top of page

Office Pet Peeves - Part 1

Want to bother everyone at work? Then use these words consistently and watch the severance pay roll in!

When you work in any office environment, it does not take very long to learn just how many words and phrases people overuse in an office environment. Whether it’s over coffee in the break room, at lunch or during those happy hours, people love to use office lexicon to the point of where it makes me consider moving to a remote part of the world and live among the chimpanzees.

Some of these transgressions are worse than others, and I want you all to be well liked. So I will share three of my least favorite for the next two weeks in an effort to ensure that you’re the life of the party at work and not the brunt of the jokes.

  • Leverage: Leverage stands alone on the pedestal for most annoying word, towering above the other competition. Leverage is a synonym for “use” in case any of you had questions. You would never know that by how often colleagues feel the need to say it, in sentences like, “We could leverage some of our internal resources to collaborate on this deliverable.” Which actually means, “We can use our colleagues for this.” People who use “leverage” excessively often find themselves leveraging their cell phones at lunch since nobody wants to sit with them.

  • Disrupt: Disrupt is a cool word and it is fun to say when it actually applies. For example, “Uber is disrupting the transportation industry” is a very valid statement. However, for every one correct usage, there are about 400 obnoxious ones. This word gets thrown around most commonly in the technology space, but has pervaded into every company who thinks what they’re doing is legendary. I am sure that the plug-in you make for retail ERP systems is very cool, but chill out calling it “disruptive”. Ironically enough, the people who overuse this word are typically its best definition.

  • Ping: This one is personal. Nearly every office I have ever worked for has an internal chat tool (Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, Lync etc..) that is very helpful in sharing ideas, project updates and general office chit chat. “Ping” generally refers to when you need to reach out to someone via chat and ask something, such as: “I’ll ping Beth and see if she has the data.” Perfectly acceptable. However, when you work at a company with 300,000 employees like I do, you hear “ping” about 300,000 times daily….and people seem to have no concept of what its meaning is! I had someone tell me they would “ping them via email” or “use a ping to find out”...what do those even mean?! How can you “ping” someone via email...isn’t that just sending them an email? If you find yourself dealing with an overuser of this annoying word, kindly ping them to go away.

That’s a wrap for this week (man, feels good to get these off my chest). Next week we will tackle some phrases that drive me batty and why you should never use them. If you hate “boil the ocean,” “let me drive.” “said differently,” or “let’s take a step back,” then this next post is for you!

If you’re a nervous Nellie who defaults to business jargon when called on to present, talk to us. Our public speaking offering may be just what you need to “disrupt” your fears. Check us out at

32 views0 comments
bottom of page