This caustically funny Webster's of the workplace cuts to the true meaning of the inane argot spouted in cubicles and conference rooms across the land.
At a price even an intern can afford and in a handy paperback format that won t weigh down your messenger bag or briefcase, The Dictionary of Corporate Bullshit is a hilarious guide to the smoke-screen terms and passive-aggressive phrases we traffic in every day. Each entry begins with a straight definition followed by a series of alternative meanings that are, of course, what is really meant.
Take, for example, the widely used, seemingly innocuous term brainstorming:
1. to generate ideas as a group in an accepting environment and in a free-form manner
2. a supposedly relaxed forum in which no idea is a bad idea that is, until you generate a bad idea and are met with uncomfortable silence/looks that suggest you are retarded or really uncool/the feeling that you are about to be fired
Beyond deciphering corporate commonplaces, you ll learn the PC term for secret Santa (Holiday Harry); why the Blackberry is most commonly referred to as a Crackberry due to its highly addictive nature; and that when a co-worker says Have a good night, they really mean: this meaningless, seemingly interminable exchange of small talk is now over. I am no longer speaking to you, and will now flee this awkward social situation. Don t even think of asking which way I m walking.
Just remember to read this only at COB (close of business) to avoid being busted (caught idling by your boss).
About the Author
Lois Beckwith is a corporate communications executive at a major media company in New York City.
"From the Trade Paperback edition.