Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Corporate America Jargon

The language of corporate America is a big dance. It's roots lie in being politically correct, in an arena where what, who, and how you say something can reverberate around the entire company.

In short, it sucks.

What happened to the days of old, where the beauty and color of language was a determinant of your personality, where everything wasn't offensive and deemed litigious? Now don't get me wrong, the expectation that you should be treated, male or female, with respect and dignity should be in place all the time. But the lingo that exists now doesn't change the connotation of things, they are only catch phrases that sound more rehearsed than authentic.

In short, it sucks. These are some of the more common corporate terms that are used, and accompanying them is what is really met.

"Going forward, we will want to approach it this way"
"You effed up and did it wrong, and this is how we want it done from now on"

"We would like for you to spearhead this project"
"We are swamped, we don't want to do this, and if you say no it won't look good, so do it."

"Due to the changing needs of the business, we are re-organizing the department and your position has been identified as a surplus job"
"You are getting laid off"

"Let's table and revisit this for the next meeting"
"I don't know what to do. And I don't like your ideas, either"

"I'm just calling to touch base."
"You're taking too long to get back to me"

"How can we implement best practices within the organization to prevent a recurrence?
"We fucked up. I'm scared."

"Someone dropped the ball."
"Whose responsible? Because I'm not"

"How will this impact us from a business perspective financially?"
"How much is all of this sheeat going to cost?"

"I'm going to defer this to the marketing department"
"This is not my job and why did you come to me for it?"

"I wanted to make sure that you were in the loop on this"
"I want to either make sure you are not blamed for something, or I want you to be accountable as well in case something goes down."

"We're going to have to think outside the box."
"This shit ain't working and we have to come up with something else"

"We want you to develop your problem solving skills for this project"
"This project is in chaos and we don't know how to get out of it"

"You're on the fast track at this company"
"You are a brown noser who will step on anyone to get there and the CEO likes that"

"We are culturally diverse"
"We made our quota of blacks, Mexicans, Asians and women. A few Native Americans, too"**

Those are my lingos for Corporate AmeriKKA. If you don't work in Corporate AmeriKKA, be glad. If you do, be afraid, be very, afraid.

**Note re: Mexicans. That is how all many non people of color see Latinos. Don't get it twisted. They may go as far as Puerto Rican, but not too far.

Do you have any to share? Do you concur with these?

Live, this is P reporting to you from K-PAT FM, the Pattyopolis Network.


J. G. said...

LOL very good post and I think I have heard a lot of these!!!!

Cocoa Girl said...


I concur without a doubt (hell, you know I do)!

How about... "Can we revisit X?"
Meaning: I still don't get the sheyot and am just too scared to say so, OR, Your idea sucks and we need a f$cking replacement...

chele said...

I concur.

I say the "touch base" line all the time.

How about this one:

"Let's discuss this off-line"
Meaning: Why are you wasting everyone's time with this BS?


"Chele, we think you'd really benefit by attending this meeting"
Meaning: We need a Black woman to represent us to prove we're not racists ... so, since you're the only one ...

Mocha_Grl said...


That was great! How about:

There is no glass ceiling here. The sky's the limit!
Read: One day you could be my assistant!

That Girl Tam said...

I'm glad I don't have a corporate AmeriKKKan job. They try to play that office politic shit, but I'm not buyin it and I don't play into it...and never have.

It's funny how you tell me stories about things at work and how you can't comment the way you REALLY REALLY want to because of the politiKKKs there. I'm glad I can tell my boss, "Hey, I'm just lettin you know since next week is my birthday week, I'm gonna be actin a fool and I ain't doin SHIT all next week!" And all she did was laugh (because she knew I was serious).

FUCKKK Corporate AmeriKKKA!!!

Miss Ahmad said...

ooh lord, I've not worked in corporate AmeriKKA but for a short time in my 20's and to be honest I wore motorcycle boots and mini skirts to work and no one really bother me about much!

In the wonderful world of entertainment we hear thing like;

We're having creative difference?
read-someone is about to lose their job.

The Network decided to go a different direction.
read-You didn't get the job.

We got notes from the Network, and they're pretty heavy.
read-don't plan to eat, sleep, drink or pee for the next 24 hours!

I've also seen people get screamed at until they cry, get staplers thrown at them. all their shit thrown off their desk. I've witnessed two nervous break downs and one physical assault.

It's good times I swear!

P said...


I'm co-signing with the "Let's Discuss this offline". You will be talking about a training launch and someone will bring up some worst case scenario type of sheeat!


Puhleeze. If you have to say there is one, there is one.


Fortunately, your life has navigated where you have not had to deal with it. Even folks that are self employed, and have to deal with different clientele, have to listen to these ridiculous catch phrases.


Yep. You are right. Same sheeat, different industry.

James Manning said...

We're revising our quarterly number downward

Those number we pulled out of our ass won't happen so we're going with something more realistic.

We give you these special projects so you can have the opportunity to make yourself more valuable to the company

Shut the fuck up and do as you're told.

We feel that are salaries are properly aligned with the rest of the industry

We're not whoring our employees no more than anyone else is.

We appreciate employee input but we're confident in our strategy going forward

Shut the fuck up.

P said...

@ James:

I love Jaimie's MAN!

You should have written the post. HAHAHA!

J. G. said...


The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jaimie said...

I don't work corporate.

But I do work in a school where kids pee in buckets!

Work sucks...

Anonymous said...

HAYYYYYYY love the post today-you are ever so right...Corporate AMerica's lingo is so see thru......they say whatever they think is politically correct, but mean something totally negative. I hate that shit....but at least we know what they really mean huh?

T. Cas said...

I concur with all of these, but let me add:

"He has poor communication skills" which means he talks too Black

"and she could dress more professionally" which means she came to work looking like she's about to go to the club.

"Lets ask so and so for their input" which means you don't know what the hell you are doing and we gonna replace your ass.

Sangindiva said...

This is a FAN TASTIC POST P!!!

Since I don't work in the corporate world
Here's one from Music land-

"The blend just isn't quite right"
Meaning- That bitch can't sing woth a damn NEXT!!!


"Call the office for the new schedule dates"
If you didn't get the schedule by mail-
yo' ass WON'T be going on the tour.

Robyn said...

ooooooooooooooh, FAVORITE one (I am being disgustingly sarcastic when I say this) is

" you need to have a SENSE OF URGENCY....."

That crap is used so freely where I work and used by MY boss (i also work in HR) when she feels that I have not JUMPED at her every whim like a show pony! (hate this dayum phrase.....i do, i do)

And TAM!!!!! ***BIG OLE HEAVY SIGH** I was MOST distraught to hear about the blog being taken down! AWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! What shall I do now **confused look**. We NEEEED you Tam!! But I understand that you had to do what you had to do. Hopefully we can see you in blogland real soon elsewhere.


Robyn said...

Oh, and P.S......Tam, I sooooooo envy where you work, cause if I hadda said what YOU said #1, I'dda been called into my bosses office, lectured and POSSIBLY disciplined (and monitored for the next week as to my work production) because since I am in HR I "am supoosed to be above reproach and uphold the standard".

Problem is..... i feel like you Tam FUCKKKKK Corporate AmeriKKKa. Which is why I revisit being behind this Wizard of Oz curtain called the Hr Dept.

chele said...

One more:
Time is of the essence
Which really means, I needed this yesterday but since I let it sit on my desk for two weeks, now it's your problem.

YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

"Someone dropped the ball".... Translation: We're gonna waste the whole freakin' week with the 'whodunit' crap and burn them at the stake, instead of fixing the problem....

gotta love it.

I can't stand all the artsy fartsy lingo. Just come out and say it... "You're fired"! or "We can longer take chances with your stupidity so we're sending you to another dept"

Nika Laqui said...

Girl you are too crazy, this is so true...

I wasn't on the fast track in corporate AmeriKKKa, thats why they shunned me...*lol*