Worker says he’s tired of colleagues who use military jargon in the office

@workretiredie/TikTok cunaplus/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘You’re gonna get Hilton points and miles, OK? You’re not shipping off’: Man tired of co-workers who use military jargon in the office

'We're not in the trenches. We're in Excel.'


Phil West


Posted on Jan 14, 2024   Updated on Jan 14, 2024, 2:35 am CST

A worker who is tiring of phrases like “mission critical” and “boots on the ground” is begging people to not use military jargon in office settings.

The video asking people to shut it down comes from creator Jack Lawler (@workretiredie), getting more than 3.8 million views in the five days since putting it up on TikTok on Tuesday. He starts by saying, “Some of you really need to realize that we are not in the military. We are in corporate America, we are in desk jobs, right?”

He then explains, “So things are not mission critical because we’re not invading another country. They are important. We should launch the product on time, but it’s not mission critical. So just chill out a little.”

Then, using another bit of office-tailored military jargon, he says, “We’re not in the trenches. We’re in Excel, we are in Outlook. OK? We’re sending emails, we’re not sending bombs. OK, so like, [expletive] relax.”

He then says, “Stop saying boots on the ground. OK, we’re not invading Iwo Jima, alright? We’re going to a sales conference in [expletive] Omaha. You’re gonna get Hilton points and miles, OK? You’re not shipping off to invade Normandy.”

Commenters had other examples at the ready.

@workretiredie Just chill out a bit ok? #corporatebuzzword #officebuzzword #officehumor #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #buzzwords #emailjobs ♬ original sound – Jack Lawler

One said, “Our printer went down in the office and my boss yelled, ‘We’re basically dead in the water!’ Ma’am, please.”

Another shared, “Also let’s not ‘cast a wide net’ unless we pivot to industrial fishing.”

Someone else noted, “I definitely said ‘mission critical’ today in a meeting and I deserve this call out.”

A commenter responded to that with, “The first step is accepting there’s a problem, so I’m proud of you!”

However, there are people who come over from the actual military to corporate America and have imported military jargon into their jobs. In a June 2023 post on the r/USMC subreddit, one redditor shared, “Two big ones I use a lot are:

  1. When I’m talking to my boss I say we’re ‘hooking and jabbing’ our way through xyz.
  2. When I’m giving instructions to someone or even just having an in depth conversation I’ll stop and ask if they’re ‘tracking.'”

That redditor added, “Those are probably the two I use the most, along with the hand and arm signal for assemble when I’m gathering my team.”

Another responded, “I’ve described myself as a Force Multiplier in interviews to enormous success. In the Marines, everyone in my team knew how to do everyone’s job, and information hoarding was a sin. If I learn something, everyone in my team learns it.”

But not everyone in an office was in the military, as evinced by one commenter who said, “My job says ‘please elevate concerns up your chain of command,’ before adding with snark, “ok sergeant.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Lawler via TikTok DM.

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*First Published: Jan 14, 2024, 6:00 am CST