We spend so much time at work that we often see our coworkers more than we see our own families. It’s easy to let your guard down and say something inappropriate, but a passing comment that you think nothing of may come back to haunt you.
Here are the top 10 (plus a bonus one) worst things you can say at work. Don’t be the one to make these epic office etiquette failures…
“That’s not my job.”
Wow, not exactly a team player are you? Keep up that attitude and before you know it people will stop asking you to do things altogether. But that’s not a good thing…you’ll be marked as an uncooperative jerk who is only interested in helping if it suits your own needs.
And don’t forget karma. When you’re busy working on an important project and need help your coworkers may use your own words against you. Payback is a bitch.
“No problem. I’ll have this done in no time.”
If you’re one hundred percent sure that you can keep your promise then this statement isn’t so bad. But if you don’t come through you’ll be seen as someone who is unreliable and untrustworthy. If you know you can’t complete a project in a certain amount of time be honest about it. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than promise the moon and fail to come through.
“It’s not my fault.”
Mistakes happen and all businesses have to deal with them. It could be as simple as an easily fixed typo or it could be a complicated and embarrassing blunder that will cost the company its largest client.
Your first inclination might be to cover your butt and stay out of the line of fire so you don’t get blamed for the mess. But that attitude just makes you look bad and all your coworkers will hate you. When there’s an emergency, your bosses expects all hands on deck working on the problem.
“I got so wasted last night.”
Keep your private life private. No ones needs to know how many shots you did last night or in whose bed you woke up this morning.
“Why can’t I log into Facebook?”
Because you’re being paid to work, not to update your status every half hour and spend your day cyber-stalking the new girl in accounting.
“Go away. I don’t have time for this.”
Yes, you’re busy. But that doesn’t mean you should be rude. The person coming to you for help is probably just as busy as you are and having to deal with your cantankerous attitude isn’t going to help.
“Want to step outside to settle this?”
How old are you? Eight? Settling a workplace dispute with a physical confrontation is never acceptable. No exceptions. And if you go around intimidating people and threatening violence you won’t be employed for long.
“How did HE get promoted?”
So maybe you don’t have a very high opinion of your coworker who was just promoted, but your bosses obviously do. Insulting and undermining him will only make you look bad and squash any chance of you getting promoted in the future.
“I’m the only one who does any work around here.”
Yea, yea…we get it. You’re a good worker. So are most of your colleagues whether you acknowledge it or not. And even if you are the hardest working bee in the hive, no one wants to hear you patting yourself on the back since you’re really insulting them at the same time.
“You know how she got this job, don’t you?”
That’s just not right. Spreading rumors that a coworker is sleeping her way to the top is just wrong (even if you’re pretty sure it is true). How would you feel if people were spreading rumors about you? Or your wife? Or your daughter?
A few years ago, I was working in a large office and as I walked from the parking lot towards the building I bumped into one of my coworkers named Roseann. She was walking with a little girl who was maybe seven years old.
Now I knew for a fact that Roseann had a daughter who was in college and she was a bit older than me, so in an attempt to make small talk I innocently asked, “Is this your granddaughter?”
After a split second pause Roseann replied, “No, she’s mine.”
I couldn’t even respond since my foot was so far in my mouth. I was so embarrassed but she didn’t hold it against me.
I guess the only thing worse to say to a woman would be “Are you pregnant?”
Have you ever said something at work that came back to haunt you later?