WORKPLACE / NOV. 23, 2015
version 38, draft 38

9 Things You Wish You Could Tell Your Boss

Boss (noun): Someone you gripe about every time they reject you after an application or interview, and someone you fantasize about griping about to their face when they hire you.

Never heard that definition before? That’s probably because I just made it up. But it’s true, though, isn’t it?

That’s the problem with work. When we don’t have it, we badly want it, because we’re bored, broke, and everyone’s telling us we need a job. Then, when we do have one, we’re desperate to get away from it and go do something fun – or simply something that is actually nothing. It’s no different to university if you think about it: we apply to study something we "love" and then spend most our time working out the minimum we can do and still pass the year.

Allow me to start with a disclaimer: I – and/or CareerAddict – accept no responsibility for any new ideas this article gives you or anything that might happen to you if you accidentally say any of these things. I would also like to offer an apology to any employers reading and to remind employees that your boss could be worse. With that said, here we go:

1. I Lied About Being Stuck in Traffic

"Rush hour": only in the movies does it mean lots of action; in real life, on the other hand, it’s more like “stopped hour”. Not that it matters, because you weren’t really stuck in traffic – you were actually stuck in bed with your hand stuck on the snooze button. Doesn’t your boss realize that it would be much easier to arrive on time if "on time" was "after lunch"?

The lie: "The traffic was horrible, and every light I hit was red! You’re lucky I made it here at all without getting arrested for road rage!"

The truth: "I hit the snooze button, and then I hit it a few more times. Then, when I finally got going, I thought some donuts would help wake me up. When I say "traffic", I mean the line at Dunkin’ Donuts was crazy – there were no cars, I’d missed rush hour".

2. I Hate Doing Work at Work

As I mentioned earlier, we all suffer from a strange phenomenon where we really want to have a job and be doing work… until we actually get a job and we’re expected to do work. We didn’t mean we wanted to be forced into being busy from 9 to 5; we wanted to be able to say we had a job and collect a nice paycheck!

The lie: "Of course I’ll stay late and help out with that project! It’s fine that I was literally on my way out the door!"

The truth: "I was this close to getting away! Why would you do this to me? Now I have to find some way to sneak back into the disabled toilet and have another nap. If you could write down what you just told me so I don’t have to remember it… that would be great!"

3. I Don't NEED to Leave Early - I WANT To

Who do bosses think they are? Not only do they expect you to get up early enough to be in at 9 and make time for a proper breakfast so you don’t need to eat again till lunch, but you’re also supposed to stay awake all day! This is much different from your waking, eating, and sleeping schedule while you were at home, and they need to understand that you need an adjustment period.

The lie: "I need to get home to be with my (nonexistent) family".

The truth: "It’s finally five o’clock and I’m needed by my Netflix, my dinner, and my bed. I ran out of things to do at 2, and I’ve been so bored that I’ve been counting down the minutes/the number of panels in the ceiling/the number of leaves on the tree outside my window".

4. Trust Me, You Don't Want to See My Social Media!

It’s happened. You’ve received the dreaded friend request from your boss. You panic, check how much they’ve already been able to see, and amend all your privacy settings before you accept. And then you promptly move all your activity to a highly secure separate account.

The lie: "Of course I’d love to add you on social media so we can talk outside the office and share things!"

The truth: "Are you kidding? My Instagram is full of shameless selfies and filter abuse, my Facebook indicates that I can’t do my job sober, and my Twitter is a constant stream of complaining about you and my job. Not only do I not want you to see it, I’m pretty sure you’d be better off if you didn’t".

5. I Think About Quitting 1,000 Times a Day

You hate your job – or you hate having any job – and you’re fantasizing about quitting in a blaze of glory. Perhaps you’re already doing some freelancing and you wish it paid enough to make it your main source of income. Either way, you wish you could leave, but the horrible reality is that you’re stuck, whether it’s because you need the money or your liberal arts bachelor degree hasn’t opened quite so many doors as you had hoped.

The lie: "I’m happy. I love it here!"

The truth:

  • "If the layoff rumors I’m hearing are true, can I be the first to go?”
  • “Sure, I’ll take on that new project, but I have something new lined up – don’t be surprised if I’m not around to finish it. Sorry!”
  •  “I’m overqualified for my job. Can I have yours?”

6. I Won't Only Plan Happy Hour, I'll Provide the Booze, Too!

Being asked to take charge of your team’s happy hour is like being asked to do your dream job: you’ve already figured out all the best bars in the nearest vicinity, you know all the bartenders, and how to get the best deal. As it happens, you also know that your team is just the right number of people to bring with you for a free drink!

The lie: "I suppose I could manage that".

The truth: "Does it have to be outside the office? I have plenty of bottles in my desk drawer already".

7. The Movies Promised I'd Be Having an Affair by Now

It doesn’t matter how friendly you are with your boss, you should never tell them that you find them, their significant other, or their personal assistant attractive. You’re there to work, not fantasize about starting a relationship – and definitely not thinking about having an affair.

The lie: "I’m happily single/married/in a relationship".

The truth: "I only took this job because you promised in the interview that we’d be working closely. I guess you didn’t mean that closely. Movies are lies!"

8. What Exactly Do You Mean by "Unlimited Vacation Days"?

When we’re looking at taking a job, we’re thinking of two main things: salary and time off. How much time off do we get, what holidays do we get, are they paid, and what limits are there on the number of sick days we can take? Sometimes, there are phrases like "unlimited vacation days", and you have follow-up questions.

The lie: "If you need me, I’ll skip my vacation days this year".

The truth: "If ’unlimited’ really is ’unlimited’, then I should be able to take off an entire year and still get paid for it. Right? If not, can we at least have a soundproof stress room with some punching bags so I don’t have to keep going outside to scream?”

9. I Desperately Need to Tell Someone About My Night Last Night

The parts of last night that aren’t a drunken blur seem to have been absolutely fantastic. There are only two problems: you’re being watched too closely to sneakily call your friend to talk about it, and you can’t wait another eight hours to go and see them. If only you could tell your boss about it!

The lie: "I look a bit tired? Yes, it was a late night".

The truth: "I feel like a bus hit me, but it was worth it. I had a great night! Do you want to hear all about it?"

See Also: 14 Signs Your Boss Secretly Hates You

Some bosses might be friendly, but it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever find a boss that’s this friendly. There’s a time and place for speaking your mind and being totally uncensored, and at work talking to your boss is not it. At least, not if you’re interested in keeping your job and being thought of as a professional, it isn’t.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to your boss? What else can you add to this list of things you should never say but wish you could? Let us know in the comments section below!

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