If this whole ‘first job’ thing has taught me anything, it’s that the 9-5ers have their own lingo. When you’re new at your job, it can feel like your boss is speaking a different language, one full of buzzwords and acronyms that no amount of college placement training could prepare you for.
I remember the initial days at my first job, struggling to keep up with phrases like ‘EOD’ and ‘touch base.’ “Why can’t you just say the end of the day?” I’d think. But as fate would have it, here I am, eight months later, using the term EOD as if I invented it.
Remote working has reinforced the usage of a handful of such new words that are becoming a hit. For the uninitiated, here’s a roundup:
Definition: Quite literally, Frozen. But, yes, with your eyes open.
No, I don’t mean the Disney movie. Frozen is your screen when your laptop gives your problems or has “bandwidth” issues. Frozen is also what you are if you don’t have the answer to your client’s question. But jokes apart, it’s actually one of the most annoying things to happen in a virtual meeting because then you’re just stuck in an awkward pose. Right?
Definition: The emotional or mental capability required to accomplish or consider something.
My first time hearing this word, I went for the literal meaning and thought that the person saying this meant ‘internet connection.’ Its consistent usage, and by many, got me wondering, ‘why is everyone’s internet so spotty?’ It took me a while to get to the contextual meaning, but this is probably my favorite word on the list now. It’s the perfect excuse for when you’re running late on a deadline (sorry, boss).
Definition: The process of becoming or acting like an adult.
Though a somewhat older term, the word adulting is still a gem. Learning how to pay bills? You’re adulting. Trying to figure out how to get out of your comfort zone? You’re adulting. The next time you’re discussing responsibilities with your office bestie, you can proudly say:
Definition: A portmanteau of the words work and vacation, it means to continue working while traveling.
Yes, it sure sounds paradoxical at first glance. But having seen a sudden surge in this trend last year, it’s clear that the trend is here to stay. So, every once in a while, pack your bags, hit the beach. Also maybe get a little of that work done!
Definition: Working in a bubble, whether on your own or as part of a closed-off department.
When I heard the word for the first time, I thought it was something cool with its swaggy pronunciation. Only later did I get to know that it meant people working without much collaboration. The single most effective remedy to silos is to cultivate an ethos of transparency and collaboration. And yes you got to make sure you don’t cultivate it in silos.
Spilling the Tea
Definition: The news; the latest; gossip, hearsay, or chatter about someone else.
You’ve been out-of-office for a while, and naturally, you have missed out on the latest in your team. Also, the whole remote working isn’t making it any easier, is it? So it is totally understandable that the first thing you do after resuming work is get your colleague to ‘spill the tea.’ Maybe you’ll literally spill the tea, bursting in laughter with all that gossip.
Definition: An overused phrase depicting the COVID-19 pandemic. Variations include “these challenging times,” “the uncertain times,” and “these unforeseen times.”
Now, this is a phrase that most of us are familiar with. So much so that whenever someone begins to say, “due to these unprece…”, we just prepare ourselves to say, ‘Ahem.” If unprecedented times are extended for such a long time, isn’t that already a precedent? ?
Definition: To contact; usually via quick text messaging or the chat box.
Ping is an interesting word because the word is literally onomatopoeic- the meaning is imitative of its sound. It is the sound of a text message notification and also what you say for the message. ‘Ping’ your colleague to ‘ping’ you something. But, oh boy, don’t ping that lame joke you just saw to your boss in this pinging spree.
Definition: The fancy word for ‘daily stand-up meeting.’
Its objective is to communicate an individual’s work progress and get an estimate of the level of completion until the next sprint review. Any bottlenecks to the scrum target are also acknowledged. Why’s it that we’re the most at a loss of words during a scrum meeting, or is it just me?
Definition: Working with another individual or team can have a bigger impact than pursuing it alone.
The word Synergy has a faintly futuristic ring to it, but it is kinda overrated, don’t you think? It’s also probably your boss’s favorite word. Don’t your #MotivationalMondays begin with ‘Let’s work in Synergy’? And half-asleep, you might wonder, is that a new project?
There you go. You now have your own glossary for working in the current times. I hope this comes in handy in casual office conversations. While you’re here, don’t forget to share it with your office besties 🙂