Effective immediately, it should be considered mandatory reading for all corporate employees in our ongoing effort to make your workplace conditions more bearable.
"Checking In": Passive-aggressive intro to e-mail or phone call roughly translated as "I know you have not done this or are avoiding it, so I am hounding your ass about it."
"Circle Back": A way of saying, "I don't have time to deal with this right now, so I'll put you at number thirty-six on my 'to do' list, and when you rise to the top, if ever, I'll be in touch." Also: "I'm not sure if this is worthy of my concern. Let me talk to eight people who are impossible to get an answer out of, and when I hear from them, I'll be in touch. Like in four years maybe."
"Reinvent the Wheel": Common usage: "We don't need to reinvent the wheel on this one," which means, "Let's do all we can to make sure we don't do any work on this. Can't we just take the deck we created for the Blimpo account and slap a new cover on it?"
"Coming Along": A casual assessment of the status of a project, which really means "I haven't started it yet, but after this conversation I'm going back to my desk to find that file/e-mail and try to remember what you wanted so I don't bust myself by having to ask you about a project I'm claiming to have almost done."
"No Idea is a Bad Idea": A complete and total lie; a corporate cliche, usually disproved by the first ten seconds of any discussion following its declaration during which someone has a bad idea, which is met with blank stares, sympathetic nods and the facilitator of the meeting saying "great" and writing it down.
"Attention to Detail": If you are a junior staffer, this will be your downfall; any mistake you make will be attributed to your lack of attention to detail, regardless of how many details you did pay attention to. No crises will result from your oversight, it will just be an error made, which happens to humans, who are made of flesh and blood and are infallible, unlike machines and computers—oh wait, they make errors, too.
"Let Me Know Your Thoughts": Common close to e-mails; in reality, not a request for feedback, but a veiled solicitation of support. Should not be responded to unless you are in complete agreement with the subject being discussed.
"Thanks": A subtle bitch-slap in the form of a pleasantry, e.g., "If you are going to be away from your desk for more than fifteen minutes, you need to let me know. Thanks," "That report needs to be completed by Monday first thing. Thanks," "Going forward, I need you to make the filing of my personal bills your top priority. Thanks."
* * *
Finally, we thought we'd let you know that things are coming along here at UD. And because we pride
ourselves on our attention to detail, we would like you to check in and let us know your thoughts. Rest assured that we hear you and will continue to do our best
to keep you in the loop. Don't worry, no idea is a bad idea. Thanks.
Best personal regards,