New book sheds light on bizarre office jargon

Office jargon is not just an affliction suffered by David Brent in The Office television series. It often slips into the average employees’ vocabulary.

The truth is no-one really knows why phrases like ‘core competencies’, ‘drilling down’ or ‘blue sky thinking’ crop up in the workplace.

However, a new book Pushing the Envelope: Making sense out of business jargon by Caroline Taggart can shed light on mysterious phrases like mushroom management, an aggressive style of management that believes the best way of treating employees is to put them in the dark and watch them grow. This fails to acknowledge the importance of benefits such as annual leave and pensions.

Meanwhile, phrases such as the marzipan layer, a sticky barrier between middle management and the boardroom which few women cross, make the glass ceiling not seem quite as bad.

Employees also need to beware if they are ever referred to as a wombat (waste of money, brains and time).

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