Annoying Work Sayings

There are some truly annoying sayings that people must read in those self-help management books or get from motivational speakers.  I’ve listed a few below.

1.  Let’s Run the Bases – This saying usually comes out when new ideas have been passed around and the boss wants to see which one is going to fail.  It’s really shorthand for, “Well, I don’t really think that’s a good idea, but we’ll see if everyone else thinks it’s as awful as I do”, or “Well, that sounds okay, but I’m scared to say it is what we will do, so let’s ask someone else.”

2.  Let’s Run it Up the Flagpole and See if Someone Salutes – The first time I heard this saying, I almost laughed outloud in the meeting.  It was a senior leader, and I really though to myself, “Where in the world did he hear this crap, and why in the world did he repeat it?”  Holy cow.  This one is worse than #1 above, but has the same general meaning. It just makes the speaker sound even more ridiculous.

3.  That Dog Won’t Hunt – Perhaps this is just used in the South.  I’m really not sure if anyone outside of the Southern US hunts with dogs, other than the fox hunting that goes on in England and such.  Anyway, it’s apparently shorthand for saying, “That idea is really stupid,” “He’s stupid”, “She’s stupid”, or “What an idiot”.  This, thankfully, has gone out of favor with more cliche-ridden speakers, so we don’t hear it as much as we used to.

4. It’s a Win-Win – Everything is great!  That’s basically what this one means.  It’s a great compromisor tool, for those folks who use compromise as their modus operandi of solving problems.  For those who use competitive manners to solve problems, this phrase is rarely, if ever used, as they don’t want everyone to win.  They are the only people who should win.  Or win-win, if you will.

5.  If you Will – Listen in a meeting.  You may hear this uttered upwards of 25+ times within 30 minutes from someone who likes to explain things but wants to be nice.  Example:  “He wanted us to make a new marketing campaign, with turtles, if you will.  We told him that turtles are slow, like cars, if you will.  Cars are the opposite of turtles, if you will.”

6.  It Is What It Is – Really?  We needed someone to tell us that?  That’s so helpful.  That’s like shorthand for “Well, we’re really screwed now and there is nothing we can do to fix it.”  Makes me feel so much better.

7.  At the End of the Day – A certain boss I may have (who I actually like a lot) uses this all the time.  This is shorthand for, “Well, there is an outcome.  I don’t know what it is just yet, but I think that it may be x, y, z.  We’ll just have to wait and see.”  Actually, when he says it, I think, “At the end of the day, there is a glass of wine in my future, and nothing more.”

8.  Due Diligence – Okay.  I’m a soon-to-be-lawyer.  I should like this one, right?  Wrong.  I hate this one.  It’s only used when I’ve already done my due diligence but that wasn’t enough.  So I have to do more due diligence.  Which is annoying.

9.  Ballpark Figure – This is my least favorite, by far.  I’m in the design business.  My answer to this, given the vast lack of information given to me before being asked this most of the time is, and I quote, “A million dollars should cover it.”  U

10.  Let’s Open the Kimono and See What’s Inside – Now, I am not offended easily.  Ever.  I have been in on more “guy” jokes at the office than I can count.  I have worked mostly with men my whole career, just because of the businesses I’ve chosen to be a part of during my work years.  This newest, and worst, cliche, however, pushed my buttons.  Perhaps it’s because of the total man-only club you have to be a part of to use it.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve had a Japanese friend for almost 30 years, a Japanese friend who I consider one of my very best friends and who has lived in Japan most of her life.  Perhaps it’s just because it sounded utterly distasteful.  Whichever, I hated it and hope not to hear it again.

Stay tuned.  There are others.


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