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May 21, 2014

Workplace Lingo You Love to Hate

There are certain phrases that you don't really hear until you enter the working world. On your first day on the job it can sound like another language. The next thing you know these terms are ringing in your ear and filling up your inbox--but admit it, as much as you hate them, you do love to use them.

Please advise - Please advise is probably the biggest offender. A 9 pm Please Advise email really has a way of ruining a night. In everyday language, when someone asks you please advise what they really mean is that, someone, probably important, has asked them to answer a question but they have no idea what's going on so instead they are asking you. The person will likely also take credit for whatever information you pulled for them. If they really knew what was going on they could actually ask a more detailed question instead of vaguely asking you to advise. The best please advise questions are not actually questions, but really statements (ex. I noticed that project Y is over budget by X dollars, please advise). A passive agressive post-it note could be a good altnerative.

But, let's be serious, if in the rare occurrence you've actually been on the sending end of a please advise email, you probably felt like a BAMF for a whole 15 minutes.

Bandwidth -Bandwidth is truly a technical term and whoever turned it into workplace jargon must be feeling real smug these days. Everyone loves to talk about bandwidth, who's got it and who doesn't. If there was a black market for bandwidth it would probably sell at the price of gold. If anyone asks you if you have it, you likely won't, but will probably lie and say you do to look like a team player. 

Let's take this offline - This phrase is likely the most awkward of the workplace lingo that you love to hate. I assume when people started using this phrase they were actually online, not sitting in a conference room with a million different opinions floating around. I mean really, how do you take something offline that was never actually online?

Decoded, asking to take something offline really means that the person would likely spend an uncalled for amount of time discussing or arguing minute details of something that doesn't really matter, often in front of a large audience or group of superiors. What they should really say is that you could argue all day, but nobody has that type of bandwidth or that you look like an idiot rambling on and this is not the time or place for rambling.

Has anyone ever thought to take something online? Please advise.

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