The most cringe worthy phrases at work

work cliche

Why is work so full of cringiness?

The workplace breeds inauthenticity and unhealthy competition. The way we work in developed nations is growing more and more cult-like as the years progress. As such, there are a number of norms that are just plain weird that have come to be accepted. Here are the most cringe-worthy statements that I've encountered in my life.

Flesh out the details

This really just means going over the details of an assignment or project. But to me, I imagine something being filleted or the skin of something being peeled away revealing the underlying flesh. It just sounds gross and makes the conversation a bit weirder for me, and not in a good way.

I'm so excited to be working with you

This statement is like nails on a chalkboard to me. No one is ever excited to work with a complete stranger. A person may be excited about a new job, higher salary, and career prospects; but they really don't care about meeting Jill in Accounting.

It's such a blatant lie that everyone just accepts as true. I have never started any job and have been genuinely excited about meeting an individual. I'm sure most people feel the same but invariably people will always say this whenever they start a job or begin working with a new department at work.

Honestly, how on Earth could you be excited about working with them? You know nothing about them, they're probably not a celebrity or a political figure that you could have read about prior to the meeting. People need to stop saying this, it's not polite, it's just stupid.

Let's touch base

Why can't you just say call? In your personal life, do you touch base with your wife about dinner plans or do you call her about them? It's such an unnatural statement that only works in corporate life.

That's a great question

This statement is overused, it's impossible that the person saying this is being genuine about the praise of the questing being posed. Most of the time, the question being deemed "great" is either annoying to the person being asked or something that caught them off guard. Either way, the person being asked doesn't regard it as great.

Let's circle back to that

How does one go about circling back to something? In any other context than a board meeting or something, this would be a strange request to make.

I just wanted to put a bug in your ear

What kind of hellspawn wants to be a bug in another human's ear? I know people mean they wanted to make you aware of something but it would be much less cringey to just say you wanted to remind the person of something.

Hit the nail on the head

This is just horrible. It makes my skin crawl when people say this. Its always a good thing to pay someone a compliment, especially since work can be hostile at times. But it would be much better to just tell them that they made a point.

Come across my desk

The irony of this statement is that the request or problem the person is claiming to have come across their desk was probably an email. An email that traversed multiple servers to reach the server that houses their email, never once touching a physical desk.

I suppose to some it makes them sound more important as heads of state often have to physically sign important documents that are placed on the desks they're using. But a person approving a request for more toner is not worthy of such grandstanding.

Company Culture

Webster defines culture as "the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group". None of those things apply to a job. Jobs don't have a culture because people are not encouraged to be their authentic selves but rather to conform to what the company deems as appropriate. Also, unless you own it, stop using words like "our" and "mine", the company does not belong to you.

We're a family here

No, you're weirdo. People tend to make statements like these when they want to encroach upon your personal time or worse, excuse abusive behavior. This could mean you taking on tasks outside of your job description all because you are helping the "family" out.

Matt Irving is the CEO of Super Easy Tech, LLC.
Matt is the CEO of Super Easy Tech and creator of Super Easy CRM. He is a passionate software engineer, tech blogger, and gamer. Feel free to connect on any of the platforms listed below.

Posted by: Matt Irving on 7/17/2022