There are some things I miss about working in an office environment now that I'm working from home. Mostly, I miss having work friends. There's a certain comfort in poking your head over a cube and seeing a friendly face, a friendly face you can talk to and who really understands your working girl world. Sigh.
But, one thing I definitely do not miss is "office speak." Before I left my job, a term that I had been hearing way too much of was "low-hanging fruit." And no, I'm not talking about old granny bosoms :) Low-hanging fruit seemed to be the best way for our execs to express how easy something should be to do or obtain. For example, "We haven't saturated the market yet, there is still a lot of low-hanging fruit out there," or "To interest a retail reporter about our nationwide retail store expansion, it's like picking the low-hanging fruit."
So what you're saying is ... it's really that easy, huh? Just like picking that low-hanging fruit ... yes, OK, I'm imagining myself right now in a grove of lemon trees and surrounding me are these lemons within an arm's reach. I get it! It sounds so simple. Piece of cake. And then, wait a second here, I don't think I'm liking this new feeling of a lot of pressure.
Another phrase I can't stand is, "Bubble up," as in, "Why don't you send me an email with your thoughts, and I'll be sure to bubble it up to management." Woa! That's an amazing visual, like, my thoughts and breakthrough ideas all captured in beautiful rainbow-colored soap bubbles and eventually they'll float their little way on up to get paid attention to by big important people ... what a nice concept. And sounds very likely, too.
Probably my least favorite office phrase in the whole wide world is "buckets." Oh my gosh, the first time I heard the term "buckets" used in an office setting was during a job interview years ago when the HR lady kept referring to the job description as a bunch of buckets! Such as, there was an infrastructure bucket, an executive visibility bucket and a shared services bucket. Here I was, a nervous little girl and so uncomfortable and twitchy from wearing a suit that made me feel way too masculine, and trying very hard to to follow what this crazy lady was saying.
OK, so there's all these buckets (here I was talking things quickly through my head while the HR lady kept going) ... and I'm assuming these buckets are all a different color and made of bright shiny plastic, like the kind you take to the beach, right? Wait, what? They're all part of a larger bucket? That doesn't make any sense. How many buckets are there? What am I supposed to do with these buckets? I'll be part of a bucket? Part of more than one bucket? Is that possible? Do we all stand in giant buckets or something and type away on our laptops and then jump from bucket to bucket?! AHH! It wasn't until after the interview that I figured out buckets was just a fancy - and not to mention the most incredibly ridiculous word EVER - for "team." Unbelievable.
What is your least favorite "office speak" phrase or term?