The devil’s dictionary: When money is tight

The devil’s dictionary: When money is tight

A tongue-in-cheek guide to common business terminology – likely to offend all our readers – by the man who brings you Slithershanks, aka the worst manager in the world.


Some concerned souls are commenting that our chief executives are being culled at a disturbingly rapid rate. They certainly have a point. Goodness – how are the companies going to afford those massive severance payouts to the CEOs when they have to deal with all the mess they created? Money is tight, people. It is just as well ordinary staff don’t get much money when they are shown the door, otherwise things would be really grim. Here are a few grim definitions:

Bankers: Robbers, but not criminals. Criminals get caught.

Bonuses: An unjustified investment in the ethically challenged.

Blue-sky thinking: Only for air-heads.

Chief executives: It is not true that the life of a chief executive is all boozy lunches and vacuous speeches to the troops. Sometimes they spend their time arranging offshore tax havens and illicit affairs as well.

Leaders: People who only ever listen when they are talking.

Marketing: The art of death by demographic, carried out by people who make tadpoles look deep.

Synergy: When a manager informs you that: “The identification of business units interacts synergistically with change management in the organisational hierarchies”, make sure to reply: “No, I don’t think you have that quite right. It is more the case that the synergistic change in the business units interacts with the identification of the organisational hierarchies.” That sounds ever so much clearer, don’t you think? Should be great for the organisational learning, going forward.


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