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Modern-day Office Lingo

BLAMESTORMING - sitting around in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

BEEPILEPSY - The brief seizure people sometimes suffer when their beepers go off, especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.

CUBE FARM - an office filled with cubicles.

EGO SURFING - scanning the Net, databases, print media, and so on, looking for references to one's own name.

PRARIE DOGGING - something loud happens in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

IDEA HAMSTERS - people who always seem to have their idea generators running .

MOUSE POTATO - the on-line generation's answer to the couch potato.

CLM (Career-Limiting Move) - Used among microserfs to describe an ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.

OHNOSECOND - that minuscule fraction of time in which you realize you've just made a big mistake.

SITCOM - stands for Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage.

STRESS PUPPY - a person who thrives on being stressed-out and whiny .

TOURISTS - those who take training classes just to take a vacation from their jobs -- "We had three serious students in the class; the rest were tourists."

DILBERTED - To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the fourth time this week."

WORLD WIDE WAIT - The real meaning of WWW.

CGI JOE - A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the social skills and charisma of a plastic action figure.

DORITO SYNDROME - Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive substances that lack nutritional content. "I just spent six hours surfing the Web, and now I've got a bad case of Dorito Syndrome."

UNDER MOUSE ARREST - Getting busted for violating an on-line service's rule of conduct. "Sorry I couldn't get back to you. AOL put me under mouse arrest."

GLAZING - Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open. A popular pastime at conferences and early-morning meetings. "Didn't he notice that half the room was glazing by the second session?"

DEAD TREE EDITION - The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms, as in: "The dead tree edition of the San Francisco Chronicle..."

GRAYBAR LAND - The place you go while you're staring at a computer that's processing something very slowly (while you watch the gray bar creep across the screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like hours, thanks to that CAD rendering."

OPEN-COLLAR WORKERS - People who work at home or telecommute.

SQUIRT THE BIRD - To transmit a signal up to a satellite. "Crew and talent are ready...what time do we squirt the bird?"

COBWEB SITE - A World Wide Web Site that hasn't been updated for a long time. A dead web page.

IT'S A FEATURE - From the adage "It's not a bug, it's a feature." Used sarcastically to describe an unpleasant experience that you wish to gloss over.

KEYBOARD PLAQUE - The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards. "Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of keyboard plaque."

ALPHA GEEK - The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."

ADMINISPHERE - The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the rack and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

GRAY MATTER - Older, experienced business people hired by young entrepreneurial firms looking to appear more reputable and established.

SALMON DAY - The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed in the end.

CHAINSAW CONSULTANT - an outside expert brought in to reduce the employee headcount, leaving the top brass with clean hands.

404 - someone who is clueless, from the World Wide Web error message "404 Not Found", meaning the requested document couldn't be located -- Don't bother asking him, he's 404.

ELVIS YEAR - the peak year of something's popularity -- Barney the dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993.

 

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