After nearly four years in various business casual, sit-at-a-desk jobs, I noticed that certain words and phrases permeated the culture. It was like trading in for a “big girl” job meant you had to incorporate the lame jargon, along with your sense of political correctness and use for dress pants. Here are some things that I don’t miss hearing:
- Today is my Friday – No, Rita from Accounting. Today is your Thursday, just like everyone else’s. If you’re off tomorrow for your effing dentist appointment, how about you just say that, instead of incorrectly stating that today is your “Friday” just because you have a 4-day work week.
- Well it is Monday/It definitely feels like a Monday – I get it, you miss the weekend. I’ve been there a lot. Stop blaming Monday though. You’re bitter, and you hate your job. I realized that was the source of most people’s discontent. Since I went back to retail, I stopped hating Monday (but that’s probably because I work weekends now, so who is the real loser here?).
- Ramp up – We were always ramping up something. “Work hours”, “accounts worked/calls taken”, “quality and efficiency”, “funding for the dried meats department”, or whatever. I wasn’t always the best at paying attention. This all roughly translates to: do more stuff better in the same amount of time for no more pay. Or, more appropriately known as…
- Productivity – This word was so overused it lost any real meaning. Upper management always droned on and on about “productivity”, which as you see from the last entry, is just their attempt at squeezing more out of your 8 hour workday than they were before, with no increased benefit for you. I’ll leave you with this screenshot from a post I made on Tumblr to show you just how anti-productive I got before finally leaving the corporate world:
- Jam out/Bang out – Yes, people outside offices use these terms. And, no, it’s not nearly as annoying then. I’m adding this to the list specifically because my memories of “jam it out” and “bang it out” are entirely work-related. Various bosses and coworkers were always inspiring each other with declarations of “we’re gonna jam it out today!”, or “let’s bang out a few more numbers and then we’ll hit goal!”. I equate it to a false sense of being cool and excited, whether or not it’s actually genuine.
- Issues – Everything was always an “issue”. There were account issues. Client issues. Patient issues. Customer issues. HR issues. Quality issues. Someone was always sending an email about an important “issue” or discussing one in a meeting. Usually, it was used in place of calling something what it really was–a big problem, a mistake, a fuck up, or less seriously, just a concern or matter; issue was just a catch all term. I heard it so much, I felt conditioned to hear it as a politically correct cover-up for something more serious.
- 110 % – I don’t think an office worker has ever actually used 110% to describe anything except how done they are with caring about their office job. This number is exclusively used by bosses. “We need everyone giving 110% today”, “I want to see 110% effort out of everyone”, “We need to be jamming out at 110% today so we can meet this goal”, “I know you guys can do this if you give me 110% effort”. I think those examples speak volumes as to why this falsely motivational statistic is 110% BS, but just to drive home the point: I am not giving 110% effort unless I’m getting 110% of that big bonus check they get.
Researching and reminiscing for this blog post has made me 110% glad that I don’t work at a desk job anymore.