Stock phrases you will hear in an office

Its a scientific fact that putting people in large rooms with desks and chairs is not what God intended (replace the term ‘God’ with your chosen ‘supreme being’ or ‘something up there’ phrase as required).

But it if you like people watching it throws up some seriously freaky behaviour – especially that which comes out of people’s mouths:

  1. ‘I don’t know enough about it’ – means ‘I don’t understand your idea because I am not listening to you’.
  2. ‘I’ve got so much work to do’ – means ‘I’ve been staring at my screen so long I cannot remember what I am doing and I have zoned out, so I am covering my arse while I drag myself back to reality’.
  3. ‘You were good, but not great’ – means ‘You were shit’.
  4. ‘We’ve got a few challenges there…’ – means ‘We are totally screwed and we have no idea how to fix it’.
  5. ‘What does marketing actually do?’ – means ‘My sales numbers are so dire I am going to have to pick on the only part of the business I think I understand’.
  6. ‘We need to lay some rubber on the road’ – means ‘I never made it through college so never learned corporate-speak but I’m covering it over as best I can’.
  7. ‘We need to talk to our customers’ – means ‘I’ve run out of ideas’
  8. ‘I’m glad you’re here, you’re adding value’ – means ‘I thought you were a waste of space and didn’t want you involved in the project, but I won’t now recommend we get rid of you…for the time being’.
  9. ‘It is what it is’ (unique to North America) – means ‘I’m bored with the sound of my own voice will someone else please speak’.
  10. ‘What are our learnings from this project?’ – means ‘I hate it here so I’m going to pretend I am somewhere else, like a nice University Campus teaching sociology.
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