People Are Sharing The Cringey Work Buzzword That They Can't Stand, And I'm Filled With Second-Hand Frustration

·6 min read

When you hang out with a group of people a lot, you'll probably start to talk like them, at least a little bit. And our jobs are no different. But sometimes at work, those shared buzzwords and phrases can get weirdly overused and become very, very, deeply annoying.

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Recently, members of the BuzzFeed Community shared the annoying words and phrases that they hear waaaay too much at work. Here's what they had to say:

1."A lot of people at my job have started saying 'double click,' and I HATE IT. Instead of 'let’s focus' or 'dig deeper' or whatever, it’s 'let’s double click on that.' HOW 'BOUT NO."

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2."I think every single teacher will back me up on these: learning loss, asynchronous/synchronous instruction, CRT, indoctrination, rigor, and give students grace."


"'Rigor' in education. All I can think of is 'rigor mortis,' which is the state I’m put in by the overuse of that word."


3."Educator here. If I hear the words 'pivot' or 'flexibility' one more time, I will get sick."


4."Customers when an item doesn't scan: 'Oh, it must be free!' No. That's not how that works."

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5."'Guest.' No, those are CUSTOMERS. They are exchanging money for goods and services. Guests are not expected to pay."


6."'Touch base' sounds gross, but then some people say 'touch bases,' which sounds grosser. Also, 'reach out,' 'connect.' These things sound like an AT&T commercial from the '90s. Just say 'I'll call you.' It's okay."


7."If I ever read the phrase, 'Teamwork makes the dream work' again, it'll be too soon. I'm all for cooperative support, but I'm about 112% sure my current job isn't anybody's dream, and even if it were (yikes!), let's try, just a tiny bit, not to sound so much like a cutesy cat poster."

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"'Teamwork makes the dream work.' Bitch, please. I don't see any teamwork from the administration or management, and as soon as those of us that are getting along try to be proactive, we get shot down and reprimanded."


8."'Apples to apples.' Like, seriously? It's supposed to compare one thing to its exact counterpart. But I'm sorry, a Granny Smith straight up does not compare to any other apple!"


9."Several years ago, we were doing an office remodel, and when we were talking about where different types of furniture would go, someone said we would 'deploy' the desks there or 'deploy' the computers here. And for whatever reason, people picked it up and kept saying 'deploy' about moving around furniture, which is a completely wrong use of the word. I nearly lost my mind during the 'deploy' phase."


10."'Team' and 'family.' We’re neither."

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11."My principal says 'that being said' at least three times every meeting."


12."'Leakage,' referring to the amount of patients who seek care outside of our medical clinic. Can we use any other word?? Leakage, to me, means something completely different..."


13."I have a coworker who I love dearly who has recently started using the phrase, 'put this on our collective brain plate' (meaning that she is mentioning something so the team is aware of it, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be handled asap), and it drives me insane. Every time she says it during a meeting, I just want to roll my eyes."

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14."'Sync up' as in, 'When can you and I sync up?' Extremely maddening in particular when a client/customer tells an employee to sync up with another employee: 'Well, if you're unsure about those reports, you and Sarah should sync up. After you've synced up, let me know how to proceed.' Then, the next day, 'Did you and Sarah have a chance to sync up?' Don't tell me to sync up!!"


15."This one is hardly new, but 'at the end of the day' is one of my pet peeves. Like, 'at the end of the day, what matters is keeping the client happy.' No, at the end of the day, I'm going home!"


16."'If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.' Nah, Brad, that deep clean you want done is way above my pay grade."

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17."'Back in my day.' I’m in the military and encounter people with this mentality CONSTANTLY, especially about more equality-based policies that have been put in place.

"It’s so annoying to hear people who have been in forever bitch and complain about women in leadership positions, transgender service members, or the fact that we have to do equal opportunity and sexual harassment/assault response training every year.

"Back in your day was wrong! Coming in second would be, 'this is how we’ve always done it' or 'it’s a tradition.'"


18."'Awesome sauce' can go directly to hell."


19."'Boomskis.' I wish I was kidding."

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20."'A deep dive.' Whenever someone says this, the first thing that comes to mind is a swimming pool."


21."'Controlled chaos. AKA, 'even though I'm the manager, everything's a big problem, and it's not my job to tell people how to do their job, which then makes it everyone else's problem.'

"Literally, assistant managers calling minor, everyday workplace situations 'controlled chaos' doesn't make a basic situation controlled or chaotic; it's taking a small matter and blowing it out of proportion, failing to manage employees by not controlling them, and letting employees do anything except their jobs, thus creating the inability to avoid said 'chaos' when anything isn't how the assistant manager expects.

"Every time I hear someone say 'controlled chaos' now to describe a situation, it makes me think I'm hearing, 'Hold on, I have an excuse for this.'"


22."If anyone ever says 'crushing it' as in, 'Sarah is crushing those outbound calls,' or 'you’re crushing it guys,' I want to scream. I’m in sales, and this is, like, a six-times-a-day phrase. Enough with the frat bros."

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23."'The new normal' — it makes me sad and angry at the same time."


24."'It is what it is.' Eurgh. Sounds so fatalistic. I hate it."


25."'Marinate.' Eww, stop. 'Lets marinate on this topic and circle back with ideas.'"

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26.And finally, "'Unprecedented times.' I work for a hospital, and I cannot even estimate how many times this phrase has been uttered since COVID."


Is there a buzzword or phrase that you're super sick of hearing at work? Tell us all about it in the comments.