EXCERPT: The Wage Slave’s Glossary
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.
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.
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.
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
Online slang meaning, “Get the f**k back to work.”
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.
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
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
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.