5 Absurd Corporate Buzzwords & Expressions

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A very lame stage of a young guy’s development is when he begins to employ the sterile and spineless lingo of Corporate America. Once you’ve received that diploma upon graduating from Boozehound State (and if you’re lucky enough to find a job), you’ll likely soon adopt the stodgy parlance of the well-conditioned, semi-conscious labor force.

But most corporate buzzwords are absolutely ridiculous flaming piles of communicative dung. Here are expressions to avoid when entering the great wilderness beyond the college years.

1. “Flag For Follow-Up”

Example: “I haven’t read the memo yet, but I’ve certainly flagged it for follow-up.”

Nothing says you’re cozily burrowed in the butt-cheeks of Corporate America more than this expression, as it’s derived straight from one of Microsoft Outlook’s organizational features. It’s also a way of quietly admitting that you’re behind on your work. How about, “F**k off, I don’t care about the memo,” or “I’m getting bent over at the moment and will get to it in a few weeks”?

2. “On-boarding Process”

Example: “We’ll begin the on-boarding process for the new hires on Monday.”

If HR departments can slap a creative, euphemistic name on what is clearly suffocating people with hours and hours of useless training and benefits information, then we’ll get counter-creative and call it what it is: “Water-boarding process.” Because it’s just torture.

3a-3b. “Moving Parts” and “Low-hanging Fruit”

Example: “This complex project has a lot of moving parts, so let’s knock out the low-hanging fruit first.”

The former is a way of saying, “Holy s**t, this is hard and kind of a train wreck.” The latter means you’re going to milk the easy tasks, hoping that someone else takes care of the complicated stuff in the meantime.

4. “Take (name or group)’s temperature”

Example: “I’m not sure how they’ll feel about redoing these statements, but I’ll take Jan’s temperature on it.”

This just means you’ll approach the situation at hand like a gutless coward. You’re admitting that there likely won’t be a positive outcome, so instead you plan to act like a giant, overcooked wiener.

5. “Out Of Pocket”

Example: Team, I will be out of pocket for most of the day on Friday, so please contact Deana for assistance.”

WHAT POCKET? WHOSE POCKET? Are you a scrambling quarterback?! Why can’t you just say, “I will be out of the office,” or simply, “I’m unavailable”? It’s not a concept that requires a metaphor to comprehend.

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Jon Hollis (@jdkhollis) is not aware of too many things, but he knows what he knows if you know what he means.