Work Phrases Explained

Activate:
To make carbons and add more names to the email.

Advanced Design:
Beyond the comprehension of the ad agency’s copywriters.

All New:
Parts not interchangeable with existing models.

Approved:
Needs revising

Automatic:
That which you cannot repair yourself.

Channels:
The trails left by interoffice emails.

Clarify:
To fill in the background with so many details that the foreground goes underground.

Conference:
A place where conversation is substituted for the loneliness of thought and the dreariness of labor.

Consultant:
Someone who borrows your watch to tell you what time it is and then walks away with the watch.

Forwarded For Your Consideration:
You hold the bag for a while.

FYI:
Found yesterday, interested?

In Conference:
Nobody can find him/her.

Let’s Get Together On This:
I’m assuming you’re as confused as I.

Note & Initial:
I’m not taking the fall for this myself.

Policy:
We can hide behind this.

Please See Me:
Come down to my office. I’m lonely.

Top Priority:
It may be stupid but the boss wants it.

We Are Taking A Survey:
We need more time to think of an answer or we can’t find anyone willing to be responsible for this.

Will Advise In Due Course:
If we figure it out, we’ll let you know.

Great Sayings – Words Married Couples Should Never Use

“Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use.”

Wendell Johnson

 

When I went to a group for married couples early in my marriage, this was one of the significant topics.

Sure, it’s written in humor in the quote above, but it is very true.  Nothing is always or never like you never put the toilet seat down or you always leave the lights on.  It’s just not true and both parties know it.

The reason I say married couples is that people dating or living together can just leave with little damage other than feelings.  While it’s not believed by a lot of people, the concept of marriage is until death do us part.  Some still pull that off.

So never say always and always say never.

Vocabulary Tricks Dumb People Use to Sound Smart – Also A Good Meeting Bingo List When You Are Bored

I have heard most of these 89 sophisticated clichés that typically form the trick vocabulary of such people, almost always by management, whom I’ve indicated:

Note: these are also meeting (BS) bingo words when you are bored. Please let me know if anyone is ever in a meeting that can cross off all of these words.

One of my favorite sayings is: A meeting is a cul-de-sac where ideas are strangled and usually eliminated.

1. It’s a paradigm shift = I don’t know what’s going on in our business. But we’re not making as much money as we used to.

2. We’re data-driven = We try not to make decisions by the seat of our pants. When possible, we try to base them in facts -SC.

3. We need to wrap our heads around this = Gosh, I never thought of that. We need to discuss that….SC

4. It’s a win-win = Hey, we both get something out of this (even though I’m really trying to get the best from you)

5. ROI [used in any sentence] = Look at me, I’m very financially minded, even if I never took any finance classes in school

6. Let’s blue sky this/let’s ballpark this = Let’s shoot around a bunch of ideas since we have no clue what to do

7. I’m a bit of a visionary = I’m a bit of an egomaniac and narcissist EB

8. I’m a team player/we only hire team players = I hope everyone on the team thinks this is a meritocracy, even though I’m the dictator in charge EB

9. Let’s circle back to that/Let’s put that in the parking lot/let’s touch base on that later/let’s take this off-line = Shut up and let’s go back to what I was talking about

10. We think outside the box here/color outside the lines = We wouldn’t know about how to do something innovative if it came up to us and bit us in the behind

11. I/we/you don’t have the bandwidth = Since we cut 60% of our headcount, we’re all doing the job of 3 people, so we’re all burned out

12. This is where the rubber meets the road = Don’t screw up

13. Net net/the net of it is/when you net it out = I never studied finance or accounting but I sound like someone who  can make money if I keep talking about another word for profit

14. We’ll go back and sharpen our pencils = We’ll go back and offer you the same for 20% less in hopes you’ll buy it before the end of the quarter – RA

15.  It’s like the book “Crossing the Chasm”/”Blue Ocean”/”Good To Great” / “Tipping Point” / “Outliers” = I’ve never read any of these books but I sound literate if I quote  from them. And, besides, you cretins probably never read them either to  call me out on it

16. Let’s right-size it = Let’s whack/fire a bunch of people – RA

17. It’s next-gen/turn-key/plug-and-play = I want it to sound so technical that you’ll just buy it without asking me any questions

18. We need to manage the optics of this = How can we lie about this in a way people will believe?

19. This is creative destruction = I’ve  never read Joseph Schumpeter but our core business is getting killed so  it’s your responsibility to come up with a new product the market will  buy

20. We don’t have enough boots on the ground = I don’t want to be fired for this disastrous product/country launch,  so I’m going to sound tough referring to the military and say I don’t  have enough resources

21. Deal with it = Tough cookies – SC

22. By way of housekeeping = This makes the boring stuff I’m about to say sound more official

23. That’s the $64,000 question [sometimes, due to inflation, people will denominate this cliché in millions or billions of dollars] = I don’t know either

24. Let’s square the circle = I’m someone who can unify two team members’ views and sound important

25. It’s our cash cow/protect/milk the cash cow = If that business goes south, we’re all out of a job

26. It’s about synergies/1 + 1 = 3 = I don’t get the math either, but it sounds like more and more is better, right?

27. Who’s going to step up to the plate? = One of you is going to do this and it’s not going to be me

28. We’re eating our own dog food = It sounds gross but we seem like honest folks if we do this.

29. We need to monetize/strategize/analyze/incentivize = When in doubt, stick “-ize” on the end of a word and say we’ve got to  do this and 9 out of 10 times, it will sound action-oriented.

30. We did a Five Forces/SWOT analysis/Value Chain analysis = We didn’t really do any of that, but none of you probably even remember Michael Porter, so what the heck

31. It was a perfect storm = We really screwed up but we’re going to blame a bunch of factors that are out of our hands (especially weather)

32. At the end of the day…. = OK, enough talking back and forth, we’re going to do what I want to do  – LS

33. Who’s got the ‘R’? [i.e., responsibility to do what we just spent 20 minutes talking about aimlessly] = If I ask the question, it won’t be assigned to me

34. Let’s put lipstick on this pig = plug your nose

35. I’m putting a stake in the ground here… = I’m a leader, simply because I’m using this cliché

36. We’re customer-focused/proactive/results-oriented = That can’t be bad, right?  This is motherhood and apple pie stuff

37. Our visibility into the quarter is a little fuzzy = Sales just fell off a cliff

38. That’s not our core competency/we’re sticking to our knitting = We’re just glad we’re making money in one business, because we’d have no clue how to get into any other business

39. Well, we’re facing some headwinds there = You put your finger on the area we’re panicking over

40. It’s a one-off = Do whatever they want to close the sale

41. Incent it = That’s not a verb but I just made it into one because I’m a man/woman of action

42. I’m an agent of change = This makes it sound like I know how to handle the chaos that our business is constantly going through

43. We’ve got to do a little more due diligence there = Don’t have a clue but does that legal term make me sound detail-oriented?

44. Don’t leave money on the table = Be as greedy with them as possible

45. We take a “ready, fire, aim” approach here = We totally operate on a seat-of-the-pants basis

46. Hope is not a strategy = I don’t have a strategy, but this makes it sound like I’m above people who also don’t have a strategy – BO

47. We have to tear down the silos internally = Our organizational structure is such a mess that I’m going to be under-mined by other departments at every turn

48. I don’t think it will move the needle = This won’t get my boss excited

49. Good to put a face to the name = I’d really rather talk to that person behind you

50. Let’s take the 30,000 foot view… = I like to think I see the big picture

51. It’s the old 80-20 rule = I really have no idea what the rule was, but I just want to focus on the things that will make us successful

52. We need to manage expectations = Get ready to start sucking up to people – AL

53. It’s not actionable enough/what’s the deliverable? = You guys do the work on refining the idea. I’m too tired.

54. My 2 cents is… = This opinion is worth a heck of a lot more than 2 cents

55. I’m going to sound like a broken record here… = I want to clearly point out to you idiots that I’ve made this point several times before

56. We’ve got too many chiefs and not enough Indians = I want to be the Chief

57. Going forward = Don’t screw up like this again – AL

58. My people know I’ve got an open door policy = I’ve told my direct reports to come to me if they have a problem, so  why should I feel bad if they complain I’m too busy to talk to them?

59. It’s gone viral = Someone sent a tweet about this

60. I know you’ve been burning the candle on both ends = Get ready to do some more

61. It’s scalable = We can sell a lot of it in theory

62. It’s best-of-breed = We hired a market research firm to say that – too many – SC

63. We’re all about value-add = Unlike our competitors who seek to add no value

64. What’s our go-to-market? = Has anyone planned this out, because I’ve been too busy? SC

65. I’m drinking from a fire hose right now = I want a little sympathy over here, because I’m tired of carrying this company on my back

66. We’re getting some push back = They’re not buying it JB

67. We need to do a level-set = I’ve never been inside a Home Depot, but this phrase makes me sound handy

68. It’s basic blocking and tackling = How could you screw this up? I also played high school football and those were the best days of my life.

69. Let’s put our game faces on = Get serious, guys

70. We’ve got it covered from soup to nuts = I have no idea what that means, but don’t you dare question my prep work on it

71. We don’t want to get thrown under the bus = So let’s throw someone else first – RGorman

72. But to close the loop on this… = Always the more theoretical Business Development/Strategy guys who say this, so they can sound thorough

73. What are “next steps”? = Did anyone take notes during the last 90 minutes of this meeting?

74. This is low-hanging fruit = Get this done quickly

75. We need a few quick wins = We’ve got to trick people into thinking we know what we’re doing by some successes we can point to and claim as ours DHP

76. It’s a [Insert Company Name] killer = Did I get your attention yet with the Freddy Kreuger imagery associated with the company who’s currently eating our lunch? SC

77. I want to address the elephant in the room = I know you think I’m trying to cover up/gloss over something, so I might as well talk about it

78. This is the next big thing/new thing = Some of our 20-somethings have told me this is really cool

79. This time it’s different because… = Don’t wait for the explanation… simply run for the hills.

80. What are the best practices on this? = How can I cover my behind that we’re just doing stuff the way other good people have supposedly done this?

81. This is our deliverable = I know this sounds like something that comes in a body bag, but it makes our PowerPoint sound tougher than it actually is

82. We’ll loop you in when we need to = You’re not that important to know about all the details on this

83. We want this to move up and to the right = I failed high school algebra but someone said this means we’ll be making a lot of money if this happens

84. We’re going through a re-org = No one knows what the heck is going on at the moment, we’re going to lay off a bunch of people.

85. We’ve got to increase our mind-share with the customer = I think I would have been happier as a doctor doing lobotomies than in marketing as a career path

86. I don’t think you’re comparing apples to apples = Let me tell you how you should really think about this issue = DHP

87. Let’s peel back the onion on this = I want to sound thorough so this is a better way of telling you that than simply clearing my throat

88. You phoned it in = I was too busy checking my email during your presentation that I didn’t listen _ JC

89. I want you to run with this = I just threw you into the deep end of the pool and you’re on your own to figure it out -JC

Alternate Meanings of Words. A Different Way of Thinking About Definitions

  1. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
  2. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightie.
  3. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
  4. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  5. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  6. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
  7. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent
  8. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
  9. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
  10. Flatulence (n.), the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  11. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.
  12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor
  13. assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
  14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
  15. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of your boxer shorts.
  16. Frisbeetarianism (n.), the belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.
  17. Pokemon (n.), a Jamaican proctologist.