The 10 worst things you could say at work

Becoming too relaxed in a work atmosphere and treating colleagues like friends can often be detrimental to your future career prospects. Barry Whelan gives a few examples of things you should avoid saying at work



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13 August 2014

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We are in the Twitter-age; an age when we can say something ludicrous, have a little moan about life and the world in general and it won’t be long before it slips into oblivion, largely unnoticed. The problem is, when we bring this devil-may-care attitude to work it can harm relationships and generate a bad atmosphere, ruin your chances of progression or, worst case scenario, cost you your job.

Ultimately you have to face up to it, unlike your Twitter tirade against Jeremy Clarkson.

Here are ten phrases you will want to keep to yourself in work:

  1. “You are the worst boss I’ve ever had”

Finally, you have nabbed a job with a retailer you’ve always admired after several years of what felt like slavery. It is natural to instinctively want to tell your boss exactly what you think of them. Take two seconds and think before you say a word; you never know when your paths will cross again, or who they will inform about your outburst. An amicable ending may not be beneficial to you, but it will certainly be less harmful than a bitter one.

  1. “That’s not in my job description”

This phrase will boil the blood of any hard worker. Yes, in retail your daily to-do list takes up a lot of time and energy, however sometimes we have to go above and beyond our call of duty to make sure everything is running smoothly.

  1. “Anyone could do this job”

Say this and be prepared to hear: “Is that right? Well, let’s find someone else that can do it, so.” Or, alternatively, get ready to have everything you do scrutinised and criticised.

  1. “Do you ever work?”

Whether you have a colleague slacking off or are frustrated by a staff member’s lack of progress, this is not the way to approach it. With this brief but loaded question you will brew up a storm of bad blood.

  1. “You need me here”

Famous last words. There are other people with the same, and more, experience than you out there and your employer will find them if you think you are bigger than the company.

  1. “But, that’s not fair!”

This is a spoiled teenager’s catchphrase. Is that how you want to come across in work? If something seems completely unjust to you, approach the matter in a more mature, professional manner.

  1. “Who do you think you are?”

No, who do you think you are? Nothing screams arrogance quite like this sentence. Even if you are talking to a member of staff who is a little out of line there are better ways to deal with it than coming off as conceited yourself.

  1. “Just give me a bit of space.”

You don’t go to work for space. While things might get overwhelming at times, lashing out at staff and co-workers is not going to help matters, in fact, they’ll probably get worse.

  1. “I was on the lash last night”

It is difficult working in retail when your friends are living it up at the weekend and sometimes we have no choice but to join them, whether it’s a birthday party or wedding. Just because you were out doesn’t mean you have to tell everyone how hungover you are; keep it professional.

10. “How did he even get that job?”

Here is a sure-fire way to create a bad atmosphere at work; questioning your colleagues’ skills openly. Assume that everything you say will get back to the boss or the person about whom you’re talking.




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