Secretarial: The Temp: Anyone for golf?

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The Independent Culture
APPARENTLY, ONE of the most commonly written notes in doctors' handwriting is the syndrome "TATT". This unalarming set of letters covers an uncomfortable and shockingly widespread syndrome called "Tired all the Time". This comes as a relief to me, as I thought that my symptoms were merely related to the fact that I try to make up for the frustrations of my working life by staying up all night drinking, but if it's a medically recognised syndrome, then there's obviously something else to blame and I don't have to make any adjustments to my lifestyle to help.

TATT, though, also brings to mind another aspect of office life that seems to be on the increase, and that's the T and FLA. This useful letter- string I learned from a bloke who worked for the EC, who had been inducing TATT in us all night in a bar in the West End by saying things like: "Well, according to the ETT, GEBs aren't allowed to get themselves involved in NAPs unless their HKA or his 2IC issue a specific GAH."

Eventually, I roused myself from my slumbers and pointed out that not one person round the table had understood a word he'd said for the past half hour, at which he laughed and replied, "Yes, there are a lot of TLAs in this business, aren't there?"

A TLA, you see, is a three-letter acronym. An FLA is the four-or-five- letter version. Once or twice I've come across SLAs, but as they generally take as long to say as the original phrase, they're quite rare and usually used for discretion or obscenity purposes, like the old army FLA SNAFU, or the Huron-sounding USCWAP, which, as everybody knows, translates into Up Shit Creek Without a Paddle.

Anyway, here is a brief primer in the TLAs and their cousins that I have come across recently. They are, of course, essential knowledge for anyone who wants to know what's going on around them, and even more essential to those who want to criticise their management/colleagues without being too overt. You can also pass many a tedious, dust-filled afternoon when you should be working out the VAT receipts making up some of your own instead.

Atlas: Advanced Through Luck and Slyness

Bimbo: Bloke in Management Forgot His Deodorant

Bin: Believer in Networking

Boss: Blustery Old So-and-So

Dole: Drooling, Ogling, Lecherous Executive

Dosser: DO-nothing Stationery StealER

Golf: Go On, LoaF

Hash: Hoping for Acceptance at Soho House

Liar: Lost Interest; Awaiting Retirement

Neddy: NEw and Desperate to Do Your job

Olga: Open Legs Gained Advancement

Pap: Pointless Accounting Procedure

Poets' Day (Friday): Piss off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday

Sapphic: Spends all Afternoon Playing Patience and Hearts in Company Time

Shac: Simply Hasn't a Clue

Tacit: Takes All Credit for Ideas and Thoughts

TBM: Typical Bloody Man (used by female employees when they find that the photocopier has been left without paper in it again)

Zzzzzz: Please wake me up when it's time to go to the pub

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