One of my favorite scenes from the hit NBC sitcom “30 Rock” involves an exchange between exec Jack Donaghy and main character Liz Lemon, when Jack is discussing his role as keynote speaker at an upcoming Six Sigma management retreat.
Liz: “… I hate those corporate things; a bunch of drunk people talking about Synergy.”
Jack: “First of all, never badmouth Synergy.”
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We all have murderous thoughts about workplace terms, and Accountemps has attempted to quantify the most overused office buzzwords.
Executives were asked, “What is the most annoying or overused phrase or buzzword in the workplace today?” Their responses included:
* Leverage: As in, “We intend to leverage our investment in IT infrastructure across multiple business units to drive profits.”
* It is what it is: As in, “The server is down today, and clients are irate. It is what it is.”
* Viral: As in, “Our video has gone viral.”
* Game changer: As in, “Transitioning from products to solutions was a game changer for our company.”
* Value-add: As in, “We have to evaluate the value-add of this activity before we spend more on it.”
* Circle back: As in, “I’m heading out of the office now, but I will circle back with you later.”
* Interface: As in, “My job requires me to interface with all levels of the organization.”
What are your personal pet peeves when it comes to office buzzwords? And don’t say social media!