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Office Terminology

ADMINISHPERE: 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.

ALPHA GEEK: The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group.

BLAMESTORMING: 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.

CHIPS & SALSA: Chips = hardware, Salsa = software. “Well, first we gotta figure out if the problem is in your chips or your salsa.

CLM -Career Limiting Move: Used to describe ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.

CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.

DILBERTED: To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the comic strip character. “I’ve been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the fourth time this week.”

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

GOOD JOB: A “Get-Out-Of-Debt” Job. A well-paying job people take in order to pay off their debts, one that they will quit as soon as they are solvent again.

IDEA HAMSTERS: People who always seem to have their idea generator running.

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

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

PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the heck out of 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.

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.

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

TOURISTS: People who take training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs.

TREEWARE: Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material.

UMFRIEND: A personal relation of dubious standing or a concealed intimate relationship, as in “This is Dylan, my … um … friend.”

UNINSTALLED: Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voice-mail 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. *(Syn: decruitment.)

XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one’s workplace.

YUPPIE FOOD STAMPS: The ubiquitous $20 bills spewed out of ATMs everywhere. Often used when trying to split the bill after lunch, “We each owe $8, but all anybody’s got are yuppie food stamps.”

404: Someone who’s clueless. From the World Wide Web error message “404 Not Found,” meaning that the requested document could not be located. “Don’t bother asking him; He’s 404, man.”

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