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Understanding Office Buzzwords and Jargon

  • Team Player – He does tons of work for me
  • Play Catchup – I haven’t had time to micro manage you while I’ve been eating lunch and playing golf with clients.
  • Table the Issue – I don’t want to talk about it now, but I’ll take your ideas and implement this behind your back and claim it as my own.
  • Devil’s in the Details – We know you are wrong about this, and somehow we will find a way to blame this on you
  • Play Devil’s Advocate – I’m going to be a jerk and criticize your idea with an obscure situation that will most likely never happen.
  • Putting Out Fires – Cleaning up others mistakes that they’ve shoe-horned into your design.
  • Low Hanging Fruit – What can make your boss look the best before you are mired in grunt work.
  • Win/Win – Boss and customer wins, you however are still the loser.
  • Synergy – what is the best way I can use my employees to lessen my workload
  • Job Security – Looks like long days and working weekends of performing mundane tasks are in your future
  • Participation is encouraged – Required, because I’m taking attendance.
  • Let’s take this offline – You said something in a meeting and you will be chewed out.
  • Work/Family balance – Your family better not get in the way of your job.
  • Quick Question – Do you have a couple hours to spend on this because I’m too lazy to figure it out?
  • Pretty Straight Forward – I didn’t bother to read your document

Listed Last on the Carbon Copy

Do you get offended when you are last on the carbon copy (CC) list in an email? Should you be? I think so!

Last on the List

It’s like the person considers you an after thought.  Especially if it’s really good news. For instance if there are free leftovers in the break room and you are overweight, then it’s like they are saying you shouldn’t eat because you are too fat.

First on the List

Being first on the CC list is offensive depending on the subject line of the email. If its about a procedure being violated or a new SOP, then you must be the worst offender or a trouble maker. It’s even worse if you are addressed and everyone else in the department is CC’d. For instance, when a new CIO takes over and he says to you that he doesn’t care if you wear jeans to work. The next day you wear jeans and your manager who doesn’t have this information yet, sends an email, address you solely, but CC’s the rest of the department. However, if it’s good news, such as free leftovers in the break room, then you should feel honored. Unless you are rail thin, which means your coworkers are trying to fatten you up.

Somewhere in between

You want to be nestled somewhere in the middle of the CC list. This usually means you are part of a group email or just on a short list of people who need to know stuff. This also means that you aren’t really that important either, you get lost in the shuffle and you will never get a raise or promotion because you lack initiative and goals. Wow, maybe it’s worse to be in the middle.

Of course all these rules are thrown out if someone uses an alphabetized email distribution list and your last name is Aaberg or Zywiec.


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