Friday, April 18, 2008

Office Jargon

Here's a list of modern office techie jargon, thanks to the gang over at Newly Corporate.

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.
Alpha Geek:
The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."
Assmosis:
The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
Batmobiling:
Putting up an emotional shield just as a relationship enters that intimate, vulnerable stage. Refers to the retractable armor covering the Batmobile.
Beepilepsy:
The brief seizure people sometimes suffer when their beepers go off, especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.
Bio-break:
Techie euphemism for using the toilet.
Blamestorming:
Sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.
Blowing your buffer:
Losing one's train of thought. Occurs when the person you're speaking with won't let you get a word in edgewise or has just said something so astonishing that your train gets derailed. "Damn, I just blew my buffer!"
Body Nazis:
Hard-core exercise and weight-lifting fanatics who look down on anyone who doesn't work out excessively.
Bozon:
A unit of stupidity. "Is it just me, or is there always a high bozon count in Rupert's posts?"
Brain Fart:
A byproduct of a bloated mind producing information effortlessly. A burst of useful information. "I know you're busy on the Microsoft story, but can you give us a brain fart on the Mitnik bust?" Variation of old hacker slang that had more negative connotations.
Byte-bonding:
When computer users get together and discuss things that noncomputer users don't understand. When the byte-bonded start playing on a computer during a noncomputer-related social event, they are "geeking out."
Chainsaw consultant:
An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee headcount, leaving the top brass with clean hands.
Chips and Salsa:
Chips = hardware, salsa = software. "Well, first we gotta figure out if the problem's in your chips or your salsa."
Circling the Drain:
Medical term for a patient near death who refuses to give up the ghost. Used generally to describe projects that have no more life in them but refuse to die. "That disk conversion project has been circling the drain for years."
CLM (Career-Limiting Move):
Used among microserfs to describe an ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.
Crop Dusting:
Surreptitious flatulence while passing thru a cube farm, or any other public place, then enjoying the sounds of dismay and disgust this often leads to PRAIRIE DOGGING.
Cube farm:
An office filled with cubicles.
Dancing Baloney:
Little animated GIFs and other Web F/X that are useless and serve simply to impress clients. "This page is kinda dull. Maybe a little dancing baloney will help."
Decruitment:
A corporate euphemism for laying off workers.
Dead Tree Edition:
The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms, as in: "The dead tree edition of the San Francisco Chronicle..."
Deinstalled
Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voice mail of a Vice President at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the number of a deinstalled vice president. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance. (See also "Decruitment."and "Decommissioned")
Depotphobia:
Fear associated with entering a Home Depot because of how much money one might spend. Electronics geeks experience Shackophobia.
Dilberted:
To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the fourth time this week."
Dittoheads:
People who are in perfect alignment on an issue, am idea, or a belief system. Allegedly coined by Rush Limbaugh to refer to his legion of faithful followers.
Dorito Syndrome:
Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive substances that lack nutritional content. "I just spent six hours surfing the Web and now I've got a bad case of Dorito Syndrome."
Ego surfing:
scanning the Net, databases, print media, and so on, looking for references to one's own name.
Elvis year:
the peak year of something's popularity -- Barney the dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993.
EMG:
Acronym for Empty Magnanimous Gesture. As in: "We think your idea is great and would love to fund it, but [insert excuse here]."
Exercise Bulimics:
People who compulsively work out after eating and gauge their workout by how many calories they need to burn off to remove the food they just ate. "Only 2,000 more minutes on the StairMaster to burn off that cherry pie."
Flight Risk:
Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave a company or department soon.
Generica:
Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions. "We were so lost in generica, I actually forgot what city we were in."
Glazing:
Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open. A popular pastime at conferences and early-morning meetings. "Didn't he notice that half the room was glazing by the second session?"
Going Postal:
Euphemism for being totally stressed out, for losing it. Makes reference to the unfortunate track record of postal employees who have snapped and gone on shooting rampages.
GOOD Job:
A "Get-Out-Of-Debt" job. A well-paying job people take in order to pay off their debts, one that they will quit as soon as they are solvent again.
Gray Matter:
Older, experienced business people hired by young entrepreneurial firms looking to appear more reputable and established.
Holy Wars:
Perpetual BBS discussions that never die, the arguments never change, and no one's opinions ever budge one iota. Holy wars are fought over abortion, gun control, Mac versus PC, Windows versus DOS, whether it's ok to spank children, and how much nudity to allow in the image areas of online services.
IMNERHO:
Net acronym for In My Never Even Remotely Humble Opinion. Variant form of IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) and IMNSHO (In My Not So Humble Opinion).
Idea hamsters:
people who always seem to have their idea generators running.
Interrupt-Driven:
Used to describe someone who moves through the a workday responding to a series of interruptions rather than the work goals originally set.
Irritainment:
Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. Examples include the O.J. trials, Ally McBeal, Monica Lewinsky, and Bill Clinton's Grand Jury testimony.
LRF Support:
An official-sounding computer feature that can be used to prank a salesperson or a computer know-it-all. "Does this system come with LRF support?" (LRF stands for Little Rubber Feet.)
Keyboard Plaque:
The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards. "Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of keyboard plaque."
Midair Passenger Exchange:
Grim air-traffic-controller-speak for a head-on collision. Midair passenger exchanges are quickly followed by "aluminum rain."
Mouse potato:
The on-line, wired generation's answer to the Couch Potato.
NIMQ (pronounced "nihm-kyoo"):
Acronym for "Not in My Queue." Said in response to suggestions to take on additional tasks or projects when you're already overwhelmed. Similar to the more common "It's not my job."
NRN:
(No Response Necessary) - A proposed e-mail conversation to prevent endless back-and-forth acknowledgements: "Thanks for the info." "You're welcome ... hope it helps." "I hope so too. Thanks." By putting NRN at the bottom of your mail, you absolve the reader from having to reply, thus saving precious e-mail time.
Ohnosecond:
that minuscule fraction of time in which you realize you've just made a big mistake.
Open-Collar Workers:
People who work at home or telecommute.
Percussive Maintenance:
The fine art of whacking the crud out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
Perot:
To quit unexpectedly, as in "my cellular phone just perot'ed."
Power Luser:
Computer user with the uncanny ability to screw things up so bad that either the damage is irrevocable or restoring from the last back-up is the only hope.
Prairie Dogging:
When someone yells or drops something loudly in a "cube farm" (an office full of cubicles) and everyone's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.
Salmon Day:
The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed in the end.
Seagull Manager:
A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, "poops" over everything and then leaves.
SITCOM:
Stands for Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.
Square-headed Girlfriend:
Another word for a computer. The victim of a square-headed girlfriend is a "computer widow."
Starter Marriage:
A short-lived first marriage that ends in divorce with no kids, no property and no regrets.
Stress puppy:
a person who thrives on being stressed-out and whiny.
Swiped Out:
An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
Telephone Number Salary:
A salary (or project budget) that has seven digits.
Treeware:
Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material.
Tourists:
People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. "We had about three serious students in the class; the rest were tourists."
Umfriend:
A sexual relation of dubious standing. "This is Dale, my...um...friend..."
Uninstalled:
Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voicemail of a vice president at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the number of an uninstalled vice president. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance." See also Decruitment.
WOOFYS:
Well Off Older Folks
Xerox Subsidy:
Euphenism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.
Yuppie Food Stamps:
The ubiquitous $20 bills spewed out of ATMs everywhere. Often used when trying to split the bill after a meal: "We all owe $8 each, but all anybody's got is yuppie food stamps."
404:
Someone who is clueless, from the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found", meaning the requested document couldn't be located -- Don't bother asking him, he's 404.

If these don't help you figure out what the heck your co-worker just said (or meant), you might try the Dictionary of Management Jargon, Jargon Watch or PseudoDictionary.

1 comment:

steveroesler said...

Dan, this is great.

Have you thought about partnering with Berlitz?! :-)