You know how it is around the office, right? Someone makes a quip, it sounds funny, and, next thing you know, it becomes the catchphrase at the water-cooler, the mot du jour, and the buzzword that everyone’s using, without really knowing why they do so. A recent survey, undertaken by the Dave TV channel polled Twitter, its own viewers, and the Internet at large, in their quest to unearth the top 10 most annoying office slang terms. If you haven’t heard them in conversation – or used them yourself, we would rather you didn’t. Or do so – but at your own risk. Interestingly enough, the poll also revealed that men are far more likely than women to use office slang: 43 per cent of them admitted they do this on a regular basis, as opposed to only 11 per cent of women. Without further ado, here are
The 10 most annoying office slang terms of the moment
1. Social notworking
You know it, you do it, and it only makes sense that it should rank at number one on the list of the most annoying office slang terms of the hour. It’s not about professional networking, as some of the most naive of you out there might presume. It’s about procrastinating on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or any other form of social media you can think of, during office hours. Proof to its wide spread is the fact that about 25 per cent of the people polled voted for it.
2. Déjà Brew
Just as sneaky as the previous item on the list, only this one is about being sneaky toward coworkers, not the management, déjà brew, this one is disguised as an act of (feigned) kindness. It also amassed a large number of votes and it refers to offering a cup of freshly brewed tea or coffee to a colleague, when you know full well they’ve just had one and will turn you down anyway.
3. Blue sky drinking
Everyone (except perhaps company management) loves a good office party. But the best kind of office party? Certainly the one which also offers an open bar, as attested to by the heavy use of the above phrase. That’s precisely what it refers to, presumably because an open bar office party will get you flying high in the blue skies before you know it.
Brainstorming is an idea generation technique whose benefits have been often touted. It’s used in meetings at the office, workshops, and generally all around the corporate environment. It sometimes works – but the focus is rather on that ‘sometimes’. Just as often, it seems, it leaves participants feeling drained, deflated, and with all their energy spent.
5. Human desourcing
The above phrase, as you may have already guessed, is the exact opposite of human resources, i.e. it refers to sacking people. Not a pleasant situation, so the humor of the phrase is understandable.
Everyone hates a paper jam at the office, which explains it why no one ever rushes to fix it. So days on end go by, with the paper still stuck in the printer and no volunteers for taking care of the situation. This situation is called a ‘jambivalence’, because it’s ambivalent to figure out whether or not anyone is actually responsible for fixing a printer paper jam.
7. Google naps
This is one of the most specific office slang terms, since it specifically refers to people who work remotely, with colleagues in a significantly different time zone. Since the poll was made in the UK, it refers to using Google for figuring out what time the colleagues in the US are sleeping. This, of course, to avoid having them reply to your emails.
In mainstream Internet slang, the above term is slightly offensive, but as far as office slang terms go, it simply has to do with realizing it’s only Tuesday. You still have to work through WTF: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
9. Stock home syndrome
A play upon the popular ‘Stockholm syndrome’ phrase – it refers to coworkers who will knick office supplies to take them home, effectively stocking their own home in the process.
It’s common courtesy to announce partners and co-workers that you’re on holiday via an automatically generated email reply. It’s rather poor form, however, to give a shout out in the entire office building, informing everyone of your leave of absence.