Old And Cold Money

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(1).  A client account you’re thinking of going after that’s been with one bank for years and years.  And why shouldn’t you give it try?!  I mean, who’s better than you, right?!  Their current guy probably doesn’t even call them once a quarter to tell them what’s going on with Russian commodity prices!  And how about that new exchange fund you’re offering?  Wouldn’t they want to know about that?!  Of course they would!!  Now, get over to that phone and get that old coot on the line!  You are a bright, shining star!


“So, given our lackluster numbers so far this year, I’ve been thinking that a new strategy is called for.  Instead of young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs, we’re going to hunt for some old and cold money!  Now, I want everyone to hit the nursing homes and university clubs and bring in those Vanderbilts!”



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(1).  An unsolicited, often recurring, meeting with your boss intended to (a) make it appear to your co-workers like you are more important to the business than you actually are, and (b) make it appear to your boss like you are more important to the business than you actually are.


“Sorry, Tom.  Can’t make the 2 o’clock call.  I’ve got my one-on-one with Jim.  Yeah, you know, gotta go over some numbers, some of the things I’ve been working on, big picture stuff….”


Only Child

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(1).  Your top priority or, more often, your only choice.


“I told the IT guys to think of me as their only child when it comes to allocating resources this year.”


(2).  The prima donna on your staff who you tend to give all of the plum assignments to just so they will stop bothering you about how they have no “career path”.


“Bob knows I’m an only child when it comes to assigning the top accounts.”


Props to Denise for the submission.



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(1).  Work done for a client that has no purpose other than to make it look like you are doing work for the client (see add value).


“Let’s suggest a few changes to the portfolio at tomorrow’s meeting.  I know we don’t need to, but these things are all about optics, right?”


Outdoor Citizens

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(1).  The homeless.


“There has been an increase of outdoor citizen activity near the south end of the property.  Please call security if you encounter any outdoor citizens on the property.”


Props to Andrew C. for the submission.



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(1).  Something everyone expects and no one takes.


“Hey Steve … thanks for taking ownership of this project.  Now, if you wouldn’t mind doing a little work on it as well, that would be great.”


Paperless Environment

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(1).  A term used by companies to describe a mythical place full of rainbows and lollipops where files are readily accessible online, nothing ever gets lost or misfiled and machines collect dust in darkened copy rooms.


“Everybody, I have big news.  This office will be a completely paperless environment by Q1 of 1998.”


Paradise Analysis

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(1).  Another way to describe the wish list you are about to present to you boss for that new system you want him to pay for.


“Okay, so this is our paradise analysis for the new custody platform.  If we even get a third of this, we’ll be in good very good shape.”


Parking Lot

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(1).  At conferences you are invited to write out questions/ideas/concerns on a sticky note and place it on a board called the parking lot.  You are told someone (from the company running the conference) will go through them and group them into like categories to avoid repetition and then your topics will be addressed.


Translation:  Slick guise to placate participants, weed out undesirable topics and zero in on what corporate wants to address.


Props to Cynthia E. for the submission.


(2).  A polite euphemism used in meetings to scuttle the train wreck of an idea that everyone sees except the one who just raised it.


“That’s a good point, Bill.  Let’s put that in the parking lot and discuss it after the meeting offline.” (Here “offline” means never.)


Props to Tommy P. for the submission.


Path of Least Resistance

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(1).  The easiest way to get at least some of what you want without getting a lot of grief (see push back) for your effort.


“I know asking Melanie to cover my shift sucks, you know, ’cause Melanie sucks…but, she still kinda wants to sleep with me, so it’s the path of least resistance if I want to still hit the Pantera concert show.”


Personal Brand

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(1).  A collection of work-related achievements you add to your “bio” (read: resume) whose only purpose (now that you’ve moved on to another company) seems to have been to allow you to add them to your bio.


“I think writing an article in our trade journal is a great idea, Kenny.  It’ll sure help you increase your personal brand…and be good for the company’s reputation, of course.”


Personal Day

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(1).  Something my assistant seems to have a lot of, especially when we’re really busy.


“Hi, Tom…I’m going to take a personal day today.  What’s going on?  I have an interv…umm…dentist appointment…yeah, that’s it…a dentist appointment.”



Petty Cash

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(1). Loose money usually kept in the desk drawer of the head of human resources that is used for miscellaneous office expenses or to buy groceries for your siblings in the off chance the babysitter dies.


(2). Cash money.


“We have to economize Sue Ellen!  There’s nothing left in petty cash, I’ve taken it all!”


Pig in the Python

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(1). A sharp statistical uptick.  Like every stock price when we thought Trump wasn’t crazy.


“So, last quarter’s net surplus seems to have been a bit of a pig in the python.  After reviewing the annualized numbers, we’re basically flat for the year, mostly due to the drop-off in sales in the northeast region thanks to Larry’s crumbling marriage.”


Props to Kevin for the submission!



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(1).  A broker/advisor in the securities industry who runs his business in an amateur fashion.


“It’s 10:30 and Bill still isn’t in the office…what a piker!”


Props to Mark R. for the submission.


Pillow Test

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(1).  A check to make sure the action you are recommending will help your client sleep better at night.


“The important thing to ask yourself, Mrs. Gilchrist, is whether putting your entire retirement savings into shares of Facebook is going to pass the pillow test.  Given the commissions I would make on the trade, I would say ‘yes’.”



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(1).  The list of prospective clients your company maintains that never seems to change.  You really need to hire better sales reps.


“Well, we have about 50 prospects in the pipeline right now, so we’re doing okay.  Well, I suppose we could cull some of these 2003 ones… …okay, well we have about 15 prospects in the pipeline right now, so we’re doing okay.”



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(1).  A standard PowerPoint presentation used for all prospective clients in which the prospect‘s name is inserted in two or three places to make it appear as if it was prepared just for them.


“Hey Courtney, can you email me a copy of the most recent pitchbook?  I just want to make sure all of my phony baloney certifications are listed in my bio.”


Plaid Suit

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(1).  That guy on your sales team that just oozes “used car salesman”.  He actually probably drives a Maserati.


“Ugh…Dan is such a plaid suit!  He’d try to sell you his mother’s house if he could…with her still in it!”


Pocketbook Issue

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(1).  A misogynistic term that political candidates use when addressing “women’s issues” in an attempt to appear as if they could care less about whatever “women’s issues” are.


“Look, let me be clear…I understand you’re frustrated with the cost of groceries…I do.  It’s a real pocketbook issue and I want you to know that I hear you.  I also want to take a moment to address the death of soap operas…I’m sorry, do you all still watch soap operas?”




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(1).  A giant picnic table in the hallway with computer screens where about fifteen people get to enjoy listening to every, stinking word the guys on either side of him are saying all day long.


“So, this is the pod where your screen will be.  Oh, and this is Joe, Mike, Kimmie, Sarah and George.  One word of advice – I wouldn’t go talking to your doctor or girlfriend or anything here.  George is a serial tweeter.  Welcome aboard!”


Possibility Plate

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(1).  A simply adorable way to say you just can’t do it.


“I’m afraid I’ll have to push that off the edge of my possibility plate.”


Props to Helen S. for the submission.



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(1).  The awkward discussion you have after a pitch with a prospect to figure out why you didn’t win the business (read: why you suck) so you can “do better next time”.


(2).  The meeting that happens after a big project is completed, where everyone gathers round to discuss who will be the scapegoat for everything that went wrong.


“Listen guys, doing a post-mortem is a solid way to figure out what we did right and what we did wrong.  I mean, Jerry dropping the F-bomb a few times didn’t help, and Lisa, breaking down crying in the middle of the meeting when your GoToMyPC froze probably wasn’t great either.  You know what, on second thought, maybe we don’t need to do this…..Jerry and Lisa, can you come to my office for a minute?”


Pow Wow

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(1).  A private staff meeting or other euphemism for a group of employees complaining about their co-workers and/or clients in a conference room or office.


(2).  A meeting or brainstorming session to come up with ideas and strategies for a particular client…who may or may not be Native Americans.


“We all need to get into a room and have a pow wow.  Who’s bringing the cigars?”


Power Tie

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(1). A term used to describe a particularly lavish tie that apparently can tap into the power of Greyskull.


“Hey Mike! What do you think of my new power tie?  By the power of Greyskull….I have the powerrrrrrrrr!!  Am I right?!  Or am I right?!

“I think I need a new job Dave.  I think I need a new job.”


Powers That Be

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(1).  You know who these guys are.  You also know you’re never going to be one of them.  So there.


“Well, we tried to get our proposal approved today.  Unfortunately, the powers that be think it’ll be a much better use of firm resources to hold another ‘top producer’ offsite in Maui.  We’re never going to get that new coffee maker now!”



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(1).  “Policies and Procedures Manual”; or in other words, an endless document no one reads that outlines a bunch of rules no one follows.


“Okay, guys, so we’re rolling out the new PPM for check presentments this week.  I’d like everyone to read through it and let me know if you have any questions.  It’s only 247 pages, so it shouldn’t take you more than a weekend.”


Pride of Authorship

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(1).  Resentment of co-workers for edits they have made to something you wrote.


“No, please.  Make changes.  No pride of authorship here.  I just worked on it for three months, no big deal.  Looking forward to your thoughts.”



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(1).  A way to refer to a company’s sales force as a collective group without actually using the word “sales”.


(2).  An operations term referring to a document or application that is being prepared for release.


“For a change of pace, this year the company is going to focus its hiring and compensation in the production area of the business.”


Profit Center

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(1).  That department where the people who make all the money work.  Click here for your department.


“So, are we a profit center or not?  The last five accounts you guys brought in were priced so low, we’re basically paying them!  No, go out there and get some clients who pay us!”



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(1).  n.  A potential client which is currently being courted by a salesperson.  Prospects are generally treated as the most important person in the world during the marketing phase of the relationship.  However, once the prospect becomes an actual client, they will receive the same half-interested, annual-meetings-level of service as any of the salesperson’s other clients.


“I’ve got this huge prospect I’m working on right now, Jeff.  I don’t want to count chickens, but I’m feeling Bentley right now!”


(2).  v.  A gold-mining inspired term meaning to seek out new clients, either through direct marketing (i.e. cold calling) or networking (i.e. volunteering for a charity in hopes of meeting new clients).  As with gold mining, prospecting often leads to several dead ends, fool’s gold deposits (i.e. clients who lie about their net worth) and occasionally, a gem.


“Sup, Lo-Dawg.  I’m gonna need a couple hits for tonight.  Going out prospecting at the clubs, yo!”


Push Back

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(1).  n.  A repeated attempt to obtain a different answer or result, often used while feigning guilt, and even more often resulting in something being escalated to management.


(2).  v.  To annoyingly attempt to obtain a different answer or result, often (depending on how pushy you are) resulting in some sort of successful outcome.


“Sorry for the push back, Andy, but I really think we should be able to get this done for twenty bips.  I’ll take this all the way up the chain of command, if I have to.”



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(1).  The guy who takes the client out to lunch occasionally, but does no real work on the account.


“So, Steve will still be the quarterback of your relationship, but you should feel free to reach out to any of us if you have any specific questions relating to the management of your accounts.  He likely will be out of the office when you call.”


Radio Silence

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(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…”



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(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.



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(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.”



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(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.


Responsibility Grid

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(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!”


Road Map

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(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.”



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(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.”



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(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!”



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(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

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(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

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(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.



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(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.



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(1).  What you always call something you’ve been doing for years that you now suspect no one else does anymore, in an attempt to make it sound like they’re the ones who’ve got it wrong.


“Wait a minute…isn’t it still S.O.P. to keep a second set of books for all of the cash-only sales we close?”


Scope Creep

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(1).  The slow, silent expansion of responsibilities by an operations department or, worse, an outsourced service provider.  Scope Creep is usually only discovered after you receive an outsized bill or you realize that your job has somehow been centralized in a foreign country.


“Aren’t we a little concerned about scope creep here, Mike?  Remember what happened when we centralized our client service reps a few years ago – all of sudden we had 200 guys in Bangalore calling themselves ‘Steve from Dallas’!”


Sense of Urgency

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(1).  A term generally used when providing negative feedback intended to imply that a particular empolyee is lazy or takes an inordinate amount of time to complete tasks.  Over-caffeinated junior stockbrokers often use the term to describe the pace of action by other, non-commission-based areas of the firm (e.g. operations), implying that only they are truly providing adequate service to their clients (when, in actuality, all they really care about is getting paid faster).


“Hi Jim, it’s Pierce.  Hope you’re doing well.  Just wanted to check in on the hold-up with the Altman account.  You know this is a really important client to the firm and I just don’t think you’re showing the same sense of urgency we are about getting this account open.  Now, I understand today is Christmas, but…”