The ‘heads-up’ on office jargon

OFFICE workers up and down the country are all guilty of indulging in a bit of office jargon from time to time; they ‘flag’ problems, feel ‘stressurised’ (a mixture of pressure and stress) and (hopefully) ‘sing from the same hymn sheet’ but some just go too far, chirping up with confusing office quips that, year on year, seem to get increasingly more bizarre.

To celebrate all things strange and surreal about office jargon, as we ‘move forward’ into 2010, Office Angels, the UK’s leading secretarial and recruitment consultancy has sifted through the archives and compiled their top ten most ridiculous and witty office phrases that have graced the workplace through the noughties, as well as adding some new phrases for 2009.

The Office Angels definitive guide to a decade of office jargon:

  1. ‘We need the right pin numbers’ (we need it to work)
  2. ‘A lighthouse on a cloudy night’ (coming up with a good/bright idea)
  3. ‘I’m coming into this with an open kimono’ (throwing an idea out into the open but being open to criticism)
  4. ‘Let’s touch base about this offline’ (lets meet up face-to-face)
  5. ‘Finger in the air figure’ (just an estimate)
  6. ‘I think someone needs a bite of the reality sandwich’ (someone needs to think a bit more practically)
  7. ‘Let’s run that idea up the flagpole and see if it flies’ (simply trying out an idea)
  8. ‘Let’s not try to build a chestnut fence to keep the sand-dunes in’ (face a problem head on, rather than battling it unsuccessfully)
  9. ‘Get all our ducks in a row’ (get everything in order)
  10. ‘Expecting the moon on a stick’ (when clients have ridiculous expectations)

Although they haven’t quite made the cut, we can’t forget the more topical of phrases that have found their way into our office lingo; the dreaded CCs (credit crunch and current climate) as well as the now well acclaimed ‘credit munch’ – it’s time to wave goodbye to your favourite deli sarnie and say hello to the old fashioned packed lunch!

Commenting on the jargon we’ve been using through the noughties, David Clubb, Managing Director of Office Angels said, “Trying to talk the talk and drop in the ‘it’ office phrases isn’t particularly productive and doesn’t make you seem more professional. Whilst this jargon is amusing, my advice would be that nothing beats plain talking. If you communicate clearly then you and your team can work more effectively.”