Buzz Word Bingo

I work in a corporate office, if you do too, you might be able to relate to this. I’ve noticed that management seem to speak their own language, an extension of normal-person-speak . It almost sounds like normal words but it’s not. It’s usually a complicated, confusing way of saying something simple. Example: John doesn’t have the bandwidth for that project. Translation: John’s fucking busy.

I think it is a way of separating themselves from the average worker. Whatever the case, it drives me a bit mad. Certain phrases and words seem to go in an out of favour too. Who is driving this step-change? (as by boss would say).

I recently moved jobs, I thought some of the buzz words used at my old workplace were unique to it, then I went to the new workplace and they were there too! My new job also has some new phrases I hadn’t heard before. It is a different industry so maybe that’s why they’re playing the bonus round. Every industry probably has their own set of words that make up their own buzz word bullshit.

Some co-workers and I even play buzz word bingo in meetings (I’m still waiting for my employee of the month award, I know, ripped off, right?). We write down as many buzz words as we can before a meeting and cross them off as they’re mentioned. One of these days I’m just going to yell out bingo while my boss is talking and get my ass written up.

Some of the buzz words/phrases I love to hate include, appetite, judicious, take this off-line, bandwidth, lets park this idea, telco, tag-up and artefacts. If you were really clever, you could see how many you could include in the one sentence. “I don’t have the bandwidth, but I certainly have the appetite to tag up and talk about managerial artefacts; we’re going to have to be judicious in our decisions, lets park this idea and take it off line, perhaps we could arrange a telco?”.

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11 Responses

  1. Just one more reason I’m glad to be retired.

  2. Omg, it’s not just my company!

    Bandwidth is my personal favorite. You could get quite a poker hand with that and that and judicious at most meetings.

  3. Ken Dowell says:

    This content resonates with audiences because its collaborative in scope. In my office we used to take bets on how many times the CEO would use whatever the buzzword of the day happened to be at the time during a single meeting.

  4. I heard “Run it up the flagpole and see who salutes” on almost daily basis. “Skill set” was another frequent one I found annoying. 😀

  5. And let’s not forget the ever-popular “At the end of the day” (which could not come fast enough for me!). 😀

  6. AHomo says:

    As a former middle-management slave to Corporate America, I often witnessed “ambitious” peers who were – through some miracle, along with extensive boot licking and ass kissing – promoted to VP management level. They’d return from Corporate training or Executive meetings speaking as if they’d been programmed with the same buzzwords and phrases we often heard from Corporate management! One that really made me wanna hurl on their loafers was “We need to have the rubber meet the road”. WTF? Oh and “think outside the box” was still being used so often – can you believe it? – that it was an instantaneous way to shut down any participation in a meeting (except for those “ambitious” peers who never missed an opportunity to inappropriately dominate the spotlight – gag!).

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