Guide to Corporate Buzzwords, Part II

This is a followup article to part I.

The best part about corporate buzzwords is the smug look of self-satisfaction across the faces of the idiots who use them by the dozen. It’s as if every time a buzzword spews forth from their mouths they are so proud of themselves for being cool.

I have been in meetings lasting over two hours where literally nothing gets said or accomplished. Well, I should rephrase that. A lot gets said as far as actual words spoken, but no information is conveyed. And after the meeting, each side walks out with an air of smugness like their farts don’t stink because they spent 15 minutes talking about how they’ve been “…hearing noise about a streamlined attempt to leverage thinking outside the box vis-a-vis a proactive, valued-added best practice alignment with…” Zzzzzzzz…

Sorry, that’s usually where I zone out.

Here’s part II of the list!

Word Definition/examples
Infoshare Noun – “Meeting.” Typically involves a bigger part
of the company than a standard team meeting. Usually some higher-up
or bigwig will be speaking.


Person 1: “We have an infoshare today at 3pm.”

Hit the Ground Running Expression – “Don’t waste time before you actually start


Person 1: “Tomorrow we have to hit the ground running.”

Person 2: “Obviously...”

Ex. 2

Person 1: “Did you hit the ground running today?

Person 2: “No, I was surfing the net for like 5 hours
this morning

Feedback Noun – “Criticism” (usually), “Compliment”


Person 1: “I got some feedback on your performance today
from so-and-so.

Person 2: “Oh really? What’d they say?

Person 1: “You do a good job with analysis but you don’t
ask enough questions at meetings.

Person 2: “Ok, thanks.

Person 1: “This is something you can add to your performance

Performance Plan Noun – Something with which you are threatened to keep your
performance up to standards.


Person 1: “You went to the bathroom 5 times today. This
is going on your performance plan.

Person 2: “wtf?

Cushion Noun – “extra time for a project.” If you scheduled
4 days worth of work over a 5 day period, you would have one day
of cushion. Note that your cushion always gets filled up by something
else that is usually unrelated to the original project. Once you
have taken care of that, you realize that you’ve used up approximately
150% of your alloted “cushion” time and are now behind
on your original project.


Person 1: “Is your project done?

Person 2: “No.”

Person 1: “Why not? You had 2 days of cushion in there.”

Person 2: “Well, I had 35 other urgent issues assigned
to me in the middle, and I had to take care of those because they
were urgent.

Person 1: “Well, your other project was due today. This
is going on your performance review

Mind the Gap Concept – To save the company money by spending your own money
on work-related things instead.


Person 1: “Welcome to my meeting. I printed all these
handouts myself, at home, with my own printer

Person 2: “Way to mind the gap!!

Drop Off Verb – “To hang up when you’re attending a meeting via


Person 1: “That’s all I needed to talk about. I’m gonna
drop off.

Person 2: “Bye


Perspective Concept – “Related to such-and-such.” Works best if
you use it approximately once every 6 minutes while speaking.

“From a requirements perspective...”
means “I’m about to talk about something related to requirements

Standpoint See: Perspective
Push Back Verb – “to suggest that maybe you can’t do something, or
as much as someone is asking”

From a requirements perspective, we’ll need
to push back on the client…

Approach Noun – “the method by which you’re going to do something.”

From a requirements perspective, we’ll need
to push back on the client to provide us with a more clear approach..

Straggler Noun – Someone who is late to a meeting. This is actually what
the word means, and it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t used every
single time someone comes to a meeting late, and then followed
by a laugh as if the person making the comment had just said the
most clever thing ever said in the entire history of spoken language.


Person 1: (arrives late to a meeting)

Person 2: (arrives late to the meeting with person 1)

Person 3: “e-heh-heh, looks like we got a couple stragglers.

Person 1: (awkward look)

Hash Out Verb – to clarify things


Person 1: “Do we know what’s going on with such-and-such

Person 2: “Yes. Everything has been hashed out.”

Flush Out See: Hash Out
Flesh Out See: Hash Out, Flush Out
War Room Noun – a training room where a small group or an entire team
works in supposed isolation. It is believed to increase efficiency.
It also increases attrition.


Person 1: “Did you see that meeting invite? We’re in
a war room tomorrow.

Cheerleader: “Yay!!!!!!!!!!! We can really crank though
this stuff then!!!

Average Associate: “Ok.”

Slacker: “Geez, I’m going to be surrounded by work-happy
people who probably expect me to take a working lunch like they

Pessimist: “Great. The computers in the training rooms
suck. I’ll get 50% as much done as I would otherwise because the
computer there will take the first half of the day to open the
program I need. Also, the mainframe resolution will be the huge
default style, none of my user-settings will be saved there, all
non-standard programs will have to be installed before I can start
doing anything, the mice have no scroll wheels, the keyboards
are too loud and clicky, the monitors are old and blurry, everyone
will be smacking their gum, and it’s on the other side of the

Cheerleader: “Come on, silly! We can all work together
and make great progress!!

Can I Drive? Expression – “Can I work on your computer?” Used when
you are at someone’s desk helping them with something and you
get sick of telling them what to do and would rather do it yourself.
When you let someone else “drive,” you get up and give
them your computer chair. If they had a chair, then you take their
chair. Otherwise, if they were standing next to you, you stand
where they were standing while they use your computer.


Person 1: “Click there, ok, now scroll down, no wait,
too far, go back up, ok, now click there, no, not there, there!
Here, can I drive?

Pesron 2: “Ok.”

Hearing Noise About This Expression – “People are complaining.” Used when someone
doesn’t want to admit they effed up and they’d rather sugar coat
it and use the term “noise” instead. Vague made-up terms
are much better than to-the-point terms. They deflect accountability.


Person 1: “How is remote access working?

Person 2: “We’ve been hearing noise about that.”

Person 3: “That’s because we forgot to configure it.

Step Up Expression – “Take on more work/start making more progress.”
It implies that you are not doing a good job and/or pulling your
weight. Also thought by managers to magically bestow knowledge
into the listener’s head, but it doesn’t really work.


Manager: “How’s that project coming?

Person 1: “It’s coming along ok. I’ve been busy with
other things, though

Manager: “We’ll you’re going to have to step up and get
it done

Ex. 2

Manager: “How’s that project coming?

Person 1: “I’m pretty confused. I’ve never seen this
before and I’m not sure how it works, nor how to work on it, nor
what is supposed to be happening

Manager: “Well, you’re going to have to step up.

—Fantasy ending—

Person 1: “Ohhh, NOW I understand how to do it. Thanks!

Manager: “np!

—Realistic ending—

Person 1: “Um… so… are you going to explain this
to me?

Manager: “You need to step up and get this done.

Person 1: “Right, but I’ve never even seen this stuff

Manager: “You need to step up.

Person 1: “Uh… yeah…

Communicate Verb – Tell/inform/notify/etc.


Manager: “Can you take on this responsibility?

Person 1: “Yes.”

Manager: “Great. I’ll communicate that to the team.

Ex. 2

Manager: “It has been communicated to us that…

Perception Noun – What people think of you/the only thing that matters


Manager: “I want to talk about your performance.

Person 1: “Well, over this past iteration, I’ve accomplished
3 times more work than everyone else, in half the time, and here
is documentation/feedback/mathmatical proof that my claims are

Manager: “Yeah, you see, there’s a perception that you’re
not that productive, so we’re going to put you on a formal work
improvement plan…

Person 1: “Are you kidding? I showed you empirical, irrefutable,
documented proof that my productivity is 6 times greater than
that of any other associate here. I have far surpassed the “meeting
expectations” guideline set forth by the company itself,
and I’ve automated 3 processes that save approximately 10 man-hours
per week.

Manager: “Yeah, it’s just, someone saw you eating in
the cafeteria the other day instead of at your desk, so there’s
a perception that you’re not as commited as you could be. So if
you’ll just sign here we can commence with the improvement plan…

If you enjoyed this article, you may enjoy the book Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter’s Guide.

5 Replies to “Guide to Corporate Buzzwords, Part II”

  1. At my next job I will post this list in my cubicle, so as to never use any of them. It’s like the posting fat’pics on your refrigerator type of thing.

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