Every office job has them. Clichéd, often empty phrases that bosses and colleagues utter that make you want to pull your hair out. Financial services is no different.
We got in touch with a host of U.S. bankers, consultants, institutional salespeople and accountants in their 30s to develop a collection of their least favorite office clichés, ones voiced by their bosses on a near daily basis. Some you may have heard of, others you probably haven’t. Add your own into the comments below.
Action items: Essentially just a list of things that need to get done.
Hard stop: One that’s oft-used in journalism as well. It means you have to stop a meeting at a specific time as you have another appointment that you can’t move or be late to. “I have a hard stop at 11 a.m.”
Over the wall: You are in the know. You have information that others don’t.
Parking lot: To put an end to a conversation with the idea of coming back to it later. “Let’s put that in a parking lot and move on.” Giving an idea “some air,” or time to resonate, is similar.
Dig out: To get through all your backlog of work. “Let me dig out and I’ll come see you in an hour.”
Circle back: To re-evaluate something or give it a second look. You can also circle back – or re-connect – with a person to solve an issue. “Let me circle back with Bob and I’ll let you know.”
Deep dive: Giving a thorough analysis.
Horses for courses: Acknowledging that there may be more than one strategy or approach that will work. “There is more than one way to skin a cat,” would be the closest idiom.
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered: Don’t be overly greedy, lest you get the chop. Sort of an anti-Gordon Gekko.
Touch base: To make contact or catch up. “Let’s touch base later today.”
Give me a buzz: “Call me.”
Ping: Similar to a buzz, except it doesn’t have to be a phone call. You can “ping” someone through any means of contact.
Ready, fire, aim: The idea of being aggressive and moving quickly without over-thinking. Some eggs will likely get broken, to explain one cliché with another.
Get alignment: To get everyone on the same page.
30,000 foot view: The abridged version of an issue. You don’t want every detail, but just a general idea of what’s happening.