The Spiff

The Spiff


"What’s a Spiff?" I asked Karen at work. 

"It's a spiff," she said, "You know, a spiff." 

I said, "No, I don't know. I know what it's suppose to be, but what does it mean."

"It's a spiff, you know something you get, a spiff."


By now, it was just funny. It was obvious she didn't know what it stood for but, she knew it was a spiff.


A spiff is an incentive given to employees to market or sell a specific item. You know, a spiff. What or where it came from, I couldn’t tell you.   It is a derivative of spiffy, to shine up and make presentable. But, did it come before or after, "the spiff?"


Karen and I have this thing anyway about the abstraction of words. One afternoon we were reconstructing a glass fixture at the store and having a difficult time getting it right.  We were using a screwdriver as a template to distance the shelves evenly. 

At one point I finally said, “This would be easier if we had something like a string or a stick…or” as it slowly dawned on me, “A measuring tape like the one in the drawer at the counter.”


We looked at each other and started laughing so hard that I was crying.  It was like we had discovered fire.  A measuring tape, a ruler.  Who da thunk.


So, what is a spiff? 


Well, it's a spiff, you know, a spiff. 


View djtj's Full Portfolio