Frustrating Things Bosses Say

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Frustrating Things Bosses Say

Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:09 am

I get this little gem in my email inbox today:

"We need to figure out a way that we can proactively ascertain when a mission will not be executed and why so we can assist in impact mitigation."

Huh? What the hell does that mean? Sounds like he wants me to develop a way of predicting the future. Geez. If we could do that, my butt wouldn't be in Baghdad now, would it? :wink:

Anybody else have any witticisms from their bosses to share?
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:12 am

That's awesome, it does sound like he wants you to be a fortuneteller.

Here's a quote I heard from my boss this morning: "Get off my boob." (boss in this case being my wife, for those of you who think I'm sexually harrassing someone at the workplace).
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:13 am

*me e-mails this thread to Action Jim. He NEEDS to post some of his boss's brilliance here*
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:21 am

Here's some direct quotes from my boss:

"Gentlemen, we need to vector our thoughts towards crafting an appropriate push back with extreme velocity."

"Did you download the salient information at the conference" (meaning: did I learn anything new)

"I'd like you to give us a core dump of your recent results at the next meeting."

"I need to off-load some information to you in an email."

"I need maximum definitude on this."
Good bye everyone.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:25 am

I don't have anything genuinely "brilliant" from mine; she just tends to send a panicked email when we get busy and then send antoher 10 minutes later explaining how she realizes she needs to calm down.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:31 am

All your boss just said was we need to think aboput the damn mission ahead of time and think up ways to cover my ass if we fail BEFORE we fail.

Just because they take failure out as an option doesnt mean the universe cant put it right back. It just means the paperwork afterward is far more creative.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:34 am

"We need to be progressive in our own rights, to show our customers how proactive our work habits are and how they reflect as such in the field"

All I hear is "blah blah blah buzzword blah buzzword blah buzzword" hahah

It's really not that bad here, but its funny how we all share this common "boss" architype.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:34 am

Action Jim wrote:Here's some direct quotes from my boss:

"Gentlemen, we need to vector our thoughts towards crafting an appropriate push back with extreme velocity."

"Did you download the salient information at the conference" (meaning: did I learn anything new)

"I'd like you to give us a core dump of your recent results at the next meeting."

"I need to off-load some information to you in an email."

"I need maximum definitude on this."


Wow, are you sure you don't work in the Army? Those sound like things I hear from senior officers daily.

A big buzz-phrase around here is "the way ahead". My boss can't say "what's the plan, Jim?" he HAS to say "what's the way ahead, Jim?" It drives me **** crazy. I hear it all the time..."Need you to put together some slides outlining the way ahead" "Have you seen the way ahead on this one? I'm not so sure if it's practical" "Let's get cracking on this, the boss is gonna want to see the way ahead!"

Arrrgh!!! :roll:
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:36 am

Wintermane wrote:All your boss just said was we need to think aboput the damn mission ahead of time and think up ways to cover my ass if we fail BEFORE we fail.

Just because they take failure out as an option doesnt mean the universe cant put it right back. It just means the paperwork afterward is far more creative.


Sure, I get it....the problem is that "we don't know what we don't know" That's another dumb buzz-phrase used in daily conversation in the Army.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:39 am

Vrock wrote:Wow, are you sure you don't work in the Army? Those sound like things I hear from senior officers daily.


This guy does work for the government. Is that close enough?

I personally think that my boss likes to pretend he's a robot. I picture him at home slicking his hair back like Brent Spiner and practicing saying things like "Does not compute!" and "Danger Will Robinson!" while flailing his arms around impotently.

A big buzz-phrase around here is "the way ahead". My boss can't say "what's the plan, Jim?" he HAS to say "what's the way ahead, Jim?" It drives me **** crazy. I hear it all the time..."Need you to put together some slides outlining the way ahead" "Have you seen the way ahead on this one? I'm not so sure if it's practical" "Let's get cracking on this, the boss is gonna want to see the way ahead!"

Arrrgh!!! :roll:


I fervently hope that my boss never hears that term. I'm sure he'd try to use that as many times as he humanly could in a 2 minute conversation.
Good bye everyone.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:43 am

Oh, here's another one from my boss:

"Let me look up his business coordinates to arrange a teleconference."
Good bye everyone.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:03 am

Snippet from the conversation behind me:

"I'll know more when I find out."

edit: damn, reading it over, i see it could be a perfectly logical thing to say if someone has to make a decision and needs to have some information...but it wasnt used in that context. What he said was the equivalent of 'ill know when i learn'
Last edited by Magnus on Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:03 am

My boss loves the buzz words and phrases as well, however, the grammar errors are the best (name changed to protect my ass):

My boss wrote:We have decided to revise the back area were Bob Smith’s use to sit and modify the cubical space from 6 to 8 cubes.


This was from an e-mail the other day, which was even sent to the President of the company. :roll:
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:34 pm

I don't have any great gems of wisdom to pass along, but I did once get in trouble as a computer salesperson for sounding too knowledgeable ( :o )about what I was selling.
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Re: Frustrating Things Bosses Say

Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:53 pm

Vrock wrote:"We need to figure out a way that we can proactively ascertain when a mission will not be executed and why so we can assist in impact mitigation."


Civilian Translation: I want to know if your going to fake a sicky so I can arrange to have someone else take your place if you think that’s required.

Military Translation: Do you think we can walk through that minefield without problems? Or should we send the Canadians in first?
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 4:03 pm

Not really a frustrating thing, but I used to work for a guy who's favorite phrase was "Hurry up every chance you get".... which is kinda puzzling if ya stop and think about it :P
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Re: Frustrating Things Bosses Say

Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 4:17 pm

dragmor wrote:
Military Translation: Do you think we can walk through that minefield without problems? Or should we send the Canadians in first?


LOL, being aCanadian, I think I'm supposed to find this offensive. Yet I can't help laughing. Espicially when I look at the current state of our military. But enough of that, I don't want to be a thread jacker.

I'm not working right now (University is good for that), but during the summer, one of my managers would come out back into the warehouse where I was working and give us a lecture about wearing steel-toed, when she didn't have any. Or how she would always say that all employees should be a minimum 12 feet away from an operating forklift, yet she'd stand right beside it to make sure the operator (who is certified) is getting it down correctly.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 4:28 pm

I used to temp at a company where one of the directors would come out of his office and shout "Get some **** orders in!" to all the sales staff.

nice

That was the same company that lost the file for a £20,000,000 contract they were bidding for down the back of the filing cabinet. I was so supprised when they went bust :lol:
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Re: Frustrating Things Bosses Say

Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:37 pm

dragmor wrote:Military Translation: Do you think we can walk through that minefield without problems? Or should we send the Canadians in first?


I almost spewed coffee out my nose. That was great.

My boss has a great personality, but she scares me sometimes. It's not so much one gem of wisdom that she says; it's the way she totally ignores anything that doesn't confirm what she thinks is true, and then gets frustrated when she can't do what she's trying to do.

For example, she'll say, "This information is in this regulation."

Me: "No, it's not. It's in such-and-such reg that I was just looking at. If this information IS in this reg, it would be in this particular chapter, but it's not."

She: (looking in that chapter...) "Hmmm... this doesn't have that info."

Me: "Or I suppose it COULD be in chapter 8, which covers our job specifically, but I don't think so."

She: "Well, it should be in this reg." (looking in chapter 8...)

Me: "But it's not. It's in that other one I mentioned."

She: (looking, looking, looking, frustrated sigh) "Here, look in this reg, then; you know where to find it." (dismissive wave)

:evil: TRY LISTENING!!! :evil:
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Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:47 pm

My boss just talks like a robot and says the same thing to you 8 times before letting you off the phone. EVERYONE hates talking to him. Its not that no one likes him, he's a nice guy... he just... it sucks talking to him. He also knows less about IT than a rock in the parking lot, which makes matters worse. At least he doesn't PRETEND to know more than me, he defers decisions to me as much as possible... this makes me wonder why he's the supervisor and i'm the assistant... :roll:
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 9:58 am

Fortune Magazine had an article called "Business Buzzwords that make you Gag." The article expired, but I copied it in a Word Doc. Will post below.
I think some of us in "Corporate America" fall victim to using these horrendous buzz words. I for one make it a point to speak PLAIN ENGLISH in all my business dealings. I have a lot of exposure to senior level management at the company I work at by viture of my role. I also work with CEO's, Presidents, and VP's at many major Technology companys. Some people use the buzz words, some don't. Most of the time it makes you sound stupid when you use them, other times the word might make sense.

I find people that use them often are usually covering up their lack of knowledge on a subject, or just lack of knowledge in general! :o

Code: Select all
 
By Anne Fisher
In Your Opinion
Dear friends, while musing (well, okay, griping) two weeks ago about little irritants like the expression "think outside the box" or "keep me in the loop," I asked you to tell me which expressions in common business use today make you grit your teeth—and, man, did you tell me. I confess I was surprised at the sheer volume of your answers, many of which were hilarious. Thanks—I had a great time reading them! And I'm sure you will too. You even might be surprised to find out how many of these frustrating phrases wind up in your own conversations. (I'm guilty of using one on occasion.) Now, without further ado, let's start going through the nominees. I've listed them in order of the number of votes that they received. So you'll have to read all the way to the end to find out this year's Mallie winners for Most Annoying Lingo. Hint: The first President Bush popularized one of them.

• Bottom line, when it refers "not to an entry on a financial statement but to a conclusion the speaker wants to force you to accept," writes KB.

• Shooting someone an e-mail or firing off an e-mail. "This makes me cringe," writes Mary.

• A challenge or an issue, when what the speaker really means is a problem.
• No-brainer.     Suggests Mitch, "Maybe we could redefine this to mean a person who says it."

• "At the end of the day…" Several readers complained that attorneys nowadays seem to start every other sentence this way. Adds Brian T., "At the end of the day, what really bugs me is people saying 'at the end of the day.'" Is he a lawyer?

• "Isn't this cool?" Heard at "any Microsoft presentation of any new software," one reader notes. "Is it a rhetorical question, or do these people have a very limited vocabulary?"

• Hit the ground running. Oops. I used this one in a recent magazine column. Sorry!

• Touch base, as in "Let's touch base on this tomorrow." Says Bill G.: "I don't want to touch anyone's base. It sounds as if it would lead to a sexual harassment lawsuit."

• Going forward, as in, "Going forward, let's try not to use so many dumb clichés." Wonders Dave M: "What else would we do? Go back in time?" As if!

• Win-win. The cynics among us loathe this one with a passion. Writes Stacy, "It could as easily be 'lose-lose,' since neither party really wins." Okay, then!

• Core competencies. "If I hear the head of my division use this phrase one more time, I'm going to throw something at him," writes Jim. "Something heavy." Yikes. Division heads everywhere, you've been warned.

• Mission-critical. Some of you hate this expression because it is frequently used to imply that one person's contribution to a project is less important than someone else's. Others, meanwhile, just think it sounds pretentious when businesspeople talk as if they were flying the Space Shuttle.

• Thought leader. "Can you please kill this expression?" asks P.J. "It was bad enough to see PR people describe someone as a thought leader, but when I saw someone call himself a thought leader in his own bio, I wanted to throw up."

• Reference used as a verb, as in, "Please reference page 12 in your training guide." What's wrong with the (grammatically correct) phrase "refer to"—or just "look at?"

• Ping, as in "I'll ping you on this when I hear back from legal." This bit of tech jargon "has jumped the fence into the non-tech world," writes Scott. Let's send it back.

• There is no "I" in "team." Some of you are so weary of hearing this, you've taken to snapping, "But there is an 'M', and look! An 'E'!" Tsk, tsk.

• Radar screen, as in, "I'd like to get on your radar screen for a meeting next week." Asks Oliver, "What are we, air traffic controllers?"

• Bleeding edge, as in, "This is bleeding-edge technology." Yuck. Can we put this one out of its misery?

• Keep me posted or I'll keep you posted. Notes one astute reader, "These are usually conversation-enders indicating that no further information will be exchanged."

• Circle back , as in, "I'm just circling back to you on this", which is often "a cutesy way of pestering you for a progress report that you're probably not ready to give," says Kate.

• On the same page. Third runner-up: 78 readers wrote to say they would be happy never to hear anyone say this again. Ever.

• Cheerleader, as in calling oneself a cheerleader for a project or goal at work. Second runner-up, with 87 votes. "Can't we leave high school behind us?" asks D.B.

• Value proposition. Oy. "What is this exactly, and why does everything have to have one?" wonders Valerie. Tied for first runner-up with....

• One off. This is a comparatively new figure of speech frequently used to mean "privately," as in, "You and I will talk about this one off, after the meeting." It is also apparently why, according to many of you, nothing gets decided in meetings anymore.

Now for the winners, each nominated by more than 100 readers. May I have the envelopes, and a drum roll, please? The first 2005 Mallie award for Most Annoying Lingo goes to "new paradigm" (and its evil twin, "paradigm shift", also widely despised). Next, a big Mallie to the word "bandwidth," when it is used to refer to people. "Do we have to call hiring people adding bandwidth?" asks Lauren. Another reader, echoing the general consensus, called referring to human beings as bandwidth "appalling."

And last but not least—are you ready?—a tepid round of applause, please, for our final Mallie winner, and I'm sure you'll all agree this one is richly deserved: Any phrase—uttered by any businessperson at all, at any time, for any reason—that contains the word "vision."
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:10 am

I get some stupid reactions from teachers too :P.

Im send out by a class, and I need to go to the conrector for the fourth time. I open the door:
'Ah, Bob, what a suprise'

And my gym teachers names me Murdock from the A-Team (he thinks Im crazy like him)

And, ehm...

Under chemy we need to do some things with expensive glass objects (named burret or so). Anyway, I was playing like a Ninja with that glassy thing. And that wife very angry saying 'Bob, dat is peperduur'!. That means its very expensive, but peper is pepper, duur is expensive. So I said pepper isnt expensive :P. She didnt like that...

but well, there are way more, I forget them :-?
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:20 am

Bob Maenhout wrote:I get some stupid reactions from teachers too :P.

Im send out by a class, and I need to go to the conrector for the fourth time.

I don't know what the "conrector" is, but that sounds nasty (and possibly painful! :lol: )

Bob, I think you are missing the point of this thread. Lost in translation maybe? We are talking about annoying stuff a boss at work says. Certain "buzz" words and phrases in the English language are overused and become cliche. Not sure what your post had to do with that. Just trying to be nice :D
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:24 am

Conrector?! Damn near killd 'er!
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:52 am

My bosses are into acronyms. Like they are all above us cuz they know the secret acronym. Examples:

FI = Focused Improvement
EM = Early Managment
5S = Sort, Shine, Substane and who cares about the rest.
AM = Autonomus Maintenance
TPM = Total Productive Maintenance
CFU = Check for Understanding (The first time I heard that one, I thought they used the F word) :wink:

Anyway, they had shut our plant down for the day to teach us about this new management technique that was passed down from corporate. TPM. All our operators are in the room. Now a lot of these people have no real edcuation (myself included. Some even speak broken english and are fluent in Spanish. Not english)
So they are flashing graphs and slides from their projectors link to their laptops. Babbling on and on, making their sales pitch. Then I begin to hear this super word. Autonomus this and Autonomus that. Again and again and Again.
(Now please refer back to the no real edcuation.) And a lot of these people in the room are my friends. Knowing that we are all not the sharpest knives in the drawer, I know they never heard this word till today. I asked the big question. "What is Autonomus?
The manager giving the presentation looks at his other managers, they all start shrugging their shoulders at each other, then he says to me, I'll have to get back to you on that one. :o

Autonomus: Having the right or power of self-government.
And to look like a real idiot! 8)
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:55 am

I used to work in a place where I had no telephone by my desk, and only one computer monitor as opposed to the two monitors that everyone else had. The boss would constantly tell me to be more assertive on the phones and multitask as much as everyone else. I would reply that I had no phone and only one screen when everybody else had two. This diologue went on farr too many times. How freakin' annoying! :evil:

I'm sure glad I don't work there anymore. :wink:


Macgyver wrote:Knowing that we are all not the sharpest knives in the drawer, I know they never heard this word till today. I asked the big question. "What is Autonomus?
The manager giving the presentation looks at his other managers, they all start shrugging their shoulders at each other, then he says to me, I'll have to get back to you on that one. :o

Autonomus: Having the right or power of self-government.
And to look like a real idiot! 8)


Clueless management FTW!
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:15 pm

FireGryphon wrote:Clueless management FTW!

Yeah, let's hit him up with some of our own acronyms! I am partial to OMGSTFU & WTF.
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:46 pm

Thanks for the laugh, Macgyver.
That was a good one!
:lol:
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:02 pm

Vrock wrote:
Wintermane wrote:All your boss just said was we need to think aboput the damn mission ahead of time and think up ways to cover my ass if we fail BEFORE we fail.

Just because they take failure out as an option doesnt mean the universe cant put it right back. It just means the paperwork afterward is far more creative.


Sure, I get it....the problem is that "we don't know what we don't know" That's another dumb buzz-phrase used in daily conversation in the Army.


Heh ive had great bosses over the years I guess never realy got gobbldygook pep talks. My boss quite simply said.. win or lose my ass is all thats important!;/ He was joking of course.
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Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:06 pm

PerfectCr wrote:
Bob Maenhout wrote:I get some stupid reactions from teachers too :P.

Im send out by a class, and I need to go to the conrector for the fourth time.

I don't know what the "conrector" is, but that sounds nasty (and possibly painful! :lol: )

Bob, I think you are missing the point of this thread. Lost in translation maybe? We are talking about annoying stuff a boss at work says. Certain "buzz" words and phrases in the English language are overused and become cliche. Not sure what your post had to do with that. Just trying to be nice :D

Conrector, dont know whats that in English. Its kinda vice director of the school :P.

But I know where this thread is about... I know a teacher isnt a 'boss', but just thought it was the same :roll:. Maybe there is something lost intranslation from my Dutch to English, I dont know.... I tried :D
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