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back office

The section of a business or company that is responsible for managing internal affairs (such as administration, information technology, and so on) and thus generally does not have contact with clients, customers, or the general public. You should ask one of the people in the back office for help with your computer. I spent so many years as part of the bank's back office that now I'm not sure I know the appropriate way to talk to a customer.
See also: back, office

box office

1. The place where one may purchase tickets to a performance, such as a film, play, concert, etc.; usually located within the venue. You can purchase your tickets online, but if you'd like to pay in cash, you can buy them at our box office.
2. A show's or performance's overall financial success as measured by ticket sales, usually used in the form "at the box office." Though it was critically acclaimed as the summer's best movie, it didn't do very well at the box office.
See also: box, office

box-office bomb

A film that performs very poorly in ticket sales, earning less than the cost of production. After its third box-office bomb in a row, the film studio was forced to close down.
See also: bomb

Can I see you in my office?

A request to speak privately in an office, typically said by a boss or superior, perhaps because one is going to be reprimanded. A: "Can I see you in my office?" B: "Oh man. Is this because I lost that account?"
See also: can, see

do a land-office business

To sell something very successfully. Stores that sell shovels and rock salt always do a land-office business after the prediction of a snowstorm.
See also: business

the front office

The management of an organization, usually a business. Don't ask me—all the decisions get made up by the front office. The front office is expected to make a lot of personnel changes in the off season.
See also: front, office

Could I see you in my office?

 and Can I see you in my office?
I want to talk to you in the privacy of my office. (Typically said by a supervisor to a lower-ranking employee.) "Mr. Franklin," said Bill's boss sort of sternly, "Could I see you in my office for a minute? We need to talk about something."
See also: could, see

do a land-office business

Fig. to do a large amount of buying or selling in a short period of time. The icecream shop always does a land-office business on a hot day. The tax collector's office did a land-office business on the day that taxes were due.
See also: business

force someone out of office

 and drive someone out of office; drive someone out; force someone out
to drive someone out of an elective office. The city coun­ il forced out the mayor, who resigned under pressure. Please resign immediately, or I'll have to drive you out.
See also: force, of, office, out

land-office business

Fig. a large amount of business done in a short period of time. We always do a land-office business at this time of year. We keep going. Never do land-office business—just enough to make out.
See also: business

take office

to begin serving as an elected or appointed official. When did the mayor take office? All the elected officials took office just after the election.
See also: office, take

box office

1. The office where seats for a play, concert, or other form of entertainment may be purchased, as in Tickets are available at the box office. It is so called because originally (17th century) it was the place for hiring a box, a special compartment of theater seats set aside for ladies. [Second half of 1700s]
2. The financial receipts from a performance; also, a show's relative success in attracting a paying audience. For example, You may not consider it great art, but this play is good box office. [c. 1900]
See also: box, office

front office

The policy-making or executive individuals in an organization, as in I'll have to check with the front office before I can give you a discount. This term was originally underworld slang for police headquarters or the main detective bureau. It soon was extended to other administrative offices and their personnel. [c. 1900]
See also: front, office

land-office business

A thriving, expanding, or very profitable concern or volume of trade. For example, After the storm they did a land-office business in snow shovels and rock salt. This term, dating from the 1830s, alludes to the throng of applicants to government land offices through which Western lands were sold. It has been used for other booming business since the mid-1800s.
See also: business

take office

Assume an official position or employment, as in The new chair takes office after the first of the year. [Mid-1800s]
See also: office, take

be doing a land-office business


be doing land-office business

If a company is doing a land-office business or is doing land-office business, it is very successful. The Paradiso, one of the capital's newest and most luxurious clubs, was doing a land-office business. Scooter and bicycle dealers are doing land-office business. Note: In the United States before the Civil War, the government opened up land offices which sold rights to pieces of land in the West. So many people wanted to buy land to settle on that there were often long queues outside the offices before they opened in the morning.
See also: business

good offices

help and support, often given by exercising your influence.
2002 Daily Telegraph Mr Blair will demonstratively use his good offices to bring round the German and French leaders, thereby gaining prestige in Washington.
See also: good, office

just another day at the office

boring routine.
1997 Times Professional cricket has been reduced to just another day at the ‘office’.
See also: another, just, office

through somebody’s good ˈoffices

(formal) with somebody’s help: He eventually managed to find employment, through the good offices of a former colleague.
See also: good, office, through

I gave at the office

An explanation for not contributing to a cause or organization, or an excuse not to donate or participate in anything. Campaigns for civic and charitable causes like the Red Cross and Community Chest were once far more prevalent at places of business than they now are, and people routinely made donations. Someone who was approached at home or elsewhere could have a valid excuse of “I gave through the office.”By extension, the phrase came to be used to slough off any kind of request. For example, someone who asked for a $20 loan might have been met with “Sorry, I gave at the office.” An old chestnut of a joke tells about the man who was lost on a camping trip. Rescuers scoured the wilderness until a medical emergency team finally spotted a solitary figure across a wide chasm. “Charlie Smith,” someone shouted,” “is that you?” “Yes, it is,” came the reply. “Who are you?” “We're from the Red Cross.” “I gave through the office!” Charlie shouted back.
See also: gave, office
References in classic literature ?
He might truly be termed a legitimate son of the revenue system, dyed in the wool, or rather born in the purple; since his sire, a Revolutionary colonel, and formerly collector of the port, had created an office for him, and appointed him to fill it, at a period of the early ages which few living men can now remember.
The office was closed in a twinkling, and the clerk, with the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist (for he boasted no great-coat), went down a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys, twenty times, in honour of its being Christmas Eve, and then ran home to Camden Town as hard as he could pelt, to play at blindman's-buff.
He can judge best what the cloth is like, for he has intellect, and no one understands his office better than he.
If perchance thou art left a widower- a thing which may happen- and in virtue of thy office seekest a consort of higher degree, choose not one to serve thee for a hook, or for a fishing-rod, or for the hood of thy 'won't have it;' for verily, I tell thee, for all the judge's wife receives, the husband will be held accountable at the general calling to account; where he will have repay in death fourfold, items that in life he regarded as naught.
The more it is contemplated, the more important will appear this ultimate though contingent power, of deciding the competitions of the most illustrious citizens of the Union, for the first office in it.
The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
Talk of the liberty of the treed possum, but do not use the word in connexion with a man bottled up in an office, with Roland Bean guarding the only exit.
They have an office at the top of one of the old houses in Russell Square.
I have his address at my office, if you think it worth while to try him.
News by telegram reached the insurance offices that Lady Montbarry had been advised by her lawyers to leave for London with as little delay as possible.
As to the important personage called, under the Empire, head of division, then, under the Restoration, director, and now by the former name, head or chief of division, he lives either above or below the offices of his three or four different bureaus.
If, I said, he makes a set speech and we make another recounting all the advantages of being just, and he answers and we rejoin, there must be a numbering and measuring of the goods which are claimed on either side, and in the end we shall want judges to decide; but if we proceed in our enquiry as we lately did, by making admissions to one another, we shall unite the offices of judge and advocate in our own persons.
Hercule Flambeau, private detective, and he was going to his new offices in a new pile of flats facing the Abbey entrance.
On the Exchange there were hurricanes and landslides and snowstorms and glaciers and volcanoes, and those elemental disturbances were reproduced in miniature in the broker's offices.
They were dispersed all over the public offices, and held all sorts of public places.
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