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Corporate Lingo Bingo

March 31, 2007

It’s Spring Break this week and I have taken a couple of blissful days away from the hectic grind that is Corporate Life. It’s refreshing to hear “dude” and “duh” and “like” in place of all of the corporate lingo I usually hear. It’s actually been kind of fun to make up silly sentences and phrases this week, and to say them occasionally in baby talk. When I talk to my kids, I don’t have to worry about how they might interpret what I’ve said. I also don’t have to worry about whether or not my language fits the latest “direction” our family is taking. It’s English we speak in our household… just plain, old English.

Boy, have we gotten away from that in Corporate America. I like to sit in meetings and count the number of times I hear the latest buzzwords. It gets amusing after awhile, although I must admit it keeps me from intently concentrating on how I can “execute more effectively.”

Here are some of my favorites from IT land (and a few from my husband’s years in retail) followed by their plain, old English translations:

“We should utilize cross-team synergies” – We need to find another team on the globe that can take over part of our workload because we are too overworked to do it.

“We will embrace corporate direction” – If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

“We should foster positive relationships” – We have had a lot of grouchy people here in the past, our customers think we’re evil now and we have to change that.

“We need to level set our customers” – Their expectations are outrageous and someone needs to tell them they’ve been taking hallucinogenic drugs.

“We need to think outside the box” – We have been doing it that way since this company was founded and it has never worked, so it’s time to come up with some new ideas.

“We should go for the low-hanging fruit” – Get the obvious things done now and that way we look we’re making better progress.

“Our people are cross-trained” – We have cut headcount so many times that the folks that are left have to know everything.

“We have reached critical mass” – We are about to miss a deadline, but it’s only because we are understaffed and underfinanced.

“We have some resource challenges” – We have one person left on the team (see “cross-trained” above) and he’s too busy to do it.

“We need a paradigm shift” – We need management to think differently (editorial comment: without a martini and a golf club in hand would be preferred).

“We need a better ROI” – I can’t give these numbers to management! Change them however you can so that I can justify this huge cash outlay now with a bigger return on investment later.

“Let’s take that offline” – I can’t believe you brought that up in this meeting and I will discuss that with you ONLY in the privacy of my office later.

“That person needs to be coached” – You need to discuss with that person how NOT to be an idiot in the workplace (e.g., put the fear of God into them right now) so we don’t have to go through the paperwork and headache of firing them later.

“It’s time to execute, execute, execute!” – I don’t care if you work weekends, late nights and holidays. It has to get done and you will be here doing it. I will be on holiday in the Bahamas.

“My plate is pretty full” – If you add any more tasks to my list you will cut into my Internet surfing time.

“It’s time to step up to the plate” – Get it done right now or you and I will be in the unemployment line together.

“Cleanup on aisle 6” – I have paid my dues and have been promoted to a position that allows me access to the intercom. I’m publicly passing the responsibility for little Suzie’s “accident” in aisle 6 to the new guy.

“There’s no shame in that” – The polite way of saying you had better improve your numbers or shame will be the least of your worries.

“We had a problem with Scope Creep” – I know the project is way behind schedule, but every member of management added something “necessary” to it after the requirements phase was completed. What? No, they didn’t provide any additional budget resources.

“This is a High-Visibility Project” – All of our customers know about this and so does all of upper management, so if you screw this up your tenure at this company will be shortened considerably.

My personal favorite: “That could be a CLM (Career Limiting Move)” – That particular action could show your ineptitude (or attitude) to upper management or any customer that has upper management’s ear (see High-Visibility Project) and might earmark you for the really cruddy jobs in the future.

Corporate Lingo can be mind-numbing or hilarious, depending on your perspective. I just made my own Corporate Lingo Bingo Card and I pull it out when the lingo gets too deep. Do you have some from your “foray into gainful employment” too?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Christine permalink
    April 3, 2007 10:47 pm

    Ha! That’s awesome. We call that “B.S. Bingo” and usually get your bingo card out during conference calls. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Christine permalink
    April 3, 2007 10:47 pm

    My personal favorite: โ€œThereโ€™s no shame in thatโ€ – The polite way of saying you had better improve your numbers or shame will be the least of your worries.

  3. Jim permalink
    August 29, 2007 6:31 pm

    You forgot “It is what it is”. In other words, you better accept whatever “it” is or you’re outta here.

  4. February 14, 2008 6:41 pm

    OMG, that’s funny. I feel like I could copy and paste this entry on my blog. Verbatim.

    Reading though some of your archives ;P

  5. April 20, 2008 12:51 pm

    In Sweden we also call this B.S. Bingo. I must say no matter what the language it’s just as fun ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Alexwebmaster permalink
    March 3, 2009 6:14 am

    Hello webmaster
    I would like to share with you a link to your site
    write me here preonrelt@mail.ru

  7. September 10, 2009 5:22 am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheers! Sandra. R.

  8. December 31, 2009 10:58 am

    Love it…I created my own list for corporate jargon that must die in 2010.

    http://www.businessandthegeek.com/?p=143

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