If you work with people, chances are you’re already infected with Jobjargonitis.

It’s easily controlled. Symptoms are only exposed by what comes out of your mouth.

New phrases emerge annually and, when used, indicate someone spends a lot of time enjoying the sound of their own voice, sitting in meetings, or blowing through expense accounts at conventions.

Let’s examine a few:

Skirt-Kimono2“Lift the skirt”“Before we make this investment, we have to lift the skirt and take a good look.” At some point someone decided they preferred a Geisha over an office temp and started talking about ‘opening kimonos’ but how many ways can we say ‘evaluate?’ Look under the hood, lift up the sheets, lift the carpet to expose the dust bunnies? Look in a mirror and see how lame you are.

“Out of pocket”“Oh shoot, I really want to help you but I’m out of pocket.” You’re unavailable. This isn’t football. Suppose it were. It’s a boring game and you’re on the bench anyway. I asked if we could meet on Wednesday. It’s a yes or no question.

“Ping me”“Sounds good, ping me and we’ll work it out.” Let’s talk about this later. You’re just preparing to be instantly out of pocket when you hear from me. How about I call you and you pick up the phone?

“Win/win” “They would be fools not to take this deal. It’s a win/win!” A true win/win is rare. The person saying ‘it’s a win/win’ usually is the bigger winner. Suppose I ask you to go out and buy me a cup of coffee and bring it back to me. You oblige. I get coffee and you can feel good about helping me. Win/win!

Matches - Methane“Paradigm shift”“If we can pull this strategy together, you’ll see a paradigm shift and we will revolutionize how everyone does this!” We aren’t moving mountains. You only fundamentally change your approach to things when you’re consistently wrong. If what you’re calling a paradigm shift is legitimate, then I do them all the time. Like when I added wet wipes and matches to my bathroom regimen. Talk about thwarting science.

“At the end of the day…”“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what HR does. His wife is pissed!” An oldie, but still alive, and likely will be used until the end of days. It is usually in reference to an anticipated result of something that has nothing to do with the day. At the end of the day, I’m going home.

“Ramp-up”“Our go-to-market strategy is to get this in the hands of the ramp-up customers so they can test it for us.”  Who needs R&D and QA teams when you can have your early adopters pay you and test your product?

ElevatorPitch“Elevator pitch”“Perfect your elevator pitch so you can talk at someone real fast regardless of whether or not they are listening.” Ding! This is my floor. I barely make eye contact in an elevator, much less buy something from someone. In the unlikely event you’re selling Girl Scout cookies, no words are necessary.

“10,000 foot view”“There you have it, the 10,000 foot view!” Is that how high we are after your elevator pitch? Guess what I can see from 10,000 feet? Nothing, especially your face to know if you’re lying.

“Take that offline”“Good question, let’s take that offline and we can discuss. Ping me after this call.” Either you need to coordinate a response or you don’t have one.

ZombieJargonAt some level, hearing these terms is entertaining. When a fresh term is spouted, and it catches your attention, rest assured it will trickle down to the outlet shoppers within a week.

If the zombie apocalypse ever occurs, Jobjargonitis will bond with whatever innately turns us into flesh eating, undead, cannibals making them mutter, “It is what it is.”

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6 thoughts on “Jobjargonitis”

  1. Hahahahahahahahaha! This brought back so many bad memories! But at least now I could laugh at them! Having worked in the church, we didn’t have much of this jargon. So when I started working in the “world,” I had no idea what people were talking about for months! I’d look at them with this blank stare, having no idea what they just said!

  2. So many of these terms were uttered by the asshat COO (and yes, he used BOTH abbreviated and full form on his e-mail signature) I used to work for. It was as if he thought; “by using these terms, I will negate the piss-poor management skills I learned 20 years ago while still sounding hip to the jargon.”
    My honey still works for the guy, and every time he relays some bs that was said to him… I laugh hysterically and thank my lucky stars I quit my job and found something more suited to me.
    Please keep writing! I love the insight!!!

    1. Hey Holly! Great to see you here and hear from you. I’m glad you liked it. If you can speak the language, you can go far apparently. 😉 Version 2 will emerge at some point.

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