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Office Lingo


Essential vocabulary additions for the
workplace (and elsewhere)

1. BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a
deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

2. SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager, who flies in, makes a lot of
noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.

3. CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles

4. SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming
upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.

5. ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success
and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.

6. PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in
a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's
going on.

7. MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch

8. SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.
What Yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops
working to stay home with the kids.

9. STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and

10. SWIPEOUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless
because the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.

11. XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's

12. IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are
Annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The J-Lo and
wedding (or not) was a prime example - Michael Jackson, another.

13. PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out
of an electronic device to get it to work again.

14. ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just
above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere
are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were
designed to solve.

15. 404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error
Message "404 Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be

16. GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly
the same no matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls,
and subdivisions.

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made
a BIG mistake. (Like after hitting send on an email by mistake)

18. WOOFS: Well-Off Older Folks.

19. CROP DUSTING: Surreptitiously passing gas while passing through a Cube

et in arcadia ego:
My favorite one:

GLASSHOLES: The upper-management residents of what are called the "glass offices" on the perimeter of a newspaper office.


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