WORKPLACE / FEB. 23, 2016
version 11, draft 11

Things You Should Avoid Saying on Your First Day at Work

Hello and welcome to your first day at work. I am not going to sugar-coat it, this is going to be a social minefield, one wrong step and BOOOM!!! you are now and forever the new kid that tried to get coffee out of the laser copier. Or BWAAAM!!! You are the dude/dudette that thought the mail-room clerk was the CEO. It’s difficult enough to watch what you do on the first day, but you’ll also have to watch what you say.

See Also: What Not to Do at Work - Courtesy of These Poor Schmucks

Well, here are some things you should definitely not say on your first day at work.

The Bitter Ex

Most of us have experienced this scenario: You meet someone either through real human interaction or via a dating app. You get a message saying that Mr./Ms. XYZ would love to go to dinner with you. You go to dinner, order your food and wine and the next three hours of the date Mr./Ms. XYZ dedicates to giving a full psychological and anatomical profile of their Ex. Don’t be that person! When you go to your new place of employment, steer clear of references to your previous job, especially if the comparison is favorable to your previous employer. You don’t want to be in a situation where a supervisor or manager tells you “Well, since you like your previous job so much maybe you should go back to it” with your only response being “I really can’t…not after the flaming printer incident”.

The Grapevine

Every office has one, but asking people to reveal who’s the most promiscuous co-worker, which supervisor to avoid and which you should buddy up to, is just asking for trouble. This is actually a general rule: avoid office gossip- the information you get will seldom be accurate and most, if not all, bosses frown upon mud-slinging and trash talk. Added benefit to avoid the office’s gossip circle is being incognito- if they don’t know who you are, they won’t be able to talk behind your back. Consider it your Harry Potter like invisibility cloak.


Greed is uncouth no matter what the social context. But greed on the first day of work can be perceived as disrespectful, ungrateful and in bad taste. So, avoid asking when you’re going to get a Christmas ham, a raise, how much your employee discount is and why there are only cheap napkins in the break room. After you’ve been working for a reasonable amount of time (let’s say more than a year) then you can start asking for a raise or about other financial benefits or even days off and vacation days. You might want to keep the cheap napkin thing on the back-burner though, just bring your own fancy napkins if the ones in the break room are so offensive.

Politics and Religion

As the saying goes don’t sh*t where you eat, you should never discuss religion or politics at the dinner table. Now consider your job the dinner table- what shouldn’t you do? Exactly: talk about your love for Donald Trump and that one summer you spend with a goat worshiping cult on the coast of Mexico.

See Also: What Not To Do When Leaving A Job

Do you know of any other things you should avoid saying your first day on the job? Let us know in the comment section below.  

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