EXCERPT: The Wage Slave's Glossary

Image of The Wage Slave's Glossary
Author: Joshua Glenn
Publisher: Biblioasis (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 136 pages

The following is an excerpt from "The Wage Slave's Glossary," courtesy of Biblioasis. Learn more about the book and listen to an interview with co-author Joshua Glenn here.


BLACKBERRY PRAYER

Coined by an anonymous workplace wag in the late 2000s, this snarky phrase refers to the oddly supplicative posture characteristic of distracted white-collar types - seated around a conference table, say - who, instead of paying attention to the meeting at hand, are indiscreetly fiddling with their Blackberries.

See: MICROBOREDOM

BRIGHTSIZING

Corporate downsizing in which those workers with the least seniority - i.e., those
more recently recruited workers who are often (though not always) younger, better trained and more highly educated - are let go.

DONE-DONE

Today's younger workers, who came of age during an era of grade inflation, reportedly share a tendency to describe a project as "done" when it's not. That explains this recent workplace coinage, which means "truly, properly completed."

See: FUNEMPLOYED, SLACKOISIE

GTFBTW

Online slang meaning, "Get the f**k back to work."

See: SLACKOISIE

MICROBOREDOM

A neologism coined by the marketing department at Motorola, microboredom describes those brief idle moments - i.e., waiting for a traffic light to change - from which new mobile phone technology offers an escape. Ugh.

See: LEISURE SICKNESS

PHANTOM VIBRATION SYNDROME

Also known as "vibranxiety," phantom vibration syndrome is a neurological condition in which a cellphone user over-incorporates non-vibratory sensations and attributes them to the idea that they're receiving a call (when they're not); it's also a manifestation of one's neurotic need to always be connected, 24/7.

See: PHONEMANCE

SLACKOISIE

This neologism describes "Generation Y" workers who (in the eyes of their elders, anyway) seem to view their job as an entitlement rather than a privilege, and complain about hours, benefits, and remuneration before they've earned the right to do so. Frankly, my sympathies here are with the Gen-Y workers.

See: DONE-DONE, FUNEMPLOYED

ZERO DRAG

A 1999 New York Times article noted that this term - borrowed from physics, and meaning "an ideal state where a moving object experiences no resistance" - had become New Economy slang for "a no-spouse, no-children way of life." Start-ups and other firms are often eager to hire employees whose drag coefficient is zero. If this way of life sounds attractive, just remember what Steve McQueen's character, Vin, in The Magnificent Seven, says about the nomadic gunslingers' way of life: "Home--none. Wife--none. Kids--none. Prospects--zero."

See: JOB EMBEDDEDNESS, WORK-LIFE BALANCE

About the author

Chau Tu is the former assistant web producer for Marketplace.
Image of The Wage Slave's Glossary
Author: Joshua Glenn
Publisher: Biblioasis (2011)
Binding: Paperback, 136 pages

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...