There are 5 things you should never say at work. No matter how angry, ambitious, or amusing you think you are. So here they are:
- “My boss is in over his head.” Or anything else that implies the boss doesn’t know what he’s doing. That comes from the book Secrets To Winning At Office Politics. Basically, assume that everything you say will get back to the big cheese eventually. So if you need to vent, gripe to someone outside of work who you know is on your side – like a brother, best friend, or girlfriend.
- "Joe in shipping is an idiot!” Office gossip breeds paranoia and cuts productivity. Yes, Joe in shipping may be an idiot – but when you say that to somebody, they start thinking “What is he saying about me when I’m not around?” However, you can gossip if you have something helpful to say, such as “Joe in shipping forgot to mark that package as next day delivery. Make sure you double check that.”
- “I hope I get that promotion instead of Cooper!” Ambition is fine – just never reveal your entire strategy to anyone you work with. The minute you tell someone, you’re vulnerable. You have no guarantee that they’re not running over to Cooper and telling him everything you said. Also, your boss should know that you want the promotion, but not at the expense of someone else. Your selling point should be your own merits.
- “I majored in marijuana in college.” Chuckle, chuckle. Yeah, very funny. Now everybody thinks you’re a stoner. And the higher you rise up the corporate ladder, the more that story will be repeated.
- “Did you know that Mary got fired because of her bad breath?” Unloading embarrassing details about another employee undermines your credibility. You can talk about on-the-job mistakes if you want, but don’t talk smack about somebody personally. It’s just plain old rude and shows a lack of class.