Corporate Lingo – A Reference Guide

You know what I didn’t realize would be such a part of life in the big Cube City?

Corporate Lingo.

Nothing says “standard English isn’t sufficient for us” like special lingo to describe everyday things in a more confusing way.  Allow me to give you a pocket reference guide for translating an otherwise easy-to-understand conversation from Corporate Lingo into, well, English.

Do you have a lighter workload and/or time to help your coworkers with their work?

You have capacity / bandwidth.

Ex: “I have capacity to help Carol with that project she should have finished three weeks ago.”

(Carol, am I right?)

Is something just NOT working, no matter how hard you try and there’s no reasonable explanation as to why?

You’re going to need to troubleshoot that problem.

Ex: “Steve, the spreadsheet you made is horrible and the formulas don’t work correctly. I think we need to troubleshoot your incompetence.”

(There’s likely no hope for Steve. RIP Steve’s future.)

Has your boss set a deadline you know no reasonable human could actually meet, but have to say ‘yes’ for the sake of things like – I don’t know – your job security?

You’re going to shoot for that date.

Ex:

Boss – “We’re going to need you to finish the database overhaul by next Monday so we can tell the client it was done in a timely manner. I know it took 3 years to build, but do you think we can do it?”

Me (internally) – “Um, you’re obviously on drugs and I have concerns about your understanding of how time works.”

Me (out loud) – “Definitely! We’ll shoot for next Monday.”

If you asked me how Corporate Lingo started and became an office epidemic, I would give you a blank stare and probably walk back to my desk. Sorry, I can’t be helpful all the time.

But here we are, speaking Corporate Lingo in place of the equally-useful everyday English. And as long as I’m forced to use this real-language substitute, I might as well see the positives – now I can now consider myself bilingual.

And that, in fact, is muy bien.

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