One of the most confusing parts of my Fellowship in the US was English acronyms my colleagues used in the office. At the beginning of the Fellowship, I couldn’t understand what people wanted from me when they asked me to do something COB or sent me a document with a lot of TBD’s in a text. Of course, you can google it easily, but sometimes you just don’t have time for that. Especially, when someone asks you to do something COB by call, and you need to answer quickly, but you do not sure when that COB is and will you be able to do a working assignment till that time. 

That’s why I decided to collect English acronyms frequently used in the US working environment. For sure, some of them could be familiar to you (such as FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), MBA (Master of Business Administration), or OMG (Oh My God)), but maybe this post will help you to learn something new!

FYI – For Your Information. We use this acronym very frequently even in my home country – Russia. What does it mean? Someone just sent interesting or useful information to you. No needs to action or reply instead of “thank you”.

ASAP – As Soon As Possible. I think this acronym is widely spread worldwide as well. Just do what you were asked to do as soon as possible.

TBD – To Be Discussed. This is one of my favorite acronyms confused me a lot at the beginning of my Fellowship. So, you can find TBD in schedules, emails, etc.—everywhere where you or your colleagues don’t know something or are not sure about it. For Example, a lot of TBD you can find while preparing a conference schedule if the speakers are not confirmed yet.

COB – Close to Business Hours. You couldn’t imagine how many times I agreed to do something COB and did it ASAP because I didn’t know what it means and hadn’t time to google it. But now I know that to do something COB means you need to do it by the end of a working day. So, no rush as ASAP.

DND – Do Not Disturb. Everything is clear, just to not disturb this person both physically and virtually.

OOO – Out of Office. Very easy. You can find this acronym in automatic responses from your partners and colleagues if they are not in the office—I’m OOO. Or you can send a message before your vacation—I will be OOO from that day to this one.

TDY – Temporary Duty Travel. I saw this acronym just a few days ago and, of course, needed to google it. Honestly, TDY means the same as OOO—a person is not in the office. The only difference is that in case of TDY this person is on a working trip, not on vacation. So, s/he works but needs more time to respond you.

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