Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm looking for a short, snappy alternative word/phrase meaning "person who has left the company".

I have very limited space available (20 characters) for a label that conveys (in prose):

List of tasks that are open but assigned to somebody who has left the company

I've tried Thesaurus.com but can't find anything graceful with this precise meaning. "Ex-staff" for example, is adequately short, but equally unpleasant.

Given our wonderful language's habit of a word for every occasion I'm surprised I'm finding nothing suitable!

share|improve this question
1  
Former employee has 15 characters. –  Andrew Leach Jan 24 '13 at 15:48
    
I have 20 characters to express the whole thing: List of tasks that are open but assigned to somebody who has left the company –  Andi Mohr Jan 24 '13 at 15:58
    
You may need to update the question title. –  Andrew Leach Jan 24 '13 at 16:02
    
Why? The 20 character parameter is only mentioned in the body of the question. But if you'd like to edit please go for it! –  Andi Mohr Jan 24 '13 at 16:14
    
There we are. In fact that's only 22 characters. –  Andrew Leach Jan 24 '13 at 16:18
show 2 more comments

closed as too localized by Mitch, Kristina Lopez, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, Robusto, FumbleFingers Jan 24 '13 at 22:53

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'd call those orphaned tasks; they're still alive, but their parent is gone.

share|improve this answer
    
I like this! Elegant. However, my users tend to struggle unless terms are sufficiently blunt in their purpose. Having said that, I may still go with this, it's good. –  Andi Mohr Jan 24 '13 at 16:16
add comment

If they are simply tasks that need to be done, why does it matter that they were left by former employees? Try: Unfinished or undelegated tasks

share|improve this answer
    
Unfortunately, they aren't simply tasks that need to be done. They are specifically those assigned to people who have left. –  Andi Mohr Jan 24 '13 at 16:21
add comment

Ex-colleague or past/former colleague? Ex-workmate or past/former workmate? 'Former shipmate' if chumminess is permitted. 'Departee, but that implies ongoing process, and 'departed' is definitely not appropriate!

'Escapee' or 'gone AWOL' if your situation allows such levity; 'deserter' if you're feeling bitter.

share|improve this answer
    
It's a business document so levity is best avoided, and our 'deserters' may not all have 'deserted' voluntarily! –  Andi Mohr Jan 24 '13 at 16:00
    
The other suggestions are OK but are still a bit too long for my tastes! –  Andi Mohr Jan 24 '13 at 16:01
add comment

I'll throw my hat in:

Masterless tasks.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the suggestion, unfortunately I need the precision of 'former employee'. Masterless would also apply to those tasks that have never been assigned. For what I'm doing this is a subtle but important distinction. –  Andi Mohr Jan 24 '13 at 17:54
add comment

Here is bluntness: abandoned tasks.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks Jim, this is good. –  Andi Mohr Jan 25 '13 at 9:14
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.