triage annoying business term cartoon

(Triage is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)


Triage is a medical term that describes the process of determining the order of treatment when faced with a large number of patients. It takes place, for example, following a disaster where medical personnel are dealing with multiple injuries – each with its own degree of urgency.

Without proper triage, someone with a simple broken bone might receive care before someone missing a limb.

Proper triage is critical when lives are in the balance. Given that lives are not in the balance in your office, there’s no reason your annoying manager should ask you to triage anything. Yet he does. All the time.

We’ve heard managers use triage to describe everything from assessing employees in a new acquisition to ranking the color swatches for the new lunchroom chairs.

Whatever the use in business, it’s annoying… and it’s incorrect. Triage is annoying in its misuse and overuse, but it’s especially annoying because it’s most often hyperbolic.

Hyperbole has no place in any workspace. Of course, when simply providing calm, collected thoughts about a topic is possible, your annoying manager reaches for unnecessary exaggeration.

Annoying managers love the drama when they’re the ones creating it. Why describe something as it is when you can describe it in extreme terms? Why ask someone to review a document, plan for a meeting, or assess a competitive threat when you can insist they triage the situation?

Because you’re annoying, that’s why.

Replacement phrases: Assess; Plan; Review

See also: Unpack

The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon

From TheManager