100% zero An expression that emphatically states the ultimate negative. "The chances of this project succeeding are 100% zero. It's just not going to happen."
1K buffer If a techie says you have a 1K buffer, he's not talking about your computer Ė he's insulting you. It means you have a particularly low capacity for learning and remembering new things: "He's got a 1K buffer when it comes to the new accounting software."
360-Degree Review This is when you get it from all sides. It's the latest in performance evaluations. The victim, er, person is assessed by everyone that has regular contact with him/her: managers, subordinates, colleagues and customers.
404 A derogatory term used to describe someone who is totally clueless. "Don't bother asking Bill...he's 404." Comes from the pesky error message you get when the Web page youíre looking for canít be found: 404 Not Found.
411 Thanks to Ma Bell, we have a new synonym for "information." As in: "I havenít got much time, so just give me the 411!"
Absolutely Over-enthusiastic, over-affirming four-syllable response used in place of a simple "yes."
Action Item A term that sounds more macho and businesslike than "to do" list.
Adminisphere The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
Agreeance A bastardization of "agreement." Created by the BuzzMakers because it sounds more important and "official." It's now bandied about at business meetings and is often buried in the fine print of Web site privacy statements. "All parties are in agreeance . .
Air Cover Borrowed from the military, it's when someone in upper management agrees to take the flak for an unpopular decision -- while you do the dirty work. "The CIO will provide air cover while you make the cuts to reduce costs."
Alpha Geek The most technically proficient person in the group.
alt-tab It's more than just a key on your PC, it's the latest way to save your job. Hitting "alt+tab" on your keyboard will hide the window that's on your screen and bring up one from behind. It's used frequently in the workplace to hide the fact that you've been
Architect Mutilation of a noun by the "computer architecture" world. "Tell us what you want your system to do and we'll architect it for you." What's wrong with the word "design"?
Assmosis The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss.
Associates Companies no longer have "employees" they have "associates." Of course, they're still paid like employees.
Badge violation Wearing your work badge into the bar for happy hour. The penalty is usually to buy the first round.
Bandwidth (as applied to people) So, whatís your personal bandwidth like? Expect to hear it from your boss soon. It means: How much extra time do you have to take on new projects?
Best Practices A term bandied about in business management circles and describes business tactics (and strategies) being used in successful companies. The term, however, can be misleading. While "best practices" seems to imply success, they may have nothing to do with t
Betamaxed It's what happens when the "best" technology loses out to lesser technology in the marketplace. Coined during the VCR wars when VHS became the standard over the "superior" Betamax format. Since then the process has been perfected by Microsoft's marketing
BFO Blinding Flash of the Obvious. "Jack is having another one of his BFO moments."
BHNC Big Hat, No Cattle. Another way of saying "all talk, no action."
Bio Break Meeting-speak for "bathroom break." "Let's take a short bio break before moving on to action plans." Of course, coffee is served during such breaks at business conferences, resulting in the need for more bio breaks.
Black-Collar Worker Once a term for miners and oil workers, today it more often refers to creative types (artists, graphic designers, video producers) whoíve made black attire a kind of unofficial uniform.
Blaired To have one's work stolen or copied. Refers to former New York Times reporter Jayson Blair's penchant for stealing the work of other journalists.
Blame Shift To deflect responsibility by pointing the finger at someone else. "Don't blame shift," Julia Roberts warns Brad Pitt in "The Mexican."
Blamestorming A group process where participants analyze a failed project and look for scapegoats other than themselves.
Bleeding Edge You knew there had to be something beyond the cutting edge. Well, this is it. Itís technology so new even its inventors arenít completely sure what it is or where itís headed. Of course, some make it. Others just bleed. Now, what category should we put Ja
Bloated Syntax Anything that's overwritten -- often padded with unnecessary adjectives or laden with hyperbole. Also appropriately known as "BS."
Bloatware Software that has more features, buttons and capability than you'll ever need -- thanks to faster computer chips, cheap memory and big hard drives. It eats up storage space on your drive and hogs memory in order to run. The result of bad or simply lazy de
Blowing your buffer Losing your train of thought. Also 'dumping your buffer.'
Bobbleheading The mass nod of agreement by participants in a meeting to comments made by the boss even though most have no idea what he just said.
Body Nazis Hardcore exercise/weightlifting fanatics who look down on anyone who doesn't work out excessively.
Bohica An acronym muttered by the people who do the real work when senior managers announce their latest and greatest sales/customer service/quality initiative. It's more polite than Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.
Boiling the Ocean Boiling the ocean: ocean." Also known as "spinning your wheels" and "running in place."
Boolean Approach A decision-making process favored by business execs in which the answer is either "yes" OR "no." Also known as a "digital decision."
Bosspasm Any frantic keyboard/mouse activity generated by your boss entering your office; for example, quitting Solitaire and maximizing the budget forecast spreadsheet.
Botchulism Quick-fix solutions or business practices that turn toxic. "Arthur Andersen had a bad case of botchulism. It crippled the company and killed my 401k."
Bracket Envy The emotion that results when your last team in the Final Four is eliminated while your colleague across the aisle still has three teams remaining.
Bracket Fatigue The tired and tattered remains of the typical NCAA basketball office pool bracket after two rounds, particularly for those folks who picked Kentucky or Stanford to win it all.
Brandalism Itís the "defacing" of schools, libraries and other public spaces with logos, advertisements and corporate slogans. Remember when buildings were named after people we admired?
Brandroid Someone (usually a marketer) who relentlessly trumpets the brand and pushes for all decisions to be aligned with the company's "brand essence."
Brown Bag Session A meeting scheduled during lunch hour in which the employee not only has to work but must bring his or her own lunch.
Bubble Up The act of letting an idea or issue rise up the organization chart to a superior. "The best ideas are the ones that bubble up from front line employees."
Bulletize To highlight supposedly key information using bullet points. "To help explain my idea, I've bulletized the main points on the next slide..." Often used by people who can't explain themselves in complete sentences.
Business Need A generic term generally used by upper management to explain or defend a business decision -- particularly a bad one.
Cafeteria Plan Any benefit program (medical, 401k, etc.) that allows employees to choose options from a menu. While it gives employees the impression they have choices, companies often use the approach as a way to pass along higher costs.
Capsizing Downsizing gone awry. It's the process of a company repeatedly reducing head count, but not the work, until it goes under.
Carter's Trap If you display an ability to work well with difficult co-workers, you will continually be assigned to work with difficult co-workers.
C-Change Not to be confused with "sea change." It's CEO-speak for replacing a fellow chief executive, CEO, CIO, COO, CMO, etc. "It's time for a C-change."
Cell Phone Manager Someone with a total lack of project management skills. He/she spends all day on the cell phone calling people and asking stupid questions.
Cellular Macarena The dance that occurs when a cellular phone rings in a public place. Everyone reaches for their coat pocket, front pants pocket, back pants pocket, etc.
Centergistic Focusing on one main goal or purpose. "We need to keep this meeting centergistic if we're going to make our deadline."
C-Gull A C-level executive with the annoying habit of swooping in and out meetings and leaving a huge mess for his/her subordinates to clean up.
Chainsaw consultant An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee headcount, leaving the brass with clean hands.
Changing suits Leaving the military and joining a related industry.
Chips And Salsa Hardware and Software. "First we need to figure out whether the problem is in your chips or your salsa."
Chocolate Microscope Any piece of non-essential gear bought by a .com to make the working environment 'cooler,' particularly if it's a waste of money. From The Simpsons; when Springfield Elementary strikes oil and can afford all manner of extravagant purchases, Ralph Wiggins
Clarity Result when you think with a clear head. Since the dot-com bust and the recession, it's become a corporate-speak favorite.
Client-Centric Marketing-speak for anything that focuses on the needs of the customer. "We've boosted profits 30% since we began using a client-centric business strategy." Translation: We're making more money now that we're actually giving customers what they want.
Climate Sensing A random survey of workforce attitudes. Generally done by walking around and chatting with the employees. Also known as "taking the pulse."
CLM A three-letter abbreviation making the rounds: Career Limiting Move. It refers to any incident that puts a roadblock in your career path. "Jack spilled coffee on the boss. It was a major CLM."
Clueful In the techie world, itís the opposite of clueless. "Iíll get the answer as soon as I can find someone clueful at Network Solutions."
Coachable Moment An opportunity to give on-the-spot, real-time feedback to an employee who just screwed up.
COB Acronym for "close of business," generally pronounced C-O-B, not "cob." "I need that report COB (by close of business today)." Also EOB -- end of business.
Cockroach An apparently small problem that, when discovered, leads to uncovering many other problems.
Competitive Salary In employment adspeak, it means the hiring company has no intention of paying you any more than any other company -- and probably a tad less.
Contact Center A New Economy name for "call center," the central hub where customer service folks man a companyís phones. Now they answer e-mail, have "live" chats online and clear the fax machine. All for a salary just a few notches above minimum wage.
Core Competencies A buzz favorite in corporate circles. It's simply what a person or company does well. "We're dropping our new product line and will focus our efforts on our core competencies." Translation: We're going back to basics.
Corporate Anorexia A company's unhealthy obsession with cutting the fat. But instead of producing a "lean and mean" operation, the single-minded focus on cost-cutting frequently creates a death spiral resulting in bankruptcy.
Corporate DNA A company's core values, culture, personality, etc., that supposedly gets passed along to all new employees. Corporate DNA, however, is actually altered slightly every time a new person is hired. And a wholesale shift can occur by simply replacing the CEO
Corridor Warriors Those employees and execs, who spend their day racing from meeting to meeting, tethered to laptops so they can retrieve even the most basic of information, take notes, and remained linked to the rest of the world via e-mail.
Corrolary If you execute an unpleasant or distasteful assignment well, you will be given more unpleasant or distasteful assignments.
Crackberry Another name for the Blackberry that refers to its addictive nature and the inability of its users to focus on anything else for more than 10 seconds.
Crackeye To peek into a conference room to see if a meeting is in progress. "I crackeyed the room, but it was full of suits."
Crisis Junkie Someone who can only do his/her best work when in crisis mode. See also 'stress puppy.'
Critical Need Sensor The part on a copier that makes it break down just when you need it the most.
Crowd Gravity The principle that a group gathered in a hallway or outside a cubicle grows in size by sucking in people who pass by. Also called 'flypaper meeting.'
Cryptonoia The paranoid tendency to read meaning into things that aren't there. "Cryptonoiacs can't read the back of cereal box without finding a hidden conspiracy." (Of course, they're probably right!)
Cube Farm What most workplaces have become. Itís a large open space within an office thatís been subdivided into endless rows of cubicles.
Cubicle Vultures Office mates who circle a laid-off worker's desk then swoop in to pick it clean -- appropriating prized chairs, lamps, file cabinets, staplers, etc. for their own cubicles.
Cyberbalkanization Online narrow-mindedness. A product of the Internetís ability to bring together narrowly-focused, like-minded individuals who increasingly know and care more and more about less and less.
Cyberbeggars Individuals who create their own Web sites in order to beg for cash to pay off their debts and actually get people to send them money. Also known as e-panhandling. Note of caution: Beware cyberbeggars who accept credit cards.
Cyberchondriacs People who obsessively pore through health Web sites in search of diseases and symptoms with which to misdiagnose themselves.
Cyberslackers Employees who use the company Internet connection during work hours to surf the Net, shop, play games, check stock prices, etc. Are you one? Here's the test: If you're sitting at your desk and reading this . . .
Data Cholesterol The build up of information or traffic that slows down a software application's ability to perform. "Outerbay's technology improves performance mission-critical Oracle applications up to 40% by eliminating the 'data cholesterol' that builds with transacti
DBT Death by Tweakage. When a product or project fails due to unnecessary tinkering or too many last-minute revisions. "Why did the new product fail?" "It had the DBTs."
Dead Peasants Insurance A corporate "win-win" bet on your life. The practice of companies taking out life insurance policies on their own employees (often without them knowing it) while designating the company as beneficiary. If the employee dies young, the company gets tax-fre
Deface Time Being caught by your boss doing something unproductive. Contrast 'Face Time.'
Deja Moo The nagging feeling that you've heard this bull before.
Deliverable A perfectly legitimate word that has been reduced to consultant-speak. It generally means work promised to be completed by a certain time. "This project has 14 deliverables."
Desktime Those brief periods between meetings when you're actually sitting at your desk working. "I'll need a little desktime between the offsite strategy meeting and the afternoon brainstorming session so that I can schedule tomorrow's team status meeting."
Destinesia A temporary condition that explains the dumb, blank look on your face when you arrive at your destination but can't remember why you're there.
Dialogue Apparently no one talks during business meetings any more. Instead, everyone has a dialogue. "Let's have a dialogue on the new product launch."
Digital Amnesia The result of being so overwhelmed by the availability, speed and volume of digital information that you canít remember any of it (or where you might have put it on your hard drive).
Digiteria Geek-speak for a coffee shop, restaurant, bar or other public place where lcool people meet in a WiFi environment.
Disambiguate To remove ambiguities. To make clear. Used extensively by software developers, as in: "Before we go gold, we need to disambiguate the help menu verbiage."
Dispense Suspense Those milliseconds between making a vending machine selection and it successfully dropping down for you to retrieve -- during which you silently scream to the bag of chips, "Don't get stuck; DON'T GET STUCK!"
DNA trip The annoying act of pushing one's beliefs, ethnic heritage or traditions on others. "Jack's on a real DNA trip."
Document Polish Fancy phrases and buzzwords added to reports or other documents that sound important or impressive -- but add nothing meaningful to the content.
Dopeler Effect The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
Drip Irrigation Definitely not what you think it might be. In marketing, itís the process of slowly building a customer file. Never ask them for too much of their private information at one time. Get a little bit here, a little bit there, until you have what you need. It
Drunch A combination lunch and dinner. It often starts out as a late lunch, but then runs into the dinner hour (or later). Drunches are generally fueled with an abundance of liquid libations.
Dub-dub-dub Short for w-w-w. You'll often hear techies say this when giving another techie a URL. Hey, can you check out this site? Go to dub-dub-dub.officeidiots.com
Duck Shuffler Just when you get all your "ducks in a row," a duck shuffler -- usually someone in upper management -- comes around and rearranges them for you.
e-Dundant The tendency of middle managers to follow up a subordinate's e-mail with one of their own to add unnecessary emphasis or make it look like it the idea was originally their own.
Ego Surfing Searching the Web to see how many times your name turns up and what others are saying about you. "The report is late because Jack spent the morning ego surfing."
e-load The quantity of e-mail a person receives. "We're trying to reduce our staff's eload."
Elvis Year The peak year of someone or something's popularity. "Barney The Dinosaur's Elvis Year was 1993."
e-Mail Ellipsia The mind-numbing use of ellipses Ö instead of proper punctuation Ö in e-mail ... then again Ö most e-mail messages are little more than a series of sentence fragments ... and random thoughts Ö maybe it's not abuse.
Empowerment The corporate mantra of the late '90s used to deceive subordinates into believing they actually were allowed to think and make decisions on their own.
Empty Suit An executive in upper management who lacks the knowledge, experience, skills and/or intellect to hold in the position. "The director of marketing is an empty suit." Female "empty suits" are also known as a "hollow bunnies."
Evil Space Magic Any technical process or detail you don't understand, particularly something thought to be impossible but accomplished anyway.
Eye Chart An information-laden PowerPoint slide with small type. Often introduced with: "I know this slide is tough to see, but..." Example: "As we showed on the bottom line of the eye chart I covered a few minutes ago, we had a 31% increase in net revenue."

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