Managers Say the Darndest Things

30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room

Managers Say the Darndest Things

Luckily for you, the 212 most annoying of these are detailed in this brand-new book: “The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room”

COUER D’ALENE, ID – If chronicling the most annoying business jargon spewed in the workplace today sounds like a cringe-inducing assignment to you, you’d be half-right. While certainly cringe-inducing, it was also a lot of fun. That, at least according to father and son authors Steve and Carson Stauning.

Their newly released title, The 30,000 Pound Gorilla in the Room, is a humorous look at the irritating phrases all of us must endure during our daily work lives – and it’s loaded with everything from the classics (think outside the box) to the nouveau (nothing burger), and virtually everything in between.

The Staunings explain that the idea for the book and its interesting title both came from instances that took place long ago.

“After more than 20 years listening to managers spout the most annoying analogies, clichés, and other jargon, I posted an article detailing the 25 most annoying of these on my blog in 2008,” explains Steve. “The article was more an attempt at catharsis than anything else. But it’s proven to be the most popular content I’ve ever posted.”

“Once he realized how many people were still reading this post after more than a decade, he figured there must be millions of others in the workplace growing tired of listening to an endless stream of irritating sayings,” added Carson.

With that, Steve and Carson set out to build the ultimate guide to annoying business jargon; perhaps delivering the same cathartic relief to others. However, while compiling the list of phrases, neither Stauning knew exactly what to call this thing.

Fortunately, Steve remembered a truly cringe-worthy moment from an important company meeting held long before he penned his popular blog post. In this meeting, an up-and-coming young manager told a group of peers and senior executives, “I think it’s time we all addressed the 30,000-pound gorilla in the room.”

“The whole room got quiet,” Steve recalled. “Then the awkwardness began to grow, and this poor guy just shut his mouth for the rest of the meeting. Somehow this young manager had combined the 30,000-foot view, the elephant in the room, and the 800-pound gorilla all into one nonsensical mess.”

With that, Steve and Carson had the perfect title!

From the meaningless to the overused, we are all inundated daily with annoying and ridiculous business phrases from the lips of otherwise well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) professionals.

Why so many managers rely on the latest catch phrases or tired business jargon to relay a simple message is unclear. Whether lazy, blocked, or they just think it makes them sound important, managers too often reach for prepackaged word groupings instead of constructing an original thought.

Perhaps detailing 212 of these sayings in book form will shame these managers into quitting… but, we doubt it.

The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available in paperback at

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From TheManager