As every parent knows, you have 2 careers: one career as a parent and then a second career doing whatever you do when you’re not parenting, or as I call it, “yelling at your kids.”
I happen to work outside the home and for the most part really enjoy it. I get to create PowerPoint documents, lead meetings on topics I don’t understand and learn exclusive vocabulary that will confuse and annoy everyone outside of my workplace.
As I have found that I am not particularly good at keeping work-speak in the office, there is a strong possibility that I will slip up and use some of this language in one of my postings. Therefore, I am providing these official translations to help you decipher my ramblings.
Fire drill – this term is only used in the literal sense about once a year, and only following a notice from the Facilities Department. The rest of the time this means someone, somewhere did not do what they were supposed to do, causing it to end up in your lap with minutes to spare before the deadline. You would love to pull out the extinguisher and spray the person who needlessly started this fire, but there is no time to waste.
I had to stop using this term with my parents, because they couldn’t understand how in the world our fire drills lasted an entire week and why I wanted to spray people.
Dropping the ball – an action (or lack thereof) that causes a fire drill. During the Fall this is often the result of too much discussion regarding the department NFL pool.
Landing the plane – finally finishing a project that you should have finished a week earlier but were too busy watching YouTube.
Sanity check – validating with someone of equal or higher authority that your idea is completely reasonable, even though nobody agrees with you.
Heteroskedasticity – this is a term bandied about by the statistical team. I have no idea what it means, but after 5 years, I have finally learned to pronounce it and now use it to sound smart. Since I don’t happen to know any statisticians outside of work, this is a safe strategy for impressing my friends and family.
The extended team – the people left off the meeting invite.
Coach someone – to yell at an employee for dropping the ball and or not landing the plane. This has nothing to do with heteroskedasticity.
Align – ensure you have “buy in.”
Get buy-in – align.
Execute – to get something done / complete. This has nothing to do with the death penalty… unless you DON’T execute, in which case you had better watch your back.
Socialize (a document) – take your PowerPoint to a party so it can make friends with other PowerPoints.
It can also mean to make sure everybody you don’t want to tick off approves of the document.
Wheelhouse – your area of expertise / responsibility. This is a stupid term and anyone caught using it should be subjected to a lecture on heteroskedasticity.