitable piece of business your sales guy convinces you to take, claiming “there’s a lot of money behind this one.”


“Yeah, I know the fee on this one doesn’t even cover our cost, but this is a call option opportunity.  This guy tells us his company’s going public soon – no, he didn’t say when – and we’ll already be in there when it does!”


Can of Worms

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(1).  Something you always end up opening just by asking a simple question.  I mean, how were you supposed to know that Rick’s wife wore an eye patch?  You didn’t even know Rick was married!


“Look, Steve … I don’t want to open up a can of worms here, but shouldn’t we be paying taxes on the money we’re making?”



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(1).  n.  The workload of an employee or team, which is always too much for them to handle, even when it is less than the previous time they complained about it.


(2).  adj.  A term used by an employee or team to indicate that their workload is too high and too much for them to handle, even when it is less than the previous time they complained about it.


“Listen guys, I am soooo over capacity here, there is no way I am going to get to everything this client needs.  I mean, who’s going to plan karaoke night if I don’t?  Bill’s not gonna do it!  He’s already covering me so I can plan karaoke night!”


Case Study

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(1).  An unnecessary (but so necessary) document a company uses to tout previous accomplishments and put stars in the eyes on new prospects so that they hire them.  Usually they are only created around well-known brands, because nobody cares that you helped that company down the hall do great…what do those guys do again?  Something with David Bowie memorabilia right?


“We’d like to show you a case study that we did for a company that sells David Bowie memorabilia.  Wait a minute, Mike!  I told you to make a case study for the Chloé site, not the David Bowie site!  When we get back to the office we’re gonna be making some ch ch ch changes!”


Catch-All Provision

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(1).  A vague term at the end of a contract that seems to obligate everybody to virtually everything they can think of.


“Yeah, so … blah, blah, blah … acts of God … blah, blah, blah … full indemnity … catch-all provision at the end … here’s a pen.”


Center of Excellence

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(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!”


Centers of Influence

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(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.”


Central Casting

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(1).  Where guys in blue shirts with white collars come from.


“Boy, did you see that guy who just interviewed with us?  Right out of central casting!  There must’ve been a sale at Brooks Brothers yesterday or something!”


Client Engagement

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(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!”


Client Experience

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(1).  Something everyone talks about, but very few care about.


“Don’t you think sending out a 350-page disclaimer may result in a bad client experience?  Anyone?”


Client Experience Issue

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(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?”


Comfort Zone

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(1).  The stuff you’re confident you’re good at, you know, like eating lunch.  Not to be confused with the more popular “Danger Zone”, because we all know what happens when you go there:




 “Hiiiiighwayyy to the comfort zone!  Riiiight into the comfort zone!  Buh dum, buh dum dum dum dum dum dum.”


“Bill, bill…..BILL!”


**snaps out of day dream**


“We are happy you are comfortable within your role, but I don’t think this budget meeting is the right place to sing it out loud…..and Kenny Loggins sucks.”



Cool Uncle

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(1).  When a third party is called in (usually your friend) to say the same exact thing you are saying to a long-standing client who no longer trusts your opinion.


“Hey Paul, I’ve hit a wall with one of my clients and I’m going to need you to be the cool uncle for me.  Can you write me an email saying that you think it’s a great idea to shut down the website for 30 days to build some mystery around the brand?  I think it’s a home run!


Props to Stephan B. for the submission!


Core Competency

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(1).  An essential skill or expertise, often found not to be possessed by that guy you hired a couple of weeks ago.


“So, Brad…I’m not sure math is one of your core competencies.  You might want to start considering other options.  You know, not with us here at KPMG.”


Corporate Citizen

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(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.”


Corporate Jargon

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(1).  Terms those guys in your IT department keep using over and over again.


“What the hell was Ron even saying on that call?  He was just babbling a bunch of corporate jargon.  I’m not even sure what language he was speaking!”



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(1).  An exam or class taken in order to get some neat-sounding letters after your name.


“So I’m taking my 5th credentializer next week.  They don’t make business cards wide enough for me!”



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(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!”


Crystal Ball Analysis

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(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!”


Cultural Evolution

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(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.


Cultural Intelligence

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(1).  The P.C. way to say “don’t giggle at your IT guy’s funny accent”.


“Guys, we really need to work on your cultural intelligence here.  You just can’t go around calling our helpdesk ‘Bollywood‘.”


Day 2 Project

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(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.”


Death By A Thousand Cuts

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(1).  Having so many things to do, that you end up at the bar around the corner, having done none of them.

        altdeath by a thousand paper cuts (for you pencil-pushing office rats out there)


“Dammit, Greg!  This project is like death by a thousand cuts!  I have so many to-do’s on my list, I don’t even know which one to do first!  Arghh!”  (window breaking… …thud… …)



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(1). A term for a presentation or pitchbook (let’s face it, it’s a PowerPoint presentation), mainly invented to give marketing peeps a cool, new term for a presentation or pitchbook.


“Alright guys, let’s get this deck together for tomorrow’s meeting!  Pat, you take care of the slides for your department.  Dave and Dave, same for you.  Pam can you throw together some thoughts around the analytics piece?  I’ll work on the agenda and our logo slide.  Aaaannnddd break!”



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(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.



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(1).  The difference between what something is and what it probably should be.


“So, you’re estimate said this would cost $1,000, but you just sent me a bill for $5,000.  That’s what I would call a huge delta.”


Props to Paul A. for the submission.



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(1).  The art of taking a productive, manageable space and stuffing it with as many people as possible to save a couple of bucks on heat or air conditioning or something.


(2).  The art of continually hiring people who bring down the overall IQ of the firm.


“Alright, everyone … so next week we’re implementing the firm’s densification strategy.  Mike, you’re now sharing an office with Stacy.  Stacy, you’re also sharing an office with Will.  Will, you’re going to be sharing your space with Paul.  And, Paul … what’re your thoughts on standing all day?”


Differentiating Factor

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(1).  That little something that makes you marginally better than those guys in the hallway waiting to be interviewed after you.


(2).  That little something that makes your firm marginally better than your competitors (each of which is probably being interviewed right after you).


“Well, I think our differentiating factor has to be our sharp suits.  I mean, everyone basically does the same thing, right?  We simply just look better doing it.”



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(1).  Someone who is a little bit behind the technological times, like Bill from accounting.  He can never understand why The Home Depot “follows” him around the internet, and is flabbergasted every time he accidentally hits the SIRI button on his iPhone his kids got him for Christmas and is asked how it can help him.  Oh Bill, bless his heart.


(2).  If “The Google” got you to this page, then you are a dinosaur.


(3).  If Bing got you to this page, then you are a dinosaur.


“So get this kids, I opened up the Internet Explorer and Binged how to properly stain a deck like you told me, and wouldn’t ya know it, a video popped up and played right in front of me.  Didn’t have to pay a nickel for it, amazing!  Dinosaur no more, am I right?!”


Diplomatically-Challenged Conversation

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(1).  An awkward, and ultimately heated, exchange where someone inevitably says something wildly inappropriate, often ending the conversation with a call to HR.


“Yeah, so … let’s just say it was a diplomatically-challenged conversation from start to finish.  I don’t think Mike is going to be going on any more client calls anytime soon.”



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(1). A miscommunication, usually resulting from one employee checking email while speaking with another employee and/or not writing down whatever it is he is supposed to do.



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(1).  That underselling new competitor that’s going to run your little mom-and-pop operation right out of business.


“Let’s be a disruptor in the sector, that’s where we want to be.”


Props to R. James for the submission.


Dog-and-Pony Show

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(1).  Your standard presentation to a prospect where you showcase all of the hot chicks in your office and a couple of grayhairs who should be able to answer hard questions, assuming they stay awake during the meeting.


“Jim, you and Ashley have to meet with this prospective client tomorrow at the W in Times Square.  Just give them the old dog-and-pony show and get out.  I don’t see this as a short-term prospect.”


Double Revenue

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(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.


Due Diligence

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(1).  Taking the proper amount of a time (read: an exorbitant amount of time) to vet through a current prospect, acquisition, project, endeavor, thought, initiative, yadda, yadda, yadda.


“Alright everybody, as Sandy always says, we have to do our due diligence on this. I put the timeline at 4-6 months to decide whether or not we are going to buy 1% milk or whole milk for the common kitchen area.  Andrea, you have 2 weeks to put a deck together on the pro’s and con’s for this initiative.”


Earth Day

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(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!”


Easy Button

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(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…..”



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(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.


Elevator Speech

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(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’.”


Email Bomb

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(1). Using the delivery function on Outlook to send an email to make it appear as though you’re in your office when you’re actually at the gym, home, bar, etc.


“Wow! Greg was at work awfully early today!”


“Do you really think he wrote and sent 9 emails at 6:07 a.m.?  He totally dropped an email bomb.”


Props to Jeff Q. for the submission.


Emotional Intelligence

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(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!”


Exploratory Interview

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(1).  A job interview your dad got you with a company that’s not hiring.


“Next steps?  Well, Jim, this is just an exploratory interview right now, but if something opens up down the road, I’d love to continue our conversation.”


Face Time

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(1).  The tedious task of actually seeing and interacting with your client in person.


(2).  An unwelcome meet-up with your client that happens much too often and usually require a significant amount of traveling.  Most of the time these meet-ups revolve around the clients “hectic” schedule which is either a result of them being bored, or being at a conference in the middle of nowhere.


“Hey Alda, you know what?  I think we should meet up for some face time at the Monarch Butterfly Expo in Albuquerque!  It’s just as short plane, bus and cab drive away from you.  Whaddya say?”