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Hilarious Work Terms and Phrases

AFTO

Standing for Ask For The Order, this is surely the key rule when it comes to selling. Therefore it’s nice and ironic that, when you think about it, most sales people actually don’t ask this. They rather spend time giving you the hard sell or bad-mouthing competitor products instead. Ah well.

AIDA

Any second hand car salesman worth his salt will know what this one means - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. It’s supposed to outlined the ideal states that you should induce in your unsuspecting sales victim.

You should grab their attention, then interest them, finally make them desire your product, and commit them to action (the sale). If that sounds too much like hard work, just buy them several pints and get them to sign on the dotted line. The choice is yours!

AKA

Another classic acronym, that applies to the world of business and more. Just in case you don’t know, this stands for Also Known As, and is universal in its application. Amuse yourself on a boring day in the office and see how many witty ‘AKA’ alternative names you can come up with for your colleagues. If it’s a Friday you could pass the list round, and see if others can work out which name is theirs. Tip: try not to be too offensive.

AKUTA

"That lazy git really needs A Kick Up The Arse". Which pretty much explains what this one is all about. Most people need an AKUTA at some stage during their career, which can be painful depending upon how literally this phrase is applied. Like many management techniques, this one is not listed in the textbooks, but that doesn’t stop it being effective. Not recommended though as a law suit might ensue. You never know til you try!

ARSE

A good one this, as it is both an acronym and descriptive at the same time - something that amounts pretty much to genius. It stands for Arrogant Rich Sarcastic Executive, something which everyone at every company relate to - because there is always at least one!

This is the sort of person with a flash car, who is often occupied all the time with meetings in New York and other assorted holiday destinations, only ever acknowledges the existence of direct reports and superiors, and often has a ring on their little finger. Avoid at all costs!


AWOL

Almost universal in its application, as more and more individuals regularly go Absent Without Leave (AWL has less ring to it). This derived from the military but has become so popular because people disappear mysteriously from all sorts of jobs. This could be due to feeling sick after the extra hot curry the night before, or just because they can’t take the stress of the office anymore. If you feel stressed at work, reduce it by going AWOL.


BAB

Many people love their BABs and in Britain, the soft touch country, you can see why. Whilst many people go and slave hard at work day in day out, only to be clobbered by taxes on their earnings, many people stay at home and do nothing. And the funny thing is, that in many cases those doing nothing at all end up with more money than those who go out to earn the honest living.

And that’s why those people swear by BAB - or Benefits Are Better. Why pay tax and slog your guts out for a living, when you can have a cushier lifestyle and play the benefits system. The only hardship then is having to put up with daytime TV.

BAU

Business As Usual by name and nature. BAU is the standard ‘day to day’ work that all jobs entail, e.g. paperwork and the tasks listed in your contract or performance plan. Often boring and unending, BAU usually has to be factored around all the specific tasks, e.g. projects you are given. Fun!

BIBOYS

Picture the scene, if you will. It was a hard night yesterday and a heavy night. The boss isn’t in the office this morning, so you’re taking a few liberties playing a few games of desktop golf. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an alarm system to let you know when the boss comes back? You need a BIBOYS alert - Boss Is Back on Your Site. Whether a subtle codeword or some more extravagant gesture, BIBOYS could be good for you.

BID

This is a training acronym - standing for Break It Down. Essentially this rather boring one just reminds the trainer to take things nice and slow, bit by bit, rather than blinding the trainees with science. After all they are spending most of the time wondering in which career you failed rather than hanging on your every word so that’s probably for the best. Well you know what they say - every trainer is a failed businessman/woman.

BLT

BLT doesn’t really need a lot of introduction. If you’re feeling peckish this is for you - and let’s face it, who doesn’t after a hard morning’s surfing the internet looking at yesterdays footie scores? BLT does of course stand for that most classic and tasty of sandwiches, the Bacon Lettuce & Tomato. However bad your morning and however ridiculous your workload, a nice fresh BLT for lunch is sure to brighten you up. Think of it as the closest you can get to corporate medicine (short of being signed off).

BMT

Any younger members of staff (probably under 30s) will relate to this one. It’s what you reply to about 50% of conversations with, standing as it does for Before My Time. When the more senior (old) staff start saying ‘do you remember that funny guy that used to work with us back in the 60’s’, or ‘what was the first LP you bought again?’ you know its time to play the BMT card. Also stare at your colleagues as though they are talking a foreign language. That’ll make them feel really old and they might just resign a little quicker. Meaning you might get their job and pay packet.

BOGOFF

Another marketing phrase that has been adapted across all sorts of businesses, and is now common place in supermarkets. It doesn’t sound very attractive, but BOG OFF means Buy One Get One For Free. This may or may not be as good an offer as it seems. The cynical institution rises the price slightly before offering a BOGOFF, then removes the BOGOFF a few weeks later but leaves the price as it was before. Cunning. Sneaky. And it works every time - who can resist a bargain?

BTW

Here’s one that most people know, but a lot won’t admit too! That’s because it was long the domain of internet nerds tapping away in obscure language to their friends, but it has now become more widespread with the massive increase in texting where time, and number of characters, is at a premium.

Oh, By The Way. That’s what it stands for. Funny huh?!

BUNDY

This one is hilarious, and derives from the medical profession. It’s used as a secret code by nurses and doctors, written sneakily at the end of patients bed. If your beloved relatives have this scrawled on their notes, chances are they are a pain.

It means But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet. And if you’re an annoying patient, they probably really mean it!

CARE

Just the name itself should urge caution, but it rarely does. This is how CARE works:
The people high up the company decide the budget is really tight. They cut jobs, remove bonuses and make life really hard. Then they decide they need a really expensive strategy review or to change the structure of the company. The workers could do this, but where’ the fun (or the cost?) in this. Therefore they call in the Consultants.

And that’s where CARE comes in, meaning Crap And Really Expensive. It has become synonymous with Management Consultant. But of course they have the last laugh as companies will never trust their staff enough to let them decide on the future of the company. Where would the fun be in that?!

CLM

Did you just take a job, full of enthusiasm and looking forward to the new challenges and colleagues that you would be working with? If so, are you now regretting it, having realised you were sold a lie and are in fact doing all the rubbish that no-one else wants to be lumbered with? If the answer to the above two questions is yes, then the bad news is that you just took the no-no of the job world, a CLM - Career Limiting Move.

CRAFT

Ah, yes, the joys of CRAFT. This one will often spring into your mind when you’re sent on a training course at work. You know the sort of thing, maybe a presentation skills event presented by failed actors, or a ‘all you need to know about selling a product in a day’ where someone whitters on and draws a few arbitrary flowcharts and graphs as though they’ve just solved all the worlds problems in one fell swoop.

CRAFT stands for Can’t Remember a Fuc*ing Thing - and after a day at one of those training events you probably don’t want to either. You know the procedure - go back to work the next day, and carry on as before. If your manager asks how the course was, buck the trend of platitudes about how interesting it was and proudly declare that you CRAFT.

DAB

Dead And Buried - as in ‘his career is completely DABd’)… this is the reaction when you are overheard by the boss telling your colleagues what you really think about him. In fact, that’s only one of many applications as any cock up could be followed by this phrase. For instance, when you agree a contract to pay a supplier a billion pounds instead of a million because you’re numerically dyslexic… little things like that!

DEAD

Delegate - Exhausted And Dead. This has probably been you at some stage, when your company very generously sent you on that incredibly intensive and challenging five day course! Kind of them, that. Of course you were comforted when you read that other delegates had thoroughly enjoyed it, in hindsight!

The best thing about such courses is just when you hit day five and want to describe yourself as DEAD, it’s the day of the three hour written exam where you have to re-gurgitate all that you learnt over the last four days. What fun!

DIN

Standing for ‘Do It Now’ this one can be used to instil a little urgency into even the most slothful of workers. The only problem comes when your boss gives you five things at once, to all of which are applied the DIN status. If they are all urgent, then how can you do them all now? Oh dear, not good is it. Compare with DIY and be thankful… things could be worse!

DINKY

We all know the situation by now. We’re wage slaves, putting in the hard, long hours that work demands day in day out, often including a hellish commute on buses that never run or trains that are always packed to the rafters. And yet, despite this, we’re always skint until pay day. After all, taxes are high (BAB) and rent is massive. Living is a struggle.

If this doesn’t describe you, then the chances are that you’re a DINKY - Double Income No Kids Yet. These lucky people are among those elite who can actually afford holidays abroad more than once a year, are developing their property portfolio and treat the pet cat or dog as though it were a human.

DIY

Have you got a DIY boss? If you have, I don’t envy you. This is one of those unenviable managers who sets completely unreasonable deadlines, and just when you finally come to terms with what you have you get set another ‘little piece of cracking work that will only take five minutes’.

By now you’ve probably guessed what it stands for, but if not it’s ‘Deliver It Yesterday’, which sums up the attitude of this most expectant and unreasonable boss. Whatever work you’re given he wants it turned around in a ridiculous amount of time (with the odd flimsy comment about challenging and stretching targets along the way). Do yourself a favour - try and get a new boss!

DOB

Possessed with the knowledge you have to be in the happy situation of DOB may indeed lead you to ‘dob’ - i.e. grass on. Standing for Dirt On Boss, this is what so many employees desperately want to have. Though once you’re in possession of this knowledge what to do with it can cause a real dilemma.

For instance, do you use it as blackmail material to get your dream job or that pay rise that never quite seemed to happen? Or do you keep it to yourself but just hint at your knowledge of it to your boss? Alternatively you can just share it with the rest of the office! The happy choice is yours.

DTS

This one is rather insulting, and so it’s best if the subject/victim is unaware of what this stands for - so promise not to spread it too far what this means! Standing for Danger To Shipping, it could be used to describe anyone of either sex (so as not to discriminate) who is a little wider than medics would say is healthy for us. And it’s certainly not healthy if you’re squeezed up against someone fitting this description on the train, feeling your blood struggling to coarse through your arteries.

EBITDA

If you already know what the hell this obscure one means, then you must in finance. Or else sad. It stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (who died?)

It’s a useful figure for companies that have a profit share scheme. If you think a nice big healthy bonus is coming along, then you’re probably just thinking about the profit of the company. However once all the costs are taken out, and the profit has been EBITDA’d, there won’t be much left. Especially after the boss gets that Porsche he’s always wanted.

E&OE

A favourite amongst companies and another that is globally understood. It’s great because it can be used to disclaim any mistake that the marketing department make with their adverts (so that’s probably quote a few). Standing for Errors & Omissions Excepted, the gist of this one is simple - even if what we wrote was rubbish you can’t sue us. When we said the price was 9.99 we actually meant 99.99 - honestly!!!

EP

Caution! Another financial figure, but not as obscure as some of the others mentioned in this book that are there really only for hardcore accountants. EP stands for Economic Profit, and is often used as a more reliable alternative to profit. Just don’t expect us to tell you what the difference is, because then we’d have to look it up. Which would never do!

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