Wednesday, April 03, 2013


..or its companion, "C-level."  Never  heard them before, ran across them twice in 24 hours.  A friend runs a fleet of continuing eduction programs, at least one "for C-level executives."  A few hours later I ran across C-suite: I'm off to Wiktionary where I find:  "The group of officers of a business organization, who have the word 'chief' in their titles."  So, "C * O" where the C stands for "Chief," the  O stands for "Officer" and the * stands for Executive, Operating, Financial, Information, Restructuring, or any job that gives you digs on the umpteenth floor with the wrap-around windows and the catered lunches.

I tried it on my friends to see if they were as behind the curve as I.  Results were mixed, yes and no plus "I heard the phrase but I had no idea what it meant."   Bruce adds:

Interesting contrast with "being called to the carpet," which is, I believe a reference to when the bigwigs were on the first floor with carpet, and the minions were upstairs with linoleum.
Taxmom contributes:
I knew it meant where the heads of the company were (seat of power as it were), but I thought it was "corner suite", like "corner office".  But now everyone is in cubicles anyway, and you call people into the conference room if you need to fire them.

My friend Carter offers a twist:

"C-shift" is a term used to describe the graveyard shift (A,B, and C shifts).  In some jail litigation I was tangentially involved in, the night guards were involved in a pattern of physical abuse.  They turned it into a verb "He got C-shifted!" when they beat the hell out of somebody.  The City paid handsome settlements to a class of plaintiffs, so maybe they ended up actually being C-shifted.
 ...also new to me.  In the newspaper biz, the 11pm-7am gig qualified as "the lobster shift," of doubtful etymology but being lobster shifted doesn't sound like much fun either.

Of course we don't have chiefs here in the University but we do have chancellors and, more to the point, we have vice-chancellors who have about 15 reserved parking spaces.  I don't even know where their office is but I assume they feast on ortolans and whipped cream.   Here in the law school, we have deans--a D-suite?  I assume they also have a D-suite over at the B-school?   Much better off, I suppose, than those poor adjutants whose A-suite is down in steerage.  In any event, I am remembering the lion who escaped from the Washington zoo and survived for six months by hanging out at the  Pentagon and eating a general a day where nobody ever missed them.

1 comment:

The New York Crank said...

On the New York Newspaper where I worked, the Lobster Shift began at 1 a.m. and ended at 9 a.m.

I think that dates from the hours when the lobster boats would unload their cargo at the Fulton Fish Market.

Very crankily yours, and pass the nutcracker and the melted butter,

The New York Crank