Language of the 2008 Workplace

Alpha Geek:
The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. “Ask Tom, he’s the alpha geek around here.”

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

The brief seizure people sometimes have when their beeper goes off (especially in vibrator mode). Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions and interruption of speech in mid-sentence.

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

Chainsaw Consultant:
An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee headcount, leaving the top brass with clean hands.

Cube Farm:
An office filled with cubicles.

Fear associated with entering a Home Depot because of how much money one might spend. Electronics geeks experience Shackophobia.

Elvis Year:
The peak year of something’s or someone’s popularity. “Barney the Dinosaur’s Elvis year was 1993.”

Idea Hamsters:
People who always seem to have their idea generators running.

Flight Risk:
Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to leave a company or department soon.

Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. trials were a prime example.

Mouse Potato:
The online, wired generation’s answer to the couch potato.

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you’ve just made a big mistake.

Percussive Maintenance:
The fine art of whacking an electronic device to get it to work again.

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.

Seagull Manager:
A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, dumps over everything and then leaves.

What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids. Stands for Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.

Starter Marriage:
A short-lived first marriage that ends in a divorce with no kids, no property and no regrets.

Stress Puppy:
A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. “We had three serious students in the class; the rest were just tourists.”

Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voicemail of a vice president at a downsizing computer firm:- “You have reached the number of an uninstalled vice president. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance.” (See also Decruitment.)

Xerox Subsidy:
Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one’s workplace.


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