Glossary of New Terms
BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was
missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on
everything, and then leaves.
CHAINSAW CONSULTANT: An outside expert brought in to reduce the employee
headcount, leaving the top brass with clean hands.
CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.
IDEA HAMSTERS: People who always seem to have their "idea generators"
MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.
PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube
farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.
SITCOMs: (Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage) What yuppies
turn into when they have children, and one of them stops working to stay
home with the kids.
SQUIRT THE BIRD: To transmit a signal to a satellite.
STARTER MARRIAGE: A short-lived first marriage that ends in divorce with
no kids, no property, and no regrets.
STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and
SWIPED OUT: An ATM or credit card that has been rendered useless because
the magnetic strip is worn away from extensive use.
TOURISTS: People who take training classes just to get a vacation from
their jobs. "We had three serious students in the class; the rest were
TREEWARE: Hacker slang for documentation or other printed material.
XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's
ALPHA GEEK: The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an
office or work group.
ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and
advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
CHIPS & SALSA: Chips = hardware, Salsa = software. "Well, first we
gotta figure out if the problem's in your chips or your salsa."
FLIGHT RISK: Used to describe employees who are suspected of planning to
leave a company or department soon.
GOOD JOB: A "Get-Out-Of-Debt" Job. A well-paying job people take in order
to pay off their debts; one that they will quit as soon as they are
IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying, but
you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. trials were a
prime example. Bill Clinton's shameful video Grand Jury testimony is
PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the heck out of an
electronic device to get it to work again.
UNINSTALLED: Euphemism for being fired. Heard on the voice-mail of a vice
president at a downsizing computer firm: "You have reached the number of
an Uninstalled Vice President. Please dial our main number and ask the
operator for assistance." (Synonym: decruitment.)
VULCAN NERVE PINCH: The taxing hand position required to reach all the
appropriate keys for certain commands. For instance, the arm re-boot for a
Mac computer involves simultaneously pressing the Control key, the Command
Key, the Return Key, and the Power On key.
YUPPIE FOOD STAMPS: The ubiquitous $20 bills spewed out of ATMs
everywhere. Often used when trying to split the bill after a meal "We
each owe $8, but all anybody's got are yuppie food stamps."
SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream,
only to get screwed and die at the end.
CLM: Career Limiting Move - Used among microserfs to describe ill-advised
activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a
ADMINISPHERE: The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above the
rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often
profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed
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
404: Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web error message "404
--Not Found," meaning that the requested document could not be located.
"Don't bother asking her. She's 404, man."
GENERICA: Features of the American landscape that are exactly the same no
matter where one is, such as fast food joints, strip malls, subdivisions.
Used as in "We were so lost in Generica that I forgot what city we were
OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that
you've just made a BIIIIIIIG mistake.
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