An off-color remark met by a glaring silence or aggressive retort from our boss—we’ve all been there. Prevent this from happening next time by knowing what not to say to your boss, in any situation.
Here are 8 sentences to never, ever say to your boss. Trust us, we don’t want you to be unexpectedly unemployed.
“I had a CRAZY night last night”
Unless your job is a club promoter, telling your boss party stories is unprofessional and boundary-stepping – especially if you’re talking about last night, when your boss presumes you were getting a good night’s sleep for work the next day. And if you’re hungover, just say you’re sick. Don’t tell your boss the real reason.
“Why did Kate get a promotion instead of me?”
Even if Kate came into the office after you did, or sucks up to the bosses, or is totally less qualified than you, there’s a reason that she was chosen for the promotion and you weren’t. It’s never good to offhandedly complain about a decision after it’s been made – instead, ask what you can do to be a better employee and more likely to be promoted next time.
“Why don’t you do it?”
If your boss is asking you to do it, it means you’re probably the best person to get this task done. And even if your boss consistently offloads tasks to you that he could easily do himself, that’s a longer conversation to have with him, and not an issue to combat with snide remarks.
“So who did you vote for?”
Unless you work for a political think tank, it’s best to keep politics out of the office. Delving into to your political differences can create divides between coworkers and get in the way of cooperation.
“Do I have to work with Larry?”
No matter how bad Larry smells, or how driveling his voice is, or how many times he likes to mention his cats, personal dislikes should be left out of the office. You can even see this as an opportunity to overcome some pet peeves you may harbor. If there’s an insurmountable problem with working with Larry, schedule a serious conversation to talk about it.
“How do you know?”
If your boss is telling you something, chances are they believe it to be true. If they have a consistent misinformation problem, find a polite way to tell them when they’re wrong, such as “that’s funny, I thought …” or doing your research and pointing out flaws in what they told you, rather than directly challenging their knowledge.
“Have you considered therapy?”
Even though therapy can be helpful tool for many people, suggesting your boss needs therapy is a sure-fire route to a pink slip.
“Want to go out for drinks this Friday night?”
Don’t ask your boss out. Just don’t do it. It’s weird for both people. Similarly, don’t try to be a matchmaker for your boss, no matter how much you think your boss could be perked up by having special someone in their life.