|Sacred cow [n.]||A program or product that may be unprofitable, but cannot be questioned.|
|Sacrifice [v.]||Yet another gentle name for firing people. "We'll have to sacrifice a few customer service positions."|
|Safe harbour [n.]||The office bathroom. Borrowed from nautical terminology, this refers to how it is often the only place one can find a moment of peace at work.|
|Salt mine [n.]||Menial work.|
|Sandbag [v.]||1) An unethical attack. |
2) A tactic used by salespeople in which closing is purposely delayed into another time period (such as the next month), to improve their overall commission.
Suggested by Ryan.
|Sausage and the sizzle [AUS-exp.]||A sales term for the extra effort required to close a deal. "John you've got the sausage, but where's the sizzle?"|
Suggested by Guy from Melbourne.
|Scab [n.]||A union term for undesirables such as strikebreakers and non-union employees.|
|Scarlet letter [n.]||A symbol of shame.|
|Scooby Snacks [n.]||Token compensation. "The gift certificates they gave us instead of a Christmas bonus were total scooby snacks."|
|Scope creep [n.]||The tendency of a project's purpose to expand to suit the ambitions of the pushiest stakeholder.|
Suggested by Ellen B.
|Screw the pooch [v.]||To avoid doing anything productive. "Are you going to sit there and screw the pooch all day?"|
Suggested by Natalie R.
|Scrub [n.]||An entry-level employee. Usually replaceable.|
|Scuttlebutt [n.]||Gossip or rumours.|
|Sea legs [n.]||The point when a new arrangement becomes stable and comfortable. "We're still establishing our freemium sea legs…"|
|Seamless [adj.]||Describes a system so well integrated that it seems like a contiguous whole. Even if it's all paperclips and chewing gum inside.|
Suggested by Robert S.
|Second .coming [n.]||The re-emergance of Internet business as a viable way to make money.|
|Security theater [n.]||A very visible display of security to compensate for a true lack of it.|
|Sense-checking [v.]||The formalized process of ensuring that something is reasonable, or 'makes sense.'|
Suggested by Simon H.
|Serial entrepreneur [n.]||A person who starts several (not necessarily successful) business ventures.|
|Serving suggestion [n.]||A recommended quantity (non food-related). "Hit me with your serving suggestion on the social media ad buy."|
Suggested by B. Potter.
|Shanghaied [adj.]||1. Forced to work a job on a ship overseas.|
2. Forced to watch your job as it's shipped overseas (to China).
|Sheep dip [n.]||A tedious corporate briefing where attendance is mandatory & recorded for all employees. "I can't handle another sheep dip today."|
Suggested by Paul K.
|Sheep it [v.]||To follow a ridiculous company policy without complaint.|
Suggested by Kevin.
|Shelfware [n.]||Purchased or developed software that is never actually used. "150 grand later and all we've got to show for it is a fancy piece of shelfware."|
Suggested by Gordon M.
|Shield time [n.]||The time spent in a vehicle (behind a windshield) with a coworker or boss.|
|Shiny objects [n.]||A derogatory reference used by bitter salespeople when they lose a prospect to the 'product of the week.' "These idiots don't know what they want, they're just out there chasing shiny objects".|
Suggested by Shawn M.
|Shirt size [n.]||The quantity of effort required. "I need a ballpark shirt size on this contract so I can schedule you clowns." Protip: It probably won't be small.|
Suggested by Geraldo.
|Shoot the puppy [v.]||To take an unpopular action. "We have to downsize the department, but I don't want to be the one to shoot the puppy this time."|
Suggested by Graham.
|Shotgun approach [n.]||A wide, untargeted strategy.|
|Shoulder tap [n.]||An informal request made in passing. A good reason to avoid the boss in the elevator, hallway, kitchen, parking lot, and bathroom AKA shoulder tap central.|
Suggested by Fuehrer.
|Show pony [n.]||Someone who superficially presents well but lacks real depth. "The conference floor was nothing but show ponies and booth babes."|
Suggested by Tony.
|Shrink [n.]||Retail losses from shoplifters.|
|Sidebar [n.]||A whispered conversation between co-workers during a meeting or presentation. "Don't let me interrupt your little sidebar ladies, but we have 30 more slides to get through here."|
Suggested by Trickyn.
|Sideways [adv.]||The direction of failure. "If this launch goes sideways, they'll liquidate the entire department."|
|Signature basis [n.]||Solely based on one's name and reputation.|
|Silo [n.]||The conceptual area to which one's work is confined. "Don't worry, customer service is outside your silo."|
Suggested by Lee K.
|Silver bullet [n.]||An infallible business solution.|
|Silver ceiling [n.]||The barrier to promotion that many older employees face.|
|Simmer [v.]||To allow time for considering and contemplating a topic, whether to let emotional reactions cool down or to encourage new ideas. "Give them a week to simmer on the new policy before requesting feedback."|
|Single pane of glass [n.]||A marketing claim that everything can be monitored and controlled from one display. "Networking perfection. On a SPOG."|
Suggested by Ray B.
|Skiing off-piste [v.]||Completing a common task in an unconventional manner, usually at great personal risk if it all goes wrong.|
Suggested by Dangerous Pete
|Skills ecosystem [n.]||The total collection of individual team-members' skills, which are hoped to be mutually supportive. Usually refers to skills that are someone else's problem for providing or training.|
Suggested by Darren F.
|Skillset [n.]||A collection of abilities, commonly matched to a set of requirements. Even more commonly embellished by job-seekers.|
Suggested by David.
|Skip-level meeting [n.]||When a member of senior management meets with low-level workers directly to see who's brave enough to ask a question (or offer dirt on their supervisors).|
Suggested by Kurt.
|Skull session [n.]||A collaborative meeting to generate new ideas (a brainstorm by any other name…). "Skull session. My office. Oh-nine-hundred."|
Suggested by Brendan
|Slave trader [n.]||An affectionate term for the human resources crowd.|
Suggested by BitHacker.
|Sledule [n.]||A project schedule that continually slides to the right due to poor planning and underestimated tasks.|
Suggested by Kenny B.
|Small cap [adj.]||Insignificant or low priority. "You're a small cap man and you think small cap."|
|SME [n.]||Subject Matter Expert. The resident guru for a given topic. "I can't remember how to work this damn photocopier. Who's the SME for this machine?"|
Suggested by our spies at a Fortune 100.
|Smell test [n.]||A disgusting little term for using common sense to make a quick judgment. Anyone else cringe every time you see it in print?|
|Smirting [v.]||Taking the opportunity to flirt with co-workers while huddled together for an outdoor cigarette break.|
Suggested by John I.
|Socialize [v.]||To facilitate group discussions about an issue. "Let's give them time to socialize the new material with their teams."|
Suggested by Asiya.
|Soft pedal [v.]||To give a false impression that progress is being made."We soft pedaled the client until we had more time available."|
|Soundbites [n.]||Key points delivered in small amounts. "Stop running your mouth and just give me the soundbites."|
Suggested by Ronnie I.
|Soup to nuts [exp.]||From the start to the end of a project, in reference to the first and last courses of a formal meal. "How can we get from soup to nuts on this one?"|
Suggested by Jonathan S.
|Space [n.]||A consultant's designated area of expertise or focus. The term is normally used with some form of the verb 'play.' "Our SME plays in the outsourcing space."|
Suggested by w3.
|Space [n.]||A really douchey way to refer to a market or industry. "We're looking at full saturation in the tablet space by Q3."|
Suggested by Corinne F.
|Speaker-phone voice [n.]||The characteristic volume level that people feel they must use when on speaker-phone.|
|Speaks to [adj.]||1) Evokes: "This image speaks to the bravery of the troops." |
2) Represents: "This bold logo speaks to the fact that we're bold."
Suggested by Mike T.
|Special Projects [n.]||Tasks given to formerly favored executives that have screwed up. Lets them pretend to have a real job while looking for a new position.|
|Special sauce [n.]||Anything of a proprietary nature.|
|Spend [n.]||An amount of money paid out. "What was our total ad spend last month." ...And I'm spent.|
|Spitball [v.]||1) To estimate. |
2) To conceive an idea; brainstorm. "Let's run through your sales deck and spitball a new angle."
|SPOC [n.]||Single Point Of Contact. An acronym that recognizes the efficiency found in appointing one person to speak for a group. "I'll have my SPOC get in touch with your SPOC."|
|Spokesweasel [n.]||A public relations agent. He usually possesses a remarkable gift for spin.|
|Squeeze the sponge [v.]||To extract every last bit of knowledge that an employee gained during a company-funded training event. "Let's review your conference notes. I want each department head to sit down with you and squeeze the sponge."|
Suggested by Jon F.
|SSSD [n.]||Same Sh** Same Day. Working the third shift often means leaving at 6AM and returning the same calendar day at 10PM, only to encounter the SSSD.|
Suggested by JC.
|Stakeholder management [v.]||The art of acquiring enough opinions from people, groups, or leaders within a company to deflect blame if a project doesn't meet expectations and/or outright fails.|
Suggested by Laurie R.
|Stakeholdering [v.]||The process of seeking support, approval, or clients for an upcoming project. "I spent the entire Christmas party stakeholdering upper management on my Q1 initiatives."|
|Stall nap [n.]||A short, pants-optional sleep taken in the office bathroom. Watch out for the telling red forehead spot afterwards. See: Safe harbour.|
|Standing room only [exp.]||Where buyers are led to believe there are many others interested in an item.|
|Starter marriage [n.]||A brief first marriage ending in divorce.|
|Statistical massage [v.]||To present numbers in a way that conveys a desired message.|
|Stealth parenting [v.]||Running errands for your kids after telling your boss that you have a business obligation.|
|Stepford Worker [n.]||An employee that has bought the corporate party line completely and become an unthinking clone. Surprisingly desirable in the business world.|
|Stick to your knitting [v.]||1) To focus on one's main areas of business, often at the expense of other departments.2) To be steadfast.|
|Stick-around [n.]||A meeting that takes place directly after another, in the same location. "We had an two hour stick-around after the project meeting yesterday."|
|Strap-on [v.]||To try something. "Before you judge my idea, why don't you strap it on for a while."|
|Strategic incompetence [n.]||Feigning an inability to complete a particularly boring or demeaning task.|
Suggested by EC Nottus
|Strategic planning [n.]||Pointless tautology used when the word 'planning' doesn't quite sound impressive enough by itself.|
Suggested by Rob.
|Street, the [n.]||The finance district of major economic centres.|
|Stress puppy [n.]||A person who is continuously anxious and lives for any sympathy gained from complaining about it.|
|Stretch assignment [n.]||A project given to an employee that is beyond their current skill level. Neatly avoids the cost of an actual promotion.|
Suggested by Robert
|Sunset [v.]||To slowly retire a product line. "We need to sunset last year's model over the next two months."|
Suggested by Johnny P.
|Sunshine enema [n.]||The spin campaign given to the remaining shell-shocked, fear-crippled employees after massive layoffs in an attempt to boost morale (i.e. productivity).|
Suggested by Tom T.
|Super [n.]||Supervisor, for those who are too lazy to say the whole word.|
|Surface [v.]||To raise an issue. "Don't forget to surface your concerns with the VPs."|
|Surplused [v.]||Yet another way to describe being fired. "We surplused a few people last week." Good lord.|
|SWAG [n.]||Scientific Wild-Assed Guess. An estimate ostensibly supported by some kind of analysis, however fudged or misapplied. "We arrived at our conclusion using the SWAG method."|
Suggested by David & Tom.
|Swampland in Florida/Arizona [n.]||A sarcastic offer made in response to perceived gullibility/ignorance. "If you believe that, I've got some prime swampland in Florida for you..."|
|Sweat equity (AKA swequity) [n.]||An intangible asset earned by the hardworking, under-paid employees of small start-up companies. These individuals are often promised an eventual reward tied directly to the success of the enterprise. "I know I can't exercise the options until next year, but the 80-hour weeks are building swequity."|
|Sweat the asset [v.]||Getting the most out of your hard-working employee. "Our productivity systems ensure that you sweat the asset to the max."|
Suggested by LW.
|Sweetheart deal [n.]||An arrangement where existing clients receive more favorable terms than new clients. See also: Ponzi scheme.|
|Swim lane [n.]||1) A visual element showing task assignments in a process diagram.|
2) Field of responsibility.
"Listen, client management just isn't in my swim lane.
Suggested by Chad.
|Sympvertizing [n.]||Advertising that attempts to sympathize and identify with the consumer.|