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Weak! How To Talk Like Donald Trump At Work

I was having lunch with a friend at a fast-casual dining establishment. Amid the trays and discarded straw wrappers, I asked how things were going.

"I'm an eating machine," my friend deadpanned between bites of burrito. "I'm a total disaster with a bad attitude, believe me."

I did what any supportive friend would do as this election year winds down: I laughed and did my best Hillary shoulder shimmy. I mean, what else can you do?


Not only had I just been "trumped" by Trump's terrible, horrible, no-good comments in jest, I had just been triple-Trumped in one, cilantro-fueled comment! Eating machine. Total disaster. Believe me. My friend was doing things bigly, that I can tell you.

Maybe like me, you need your up-to-the-minute election news fix in this roller coaster ride of an election year. Whether it's Morning Joe or The Washington Post, you want to know what Trump said this time (which might be even worse than what he said last time). Oh, what a long, strange cable news trip it's been. Are we there yet? I'm exhausted, and ready to get election day over with.

Maybe you've used up all your TV news-watching capital and found yourself working Trump phrases into random conversations with friends, family and familiar work colleagues. In fact, a well-placed Trump phrase uttered in the workplace could subtly (or not so subtly?) announce our political leanings when we can't talk politics at work. It's pretty much a wink and a nod to our like-minded colleagues that we won't be voting a certain way.

How To Turn a Phrase Like Trump
Trump's very distinctive manner of speaking has become a sort of cultural touchstone. Like Sarah Palin in 2008, he is our political earworm. His words are everywhere because he is everywhere, all the time, at rallies and (until recently) at scheduled debates, dominating each and every moment of the news cycle, his tweets re-hashed endlessly by reporters. In the process, we've had more than a year to pick up on his particular turns of phrase. Without further delay, here are my Top 10 Trump words and phrases:

1. Believe me
2. It's a disaster
3. And that I can tell you
4. Tremendous/tremendous success/tremendous failure
5. Bigly (or is it "big league"?)
6. So important
7. Let me tell you
8. Wrong!
9. Absolutely incredible
10. You have no idea

"Massive," "I don't think so," "absolutely disgusting," "sad" and "weak" make the honorable mentions list. For extra credit, we can try to work all of these words into one, work-related conversation like this:

"I'm working so hard, you have no idea. I think we're going to have tremendous, massive success with this project, believe me. It's important, so important. Did you see the report from Dave in accounting? All I can say is, I don't think so! It's a disaster, a total disaster. Weak! By the way, have you heard that they hired the applicant who interviewed last week? Not my first choice, let me tell you. Sad! And who keeps leaving nasty, old lunches in the break room fridge? Absolutely disgusting. Wrong! By the way, Jane in sales is going bigly this month. She's absolutely incredible -- just tremendous -- and that I can tell you! She's a client-eating machine! A tremendous success."

Whew. Okay, what I wrote is a complete disaster, but you get the idea. Talking like Trump is surprisingly easy. Talking like him at work, however, might not be a good idea depending on your workplace. But if you think you have what it takes to become a walking word cloud, then go bigly or go home. I wish you tremendous success, believe me.

Interested in how Trump might be affecting workplace productivity? Check out new employee survey data in my February 2017 post entitled Sad! All the Trump Talk at Work is Hurting our Productivity.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm glad it made you laugh, InterMezzo! We all need a good laugh right now...

  2. Another Trump phrase he uses to introduce some flimsy "fact:"

    "As you know, "

    1. Good one. This topic may require a follow-up post soon...


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