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10 things you should never say to your boss

You have been changing jobs every year, or been given the boot too often. You’re famous (or infamous) for your flaring temper, big mouth, grapevine talks, and extremist views. Even if you are all that and more, you might find some salvation by keeping your mouth shut once in a while. Here is a list of MUST-NEVER-TELL-YOUR-BOSS statements, prepared by psychologist Dr. Charlane Pereira e Rebello to ensure professionalism and a healthy work environment. Watch your words, dear worker.

Never say:

“My dad owns a yacht.”

Your dad, a billionaire, moves in elite circles. You have decided to prove your mettle rather than be known as your dad’s daughter. No need to reveal this true story to the folks who sign your paycheck. For one, you might not get the raises you deserve because it’s perceived you don’t “need” it. For another, you might get classified as a spoiled rich kid, and that in turn could prevent you from climbing the corporate ladder.

2. “I can’t do this.”

Never say “NO” to your boss when she assigns additional tasks, even if they are alien to your expertise. You may feel tempted to blurt out, “This is not my field. Mr. Pramod will do a better job.” Think of that long desired promotion. Use the invisible tape to stifle those nay-nay replies of yours. Given the required training, you will pick up skills other than your specialization. A good employee is keen to learn and will be rewarded with his share of corporate success.


3. “I feel we ______  (religion/sect) are more pious than________ (religion/sect)”

Quoting verses from the Bible or reciting scriptures from the Bhagavad Gita could get you entangled in religious disputes. Nobody is interested in knowing your religious beliefs, especially your boss, who worries not about the divine, but about the bottom line. So unless you’re working in a church or temple, keep quiet about religion.


4. “I voted for _____ in the Lok Sabha elections.”

Ah! The game of politics…. Interesting topic for lengthy discussions. Is it gonna be Congress? BJP? The Kejriwal led Aam Admi Party? Or Trinamool Congress?  You could denounce a politician or heap praise on some demagogue or pledge your allegiance to the broom. Do so at your own risk! You are bound to ruffle feathers and build animosity among the folks who decide your professional fate. Or you might be deemed too “open-minded” or too “close-minded” for this or that promotion. Keep your political opinions to yourself, especially if you’re a radical!


5. “I can’t do overtime.”

No boss likes it if you keep eyeing the clock every half an hour. So far, you hold the unbeatable record of making a quick exit on all working days. An overtime request from your big boss is always met with a predictable ‘No.’ Your flimsy excuses of “I am ill” or “I am in the hospital” could work against you when you meet one of your colleagues at the Inox movie theatre. Do you want your job? Utter an enthusiastic okay!


6. nothing

Silence is golden? Not always! Though keeping mum does pay rich dividends at times, your boss could interpret too much of it as lack of intelligence, loss of motivation or interest. Do remember that good bosses love inputs or suggestions from their employees. But… Don’t vent your feelings of wrath and frustration every time the boss assigns you new tasks. Know when to speak up.


7. “I got drunk as a skunk last night”

Your boss does not need to know what you do after hours, unless it’s taking a course to further your professional knowledge or catching up with some key clients. Your boss doesn’t have to know that you had a date last night with his pretty secretary or you were partying till the wee hours of morning, only to turn up groggy and a half hour late for work!  Your night life is nobody’s business but your own and those you share it with. Telling your boss you get drunk at night may make him think you’re irresponsible and not deserving of the things you think you deserve!


8. “I like to be dominated in bed”

If you tell your boss that, she may just decide to dominate you at work, too. Your sex life is personal. Keep it that way.


9. “Goans are more lethargic than Maharashtrians.”

Your Goan boss and colleagues could be fuming red over such racist remarks from you, the only Maharashtrian employee in the company. Those 6 words could send you packing right back to Mumbai! If you’re a racist, that’s the last thing you want your boss to know. And even better than keeping the info from your boss, don’t BE one!


10. “That’s not my responsibility”

Most jobs are team efforts, and caring about what happens outside your immediate purview is a sign of a conscientious employee. If you show that you care about the success of all areas of the business, and that you’re willing to pitch in wherever needed, you will be rewarded.