|C-level [adj.]||Describes the people at the top of a company that get fancy 'C' titles such as C.E.O., C.F.O., and C.O.O.|
|Cabinet condom [n.]||Tape applied to the button of a filing cabinet to prevent it from being locked (since the key has long since disappeared.)|
|Cadence [n.]||A far too poetic way to describe how often a scheduled event is repeated. "If we just hit the right cadence on our sprint meetings…"|
Suggested by brat.
|Cafeteria plan [n.]||A package of benefits that allows the employee to make choices.|
|Calendar tickler [n.]||A calendar entry with a reminder alarm. Usually sent as an Outlook meeting request. "Throw a tickler on my calendar so I don't forget to join the call."|
Suggested by Erika S.
|Call on the carpet [v.]||To discipline. "If you keep exaggerating your expenses, it's only a matter of time before you get the carpet call."|
|Can I stir fry an idea in your think-wok? [exp.]||Could I have your opinion on this issue?|
|Cannibalize [v.]||To launch a new product that takes market share away from one's own established products.|
|Capsizing [v.]||Laying-off employees (downsizing) to the point where an organization can no longer function.|
|Captive lunch [n.]||When management wheels in the sandwiches at 12pm, just when you thought you could escape to run a few errands.|
Suggested by Tom T.
|Care [n.]||Synonym for 'concern'. Used by managers who don't want to admit to having concerns. "I have a care about this budget decrease."|
Suggested by NoTable.
|Career Limiting Move (CLM) [n.]||An action or comment that could hinder the future progression of one's career.|
|Career suicide [n.]||An action that causes you to lose both your current job, and any chance you'll find another one in your field. "If you blow the whistle on this, it's career suicide."|
|Carpool tunnel syndrome [n.]||The semi-conscious state that is the result of repeated early morning ride sharing.|
|Carrots and sticks [n.]||Incentives and punishments. "If you want to motivate these clowns, try less carrot and more stick."|
|Carte blanche [exp.]||The freedom to make any and all decisions.|
|Cascade [v.]||Disseminate, for people who aren't comfortable saying the word disseminate. "Document the learning and cascade it down the ranks."|
Suggested by Robin G.
|CFO [n.]||Chief Finagle Officer. The person who's responsible for manipulating a company's finances to avoid legal penalties.|
|Chainsaw consultant [n.]||Someone brought in to do management's dirty work at lay-off time.|
|Change agent [n.]||Someone who claims to be a catalyst for improvement and the adoption of new technologies.|
|Change management [v.]||The act of guiding a company through internal or external changes.|
Suggested by Clive N
|Charm school [n.]||A derogatory term for new manager training. "After the harassment case, my boss was shipped off to charm school."|
|Chartists [n.]||Market analysts who feel that they can beat the market by reading graphs.|
|Chasing butterflies [v.]||A state of distraction experienced by those who are easily distracted. "Jim never finishes anything; he's off CB again."|
Suggested by Brian.
|Chasing down smokestacks [exp.]||Placing sales calls to industrial companies.|
|Checked Eskimo [v.]||When a clearly unqualified individual lands a job or promotion they should have had no chance at getting, that person must have "checked eskimo" on the application.|
Suggested by David.
|Cheese chew [v.]||Performing an unwelcome chore to please another.|
Suggested by Rob T.
|Chicken shop [n.]||A department or company that produces substandard work. "Their parts had a 20% scrap rate last quarter. I'm never dealing with that chicken shop again."|
Suggested by Rod SW.
|Chime in [v.]||A timid little way of indicating that you have a point to make. "Can I just chime in on that one?" Alternative: Just start talking.|
Suggested by Jerry P.
|Chinese fire drill [n.]||A project or meeting that is characterized by frantic confusion.|
Suggested by Jacada.
|Chinese wall [exp.]||Procedures to guard information.|
|Circle-back [v.]||To revisit an issue. "I'm heading to lunch now, but let's circle-back Friday am."|
Suggested by Randi
|Circular file [n.]||The garbage can. "Toss that newsletter in the circular file for me."|
|Circular firing squad [n.]||A dysfunctional group that's on the verge of collapse because of infighting and bickering.|
|Cleans up well [adj.]||Describes a technician or software developer who can actually speak with the customer without embarrassing the company.|
|Clock tower attrition [n.]||Rapid-fire job cuts at the hands of an overzealous manager.|
Suggested by kramtronix.
|Clocksucker [n.]||A completely unproductive employee; a waste of company money.|
Suggested by Lee.
|Close of play [n.]||The end of the workday. "You have until close of play Thursday to make it right, or I'll have to write you up."|
Suggested by Bill F.
|Coal face [n.]||The department that actually works to deliver products and interact with clients. "Give me an opinion from someone at the coal face."|
Suggested by Joel
|COB [n.]||Close Of Business. That magic moment that comes but once each day -- quitting time.|
Suggested by our spies at a Fortune 100.
|Cold towel [n.]||To put on hold. "Let's cold towel your feedback until you get back next week."|
Suggested by Gordon.
|Color outside the lines [v.]||To ignore established rules/limits of behavior. Pseudo-profound boss says, "The lines haven't changed, your coloring has."|
Suggested by Catherine
|Column-shaking [v.]||Threatening to uproot the traditions (or bad habits) of a company, usually with new and unconventional ideas.|
|Come to Jesus meeting [n.]||A term of southern American origin that refers to a serious meeting with an individual or team. These meetings often involve ultimatums for performance improvement.|
Suggested by aclassicgirl.
|Commonplate [v.]||To present a topic for consideration, so that all members of a group have the same information. "Now that I've commonplated the issue, can we come to a reasonable decision?"|
|Comp [adj.]||The cool way to say complimentary.|
|Compliment sandwich [n.]||A pointed criticism delivered between two compliments to dull the blow. Build them up, tear them down, then leave on a positive note.|
Suggested by Jeff B.
|Cone of Silence [n.]||Indicates a private, confidential conversation. "I have something important to share with you. Can we put on the Cone of Silence?"|
Suggested by Jonathon T.
|Connectivity [n.]||The extent of one's professional network. "The right equity partner will deliver on their connectivity from day zero."|
|Contemplation [n.]||Thought or group consensus. "Just spoke with management and the contemplation is that we're behind schedule."|
|Contraction [n.]||Widespread layoffs. "In order to prepare the organization for sale, all employees should brace for further contraction."|
Suggested by Elizabeth M.
|Contrarian [n.]||An investor who makes decisions in opposition to mainstream ideas.|
|Cook the books [v.]||A fraudulent attempt to falsify company records.|
|Cookie cutter [adj.]||A generic person, product or approach. "I'm so tired of these cookie cutter b-school grads."|
|Cooperative competition [n.]||A classic management oxymoron presumably referring to mutual benefits experienced by two competing firms.|
|Coopetition [n.]||The ruthless struggle between an organization's departments for limited budget dollars, staff and equipment, despite the fact that everyone involved should be supporting the overall mission.|
Suggested by Aidan.
|Core competencies [n.]||A company's most successful skills and activities. Often leveraged.|
|Corporate memory [n.]||The entire set of company files and records. "Never in corporate memory has the board been so disrespected."|
Suggested by Eimear B.
|Cost containment [n.]||An attempt to reduce expenditures.|
|Counterposing [v.]||When ground-level staff outwit management by using more jargon, more pointless questions, and more vague commitments than their superiors.|
Suggested by Captn Freedom.
|Covered-off [adj.]||Describes something that has been completed or otherwise taken care of. "Let's make sure those requirements are covered-off."|
Suggested by Garry.
|Cowboy [n.]||A worker that is difficult to supervise.|
|CPB [v.]||Conducting Personal Business. Using company resources and time for things that aren't work-related (there's a good chance you're doing it right now).|
|CPS [n.]||Cheap Plastic Shit. Promotional items (often made of plastic) distributed through advertising, corporate gifts, trade shows, or other give-away programs.|
Suggested by Jocelyn S.
|Craft [n.]||An insufferable way to refer to your line of work. "Honing your craft...? First of all, data entry is not a craft. And you're really not much of a honer."|
|Createalytics [n.]||The art of manipulating data to support a preconceived decision.|
|Creative [n.]||An art or design asset. "Call the vendor and push a rework on the creative."|
Suggested by Jamie
|Critical mass [n.]||1) The point reached by a new idea or product just prior to explosive market growth. |
2) The point when an issue can no longer be avoided and must be addressed immediately.
|Critical mass [n.]||Enough. "My instructions were clear: Don't stop hiring until staffing reaches critical mass."|
Suggested by Hugh Y.
|Criticality [n.]||An extreme level of importance. "I cannot emphasize the criticality of this issue enough."|
Suggested by Shane H.
|Cronyism [n.]||Playing favorites among close associates.|
|Cross sabers [v.]||To have a conflict.|
|Cross-pollination [n.]||The generation of ideas that can occur when individuals from diverse backgrounds are brought together. "By removing your cubicle walls, we hope to cultivate the opportunity for cross-pollination."|
|Cross-training [v.]||Learning a colleague's job so you can perform it, in addition to your own, when they disappear during vacation, maternity leave, or the latest round of layoffs.|
Suggested by Isabella.
|Cubicle vultures [n.]||Those who gather office supplies from the desk of a fired co-worker.|
|Curate [v.]||Adds a whiff of sophistication to any mundane selection process. "As Chief Social Media Jedi, you'll be deeply involved in curating our Pinterest identity.|
Suggested by mcdermott
|Customer intimacy [n.]||A measure of how well a company knows its client base. Protip: Never say "customer intimacy" in front of the customer.|
|Cut the mustard [exp.]||To perform adequately.|
|CYA [v.]||Cover Your Ass. To exercise caution to avoid blame. "You better CYA on this one. We can't afford the bad press."|
|Cyberslacking [v.]||Wasting company time by casually browsing the Internet or instant messaging.|
Suggested by Mike.
|Cycle [n.]||An employee's time, broken down into sections. "I'll have to check if she has any free cycles for this task."|
Suggested by Renee.