The Hilarious Generation Gap on “Out of Pocket”

Gen Z Workers Playfully Tease Millennial Colleagues Over Differing Interpretations of the Phrase 'Out of Pocket

Gen Z workers tease millennials for using ‘out of pocket’ with a different meaning.

grumpy remote worker desk tired Image source: Tesson/Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you’ve ever been “out of pocket” at work, hold on to your seat because Gen Z is here to stir up some laughter at the expense of their older colleagues. It turns out that different generations have different interpretations of this seemingly innocent phrase, and the misunderstandings are causing quite a commotion!

For millennials and boomers, being “out of pocket” simply means they’ll be away for part of the day, maybe even unreachable if they have important appointments like going to the dentist. But for those wild and chaotic Gen Zers, “out of pocket” takes on a whole new meaning – acting recklessly or completely out of control! Picture your manager being “out of pocket” for the afternoon, and the younger workers just can’t contain their amusement.

TikToker @notahand hilariously pointed out this generation gap in a video that has now amassed over 900,000 views and 1,000 comments. The video became a breeding ground for Gen Z commenters, eager to poke fun at their older colleagues’ “misuse” of the term. You can’t help but giggle at the thought of your boss unassumingly saying, “I’m going to be out of pocket today from 1 to 2,” and their Gen Z subordinates imagining a world of mischief and adventure.

And it’s not just @notahand’s followers who can relate. The video struck a chord with many young workers whose bosses use the same phrase. One commenter hilariously admitted they almost asked, “OMG, what did he do this time?” upon hearing a client say that their manager was “out of pocket.” The generational divide manifested itself in full force, while some millennials found it unimaginable that the term had any other meaning besides being “busy” or “unreachable.” One person lamented, “39 and I have never heard that used for other than, not available. I feel so very old rn.”

This quirky language barrier has been a topic of conversation for at least the past year. In December 2022, The Washington Post even published a “cringe quiz” to help workers determine their fluency in Gen Z office speak, including a question about the bewildering phrase “out of pocket.”

But let’s take a step back and appreciate the absurdity of it all. A Reddit thread titled “People do no[t] understand the meaning of the phrase ‘out of pocket’ and use it wrong” highlighted the baffling nature of both definitions. Why does “out of pocket” mean both being unavailable and going wild? It’s truly mind-boggling! The original poster pointed out that the phrase only makes sense when it implies paying for something out of your own pocket.

So, next time your colleague says they’ll be “out of pocket,” get ready for a good laugh. It’s an opportunity to witness the clash of generations and revel in the silliness of language. And remember, it’s all in good fun – just another day in the ever-evolving world of office banter!

Image source: [TikToker @notahand sparked a conversation over what it means to be “out of pocket.”](