What Not To Say At Work

"It's not my problem. That's Becca's job."

Offering this phrase to a supervisor will communicate two things: that you are not a team player and blame others rather than create solutions. If asked about something outside of your job's scope, a better response is: "I don't usually handle that, but I'd be happy to look into it."

"That %&*# idiot! I can't believe that @$#&!"

Violent or angry cursing reflects on your personality and work style. Management might consider you a "loose cannon" and hesitate to put you in front of important clients.

"Are you pregnant? Can I feel?"

Never ask a woman if she's pregnant. The awkwardness and self-esteem shattering that occurs when she says she's not is best avoided. At the same time, asking to feel a coworker's third-trimester belly is never appropriate. Do so only if she invites it.

"You're telecommuting after the baby? Nice work if you can get it ..."

A great way to alienate a coworker is to belittle or begrudge their work arrangement or parental leave benefits. Avoid sounding condescending by keeping the conversation positive and professional.

"Oh my god, I have the worst diarrhea."

Talking about bodily functions or gory medical details is never OK in the office. Not only will your colleagues begin to distance themselves from you, it's impossible to predict who else might be nearby.

"Last night I got so wasted."

Offering details about your weekend escapades will likely make others uncomfortable and help you appear unprofessional. As a rule of thumb, never go into detail about substances or sexual encounters.

"How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb...?"

Humor often comes from the denigration of a group--be it ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual preference. Off-color jokes are never acceptable in the workplace, as they may create a threatening environment for a coworker

"Who's that hot new babe on the 10th floor?"

It's always a no-no to reference the physical attractiveness of colleagues or potential hires. Even if meant as a joke, it could be overheard and make someone uncomfortable. When complimenting someone on their appearance, keep it PG and specific, like a new haircut or outfit.

"I'd like to blow this place up."

In today's environment, this type of hyperbole could be taken seriously by a coworker. At the very least, someone might become fearful or distrustful of you. At most, you may be reported and investigated.

"You voted for him? Are you stupid?"

Political talk is not banned from the workplace, but it must be handled delicately. People very easily get riled up, so take care not to voice feelings of anger or judgment when talking about a candidate or race.

Taken from Forbes


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