Dumb Work Words to Stop Using ASAP

I’ll never forget the first day of my first “real job.” I was 22-years-old, fresh out of college, two weeks removed from my job at KinderCare and way too excited to finally wear my Style Encore dress slacks, a button-up and my favorite 4-inch club stilettos somewhere other than the church anniversary banquet.

So, I’m arranging my Target office desk accessory set when I’m called into a teleconference meeting. I know nothing so naturally I write down everything. I’m scribing like I’m Florida Evans and the rent is due when suddenly the women on the other end begins speaking some foreign language known as bull s**t.

We need to move the needle on the STD so we can hit the ground running next week after our touch base, because it’ll definitely be an all hands on deck project. Chevonne, we’ll give that to you as an action item.”

Wait, what? Ma’am what did you say to me?

Here’s the thing, at no point in my undergrad communication class did we discuss moving a needle. Where is it going? Why isn’t it content with its current position and why are we touching it? I swear people ruin everything. Fuller House, Sketchers, Jason DeRulo music and Coming Too America sequels, we really just can’t let things be great, particularly when it comes to our words.

I’m all for coming against illiteracy in the workplace, but how many ways can a person really maximize a budget or create synergies? I get it, using every business phrase found in the Microsoft Word resume template makes you feel smart because of course, smart people maximize, right? They circle back, get the ball rolling and grab low hanging fruit. Yes, it sounds good to you, but to people like me who just can’t on a regular basis, you sound like Phaedra Parks attempting to explain how saying Kandi is a rapist, is the equivalent of not saying Kandi is a rapist. Dumb, just dumb.

So, in honor of every person who’s recommended we touch base offline by COB to get the ball rolling, this one is for you.

Anything that can be turned into an acronym

EOD, OOTO, COB, POV…WTF? I’m all for working harder not smarter but your fingers are lazy as hell. You’re also rude AF. Don’t assume I know what your acronym means because nine times out of 10 I’m Google’ing just to interpret your email, and that’s just not fair to me. Unless Twitter is your email provider or spelling “of” is a real problem for you, please write it out.

How the sausage gets made

All this says to me is penis. Penis. Nothing about streamlined processes, factory meat or organized chaos is conveyed here. Just plain ole penis.

Going forward

Where the f**k else would we go?

On the back burner

Translation. I am not checking for this. I will not check for this. And I actually never was checking for this.

Thought Leader

There really needs to be some parameters around the usage of this phrase considering I’ve heard it used to describe some really stupid people. This is also a very nice way of saying they’re not quite an expert but still kind of up there, yet no where near being the HNIC in their remit. Example: Remy Ma is an expert in the game of hip-hop. Rah Digga is a thought leader. Another example. Michael Eric Dyson is an expert on the black Diaspora. Rachel Dolezal is a thought leader. See the difference?

High intensity work environment

If you ever hear these words used to describe a place of business just know you’re walking into the foyer of hell, as this is the epicenter for everyone who can’t stop, won’t stop.

Ping me.

This one has consistently brought delight and unlimited chuckles to my soul. You see, I imagine this is what the boss says to his secretary at the Christmas party to signal he wants a quickie. Nothing wrong with that until I snap back to reality and the boss is a balding, overweight white guy with bagel crumbs clinging to his lip, and the secretary is a cardigan clad, forty-something dirty blonde who refuses to attempt to use the Tide stick she received in the office gift exchange to remove the Hot Pocket stain off of her Old Navy white cotton tee. Now picture them headed to the bathroom to “ping.” See what I mean?

Hit the ground running

Can I get a f**king minute?

All hands on deck

First of all, I need details on why what once was a one-man job now requires the entire team. Somewhere along the way someone didn’t do their job, and because you’re the one asking for both of my hands, I’m assuming it was you.

Interface vs. interact

Have you ever heard a dumb person use words both you and they knew were not needed? That’s what this is to me. If I’m interfacing I’m interacting. If I’m interacting, no additional words are needed to describe the action currently taking place — unless you’re the dummy who feels like “interact” is not a strong enough verb to adequately convey this exchange. And if you’re that person, until you can tell me the difference between the two words, I will always tap my shopping cart on the back of your ankles.

Deep Dive

A really nice way to say I’m going to waste every last bit of your time with this assignment. Oh, and it also sounds eerily yet hilariously familiar to deep diving into someone’s…never mind.

Thanks in advance

Seeing that God is the only one I actually thank and/or praise in advance, I refuse to use or acknowledge this phrase due to my religious beliefs.

 P.S. And just for kicks, it’s TOWARD. Just singular guys.

We want to hear from you. Tell us what words or phrases you despise in an office setting.

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