It's September, and the kids are heading back to school. And whether it's on the bus or in the classroom, they're sure to learn some new vocabulary words. But why should they have all the "fun"? Maybe it's time for those of us in the logistics profession to put aside our lengthy to-do lists for a moment, and indulge in a little lexicon-building of our own.
A new book by Gregory Bergman, an editor at Equities magazine, can help in that regard. In BizzWords: From Ad Creep to Zero Drag, a Guide to Today's Emerging Vocabulary, he provides an entertaining (and clearly, at times tongue-incheek) guide to the latest business jargon. His aim is to help you be sure that as you "walk the walk" in today's business world, you are also prepared to "talk the talk."
For instance, do you have any idea what to do if your boss tells you to "put some pants on it"? Do you think "frazzing" is an offense for which you could be fired? Do you know how you're supposed to react to a "bozo explosion" in your workplace? Bergman's book will tell you.
The book has over 200 pages' worth of these new nuggets of business jargon, complete with some background on their emergence, evolution, and proper use. Here are a few of my favorites:
By the way, if your boss does ask you to "put some pants on it," he or she simply wants you to fill in the missing details behind an idea or concept. If you are caught "frazzing," you won't necessarily be fired, although you could be if you make a long-term habit of it. "Frazzing," Bergman tells us, is frantic and entirely unproductive multi-tasking.
Finally, if you are hit by a "bozo explosion," you are working for (or with) a company that's seen a rapid increase in the number of incompetent employees. This may very well be caused by "bright-sizing," which is essentially a wave of layoffs that cuts a company's brightest young folks from the herd, which often leaves those left behind with a nasty case of "layoff lust," or the desire to be laid off from one's job.
But beware of confessing to your "layoff lust" within earshot of your boss. That's precisely the kind of gaffe that produces an "ohnosecond," which is one of those heartstopping moments when you realize you've just made a huge mistake.