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Things You Shouldn't Say at Work
Read an interesting online piece the other day on the Things You Should Never Say In The Workplace (Especially To Your Boss), and was surprised to find I hadn’t said any of them. Not to my bosses, anyway, or should I say former bosses. Of course, I said other things to my bosses that may by why I work for myself these days.
Anyway, here are some highlights from the list, with commentary by yours truly:
* “That’s not my job.” Oh, smart. Most bosses I know would have no problem redefining your duties right on the spot.
* “Don’t tell anyone I said this, but ... ” Popular at the water cooler. Also known as “Be sure to tell everybody ...”
* “I haven’t gotten a raise, ever.” Then you must not be very good.
* “I’m so stressed out/busy/sick of working here.” I know we’ve all said it at one time or another, but this is one you REALLY should keep to yourself. I’ll get to that in a bit.
* “I have (insert medical condition here).” Thanks for sharing. We all wish you a speedy recovery from your toenail fungus. Eww.
* “What’s your (political party or religion).” Your mother should have taught you not to ask this one, the same time she taught you not to tell anyone what was on your report card.
* “I got so trashed last night ... ” That you’re bound to be worthless today.
* “I don’t have time for that.” I’ll bet your supervisor says you do.
* “I just bought a thousand-dollar watch for the boss.” Oh, yeah. This one’s bound to endear you to your coworkers. Nobody likes a suck-up. Besides who has a thousand bucks for a watch? You can always get the time from your Crackberry. Sheesh.
Now, actually, as things not to say to the boss go, these are pretty mild. I come from a much tougher league where, in the days when men were men and women laughed at them for acting like such morons, you were quite likely to hear such rapier retorts as:
“You do it.”
“Know what? You’re the perfect example of this company’s policy: Handicapthe hired.”
“OK, which one of YOUR bosses put you up to this?
“Don’t tell anyone I said this, but the boss got so trashed last night that he told everyone his political affiliation and his religion. He also said he once got an F in Algebra.”
And, of course, the ever-popular:
“(Censored, you (censored) (censored) stupid (censored).”.
Now, I don’t recall using any of those. However, I could be wrong about the last one.
I do know I hit my zenith in Boss Backtalk when the paper I worked for was sold and the new regime sent in a bunch of poorly trained primates to run the place. One told me he had been reading my column and didn’t get the point.
“I don’t write it for you,” I said.
That was the beginning of the end of my employment there.
Which gets me back to why you should not say “I’m so stressed out/busy/sick of working here,” especially these days. Bosses hear that and they are delighted to remind you that they have an open door policy:
Which is their way of saying you’re free to leave anytime.
© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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