What does it mean when you ask a sales manager a question about something stupid in your compensation plan or quota, and she replies, “It is what it is“?
Here is the only believable translation I can come up with, given the context in which I’ve heard the phrase uttered:
“There is no satisfying or reasonable answer to your very compelling question and the excellent points you just made. I would never say this out loud, but there’s nothing I can do about your predicament and, to be very truthful, the pickle you’re in is largely my fault, which (incidentally) sucks for you because I get paid 8 times more than you do and (incidentally) my bonuses are fabulous. Anyway, at this moment, I really want to tell you to stuff a sock in your mouth, but that would be unprofessional, and I need to answer you with something that sounds deep but that doesn’t require any thought on my part, so I’ll tell you: It is what it is. Now go away.”