Caustic Comedic Corporate Handles

One of the things I listen for when working with a company are the underground names employees use to refer to their corporate headquarters and their corporate leadership teams. I try to convince myself that I do this to gain some insight into the relationship between employees and their leadership, but in reality I’m drawn to it for the sheer comedy. These nicknames for corporate HQs and senior leadership teams are often creative gems, in their own snarky way.

So, just for fun, here are some of the caustic, comedic corporate handles I’ve encountered over the years:

  • The Corporate Furniture, a satirical recognition that email messages from senior leaders include the header “from the desk of…” Corporate-speak in such missives is known as “furniture polish.”
  • The White House, derived from a perception by some frontline employees that there is a lack of diversity in the senior management ranks.
  • The Emerald City, in deference to the emerald green windows of the corporate headquarters building and the perception that no one should pay any attention to “the man behind the curtain.”
  • The Corporate Seagulls, a term for senior leaders from the corporate office who perform surprise inspections on field operations. It is said such people “fly in, eat your food, crap all over everything and then fly away.”
  • The Chia, a reference to a corporate headquarters building that has green metal sunshades that protrude over each window and a rounded roof that combined give the appearance of a giant Chia pet. It is said that “you never know what crazy ideas are growing inside there.”

What are some of the caustic corporate handles you’ve encountered? You don’t have to identify specific companies but please share, just for the fun of it!

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