I've always been fascinated by the way people in technical jobs mutate our language,
whether by 'verbizing' nouns, defining triply-nested-acronyms, or just plain coining
new terms. I know I can't keep up with the wholesale volume of
Pseudodictionary or the interconnectedness of
Everything2. However, I guarantee that I have heard each of the following definitions used firsthand (if only, in some cases, because I've coined the terms).
Shameless plug: if you like this, there are more lame attempts at humor and blindingly obvious insights available on my blog.
The rarefied organizational layers beginning just above
the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often
profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were
designed to solve.
A person where you work who is slightly less competent than you are. When this person gets rifted, it's time to leave. (From the canaries kept in coal mines to detect gas--when the canary dies, it's time to go.)
If you display an ability to work well with difficult co-workers, you will continually be assigned to work with difficult co-workers. Corrolary: If you execute an unpleasant or distasteful assignment well, you will be given more unpleasant or distasteful assignments.
Any piece of non-essential gear bought by a .com to make the working environment 'cooler,' particularly if it's a waste of money. From The Simpsons: when Springfield Elementary strikes oil and can afford all manner of extravagant purchases, Ralph Wiggins requests (and is approved for) chocolate microscopes for the lab. [From Chancellor on AnandTech's 'Hot Deals' forum]
'Give-A-F*ck Factor:' usually expressed as a decreasing trend after (or during) a long, painful assignment. "My GFF was OK until the customer puked all over our bid and told us to start from scratch; now it's approaching zero."
Those features of the American landscape (strip malls, motel/restaurant chains, prefab housing) that are exactly the same no matter what part of the country you're in. "We were so lost in generica, I actually forgot what city we were in."
A software bug you can't find using the debugger, because the debugger changes the timing of the program's execution enough to keep the bug from happening. From the idea that the act of observing something changes it, which is part of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
When you split your time 50-50 between two bosses, and one of them thinks everything he wants you to do is more important than anything the other boss wants you to do, so he tasks you like you're working for him full time. Of course, the other boss thinks exactly the same way. Opposite of Zero-Zero Split.
To tell your boss that a given (difficult) task will take X time, but you finish it in X/2 (or X/5, or even X/10) time. From Scotty on ST:tOS, who would tell Captain Kirk that (say) regonculating the warp core retroincavulators would take days, but who would complete the task in hours because the survival of the ship depended on it. (Courtesy co-worker Tim O.)
Not telling management you can't make schedule, betting that some other person or group will admit they can't make schedule so you can get the extra time you need without catching any flak for it. Of course, somebody else may be doing the same thing...
Starting requirements analysis, system design, software development, and testing of a project all at the same time. (from golf - an event that starts with participants starting on different holes at the same time, with the start signalled by an official firing a shotgun)
The gray area between screwing up an unpleasant assignment badly enough that you won't be given similar ones in the future and screwing it up badly enough that you get fired. A way to avoid Carter's Trap.
Incompetent co-workers. [From kzinti on Slashdot: "My friend referred to the incompetents as 'strap-ons'. He'd say 'Yeah, you get to work in the morning, strap on a couple, carry them all day, take 'em off before you go home.'"]
When you're supposed to be splitting your time 50-50 between two groups or projects, and you tell each boss that your other tasking is taking all your time. An effective way to goof off, as long as your bosses don't compare notes.