Scott Hanselman recently blogged about "Ninjas on fire" as a way to describe being overwhelmed at work, here's a snippet from his post on the origin:

Jesse asked me how I was doing yesterday and I replied "Ninjas on fire, man." Four years ago when Halo 2 was coming out it was described like this.

"Halo 2 is alot like Halo 1, except it's Halo 1 on fire going 120 miles per hour through a hospital zone chased by helicopters and ninjas. And the ninjas are all on fire too." -Jason Jones

For me and some of my compatriots, it also become a phrase that referred to our current workload, like:

"How's work?"

"I'm being chased by ninjas."

"Are they on fire?"

"Not yet."

"Oh, so it's Tuesday. You wait."

The short-hand just became "ninjas on fire, man" as a response to when you're totally overwhelmed with deadlines and work.

 

Scott and I taped This Week on Channel 9 earlier to day and I was telling him how our old team came up with a similar version of "Ninjas on Fire" as we just had *so* many projects to be working on and so little time that we continually had too many things to handle. To illustrate the overworked advisory system, I've added this helpful graphic which is of course ripped off from the US Government's Homeland Security System.

DoomedLevel

 

My current level is:

ultradoomed

 

And no, you don't get to know how the criteria is set :)