workplace phrases

A cynic might claim the language of business is really secret code. Well, we’ve deciphered it.  

Actually, we didn’t crack the case — Luke Lewis, writing on the Irish Times website, did it for us. He sets forth an encyclopedia of what commonly heard business phrases mean. Here are our top 30 entries (we’ve Americanized a few):

  1. “Breakout session” – We will sit in a room and repeat very dull ideas.
  2. “Let’s take this offline” – I’m a really pompous jerk.
  3. “We wish X the best of luck in her new job” – Burn in hell, traitor.
  4. “It’s been great working with you guys, and I’ll really miss this team” – So long, suckers.
  5. “Skyrocketing revenues” – Negligible profits.
  6. “I’ve decided to step down” – I’ve just taken the buyout.
  7. “Sharp uptick” – Almost imperceptible increase.
  8. “I’m a social media expert” – I’m a b*******ter with too much time on my hands.
  9. “We just had different visions for where the company was going” – They found out I’d been embezzling funds.
  10. “I’m taking a career break” – I will be sitting in my pajamas watching The Price is Right and crying for the next three months.
  11. “I’ve been offered a fantastic opportunity elsewhere” – I’ve been offered more money.
  12. “We need to develop a more agile workflow” – We should probably stop screwing around on Facebook all day.
  13. “Got time for a chat?” – Prepare for the worst.
  14. “Can I have a word?” – Prepare for many, many, many, many, many words.
  15. “Core values” – Making money.
  16. “This is a really great opportunity for our business” – We’re sooooooooo screwed.
  17. “I don’t think there’s ever been a more exciting time to be working in this field” – We’re soooooooooo, sooooooooooooooo screwed.
  18. “Welcome to the company, great to meet you!” – Get promoted above me and I will kill you.
  19. “We’re seeking new revenue streams” – We’re broke.
  20. “The company is perfectly positioned to meet the tough economic challenges ahead” – The end is nigh.
  21. “We’re seeking new revenue streams” – We’re broke.
  22. “Rode your bike to work, eh? Good for you” – You smug bastard.
  23. “He’s certainly ambitious” – He’s appalling.
  24. “How’s the wife?” – I’ve forgotten your wife’s name.
  25. “How are the kids?” – I’ve forgotten your kids’ names.
  26. “He’s intensely results-driven” – He’s a psycho.
  27. “She’ll go far” – She’s terrifying.
  28. “I’ll take your ideas under consideration” – I’ll steal your ideas and take credit for them.
  29. “He’s straight-talking” – Drops the F-bomb every other word.
  30. “Kind regards” – I hate you.

Think of any other innocent-sounding business phrases you think could have an alternate meaning? Send them along.

Post Your Resume to 65+ Job Sites
Resume Service

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post