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.