February 14, 2010

"Touching Base" "Outside the Box" and Other Office Irritations

Monique Chartier

Actually, the Reuters list via Yahoo News is broken down into Top Ten Annoyances and Top Ten Annoying Phrases.

What surprised me about the biggest office annoyance

1. Grumpy or moody colleagues (37 percent)

is that it didn't also include perky or cheerful collegues. In fact, such people don't appear to have made the list at all. Were the grumpy people just too grumpy to speak up when the surveyor called?

And my favorite part: most annoying phrases. Top five below.

1. Thinking outside the box (21 percent)

2. Let's touch base (20)

3. Blue sky thinking (19)

4. Blamestorming (16) (sitting down and working out whose fault something is)

5. Drill down to a more granular level (15) (Look into something in more detail)

(Another omission: how did "Shift the paradigm" get left off entirely?)

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RE: "Shift the paradigm". I always wondered what happened. During the course of my "redneck" education in Virginia, I understood a "Paradigm" to be a long, allegorical poem.

Just one of those things I have to get used to; like musical hot spots becoming "venues" and presenting "divas". Those things are just "iconic" I guess.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at February 14, 2010 11:20 PM

"(Another omission: how did "Shift the paradigm" get left off entirely?)"

I guess they were just busy discussing other matters, to take up paradigms "per se". (fingers held up and clenched to denote quotation marks)

Posted by: Warrington Faust at February 14, 2010 11:24 PM

Some other omissions:
"At the end of the day"
"Don't try to boil the ocean"
"We need to flesh that out" or "we need to flush that out"
"Let's discuss that offline"

Posted by: Russ at February 15, 2010 9:29 AM

Well, "I'm going to "take the ball and run with it!" and send this link to some friends.

Posted by: michael at February 15, 2010 9:45 AM

I guess they just didn't touch base with all of the "stakeholders".

Posted by: John at February 15, 2010 10:46 AM

These all remind me of the boss in "Office Space." I've worked for that dude, even down to the phrase "I'm gonna go get coffee."
We were at our happiest and most productive when he was out indulging his java addiction.

Posted by: rhody at February 15, 2010 11:55 AM

"Low hanging fruit"
"Core values"
"Run it up the flagpole, and see who salutes"
"Going forward"
"Let's hit one out of the park"

Posted by: Chris at February 15, 2010 12:49 PM


Did anyone else notice how the negative "down sizing" "morphed" into the postive "right sizing".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at February 15, 2010 7:49 PM

I like how 'the cloud' is this cuddly friendly place for IT services...

We used to call leased servers in datacenters owned by Fortune 500s 'outsourcing', but people didn't like that, so now we say 'putting it in the cloud'.

Posted by: mangeek at February 16, 2010 12:10 PM

Personally I have always hated the moronic phrase

"Just get it done" which usually follows a plea describing why a project is a cluster -you-know-what and the person who is really responsible is passing the buck.

Posted by: doughboys at February 19, 2010 11:49 PM
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