1: Never say, “I don’t need the money” or “I don’t work for the money”
Whether you realize it or not, you’re talking down to people. Plus it’s probably BS and, even if it isn’t, you sound like an idiot. Better yet, don’t even discuss money… ever.
2: Never threaten, “If you [fill in the blank], I’m going to the boss”
For the most part, threats are a sign of weakness. If you have a strong position, act on it. If not, suck it up. When you threaten, you just sound like a whiny little brat.
3: Never diss or dress down anyone publicly
Not even if you’re right. It’s humiliating, offensive, and besides, you don’t know who their friends are. Could be your boss. Seriously.
4: Never say anything privately you wouldn’t say publicly
Of course, managers and executives have to discuss private matters behind closed doors. That aside, it’s a good rule to follow. These days, anyone can be recording your conversation on a cell phone. Next thing you know, it’s everywhere.
5: Never assume you’re “in” with the boss
He may like you, but don’t count on it mattering when it comes to business. For managers, business should and will always come first. It also makes you a target of coworkers. Nobody likes the teacher’s pet.
6: Never say, “[fill in the blank] makes me uncomfortable”
If it’s illegal — discrimination and/or harassment that creates a hostile work environment — report it, and if it’s not fixed, sue. Otherwise, you’re just whining.
7: Never say, “When I retire I’m going to… “
The whole retirement thingis off the table for a big chunk of the population and bringing it up just rubs people’s faces in it. Bad Karma.
8: Never gossip, especially about office romance
It can only end badly. What if the couple in question is trying to keep it a secret? What if the person you’re talking to knows someone or is himself involved with one of the people in question? Just don’t do it.
9: Never say you have authority for something you don’t
And don’t make offers you can’t back up. It’ll destroy your credibility and make you look like a small, weak person who wants to appear big and powerful. Face it. You’re not.
10: Never make a mistake you have to live with
An old boss once said this to me. He was referring to his ex-wife, who took him to the cleaners in a divorce, but there are certainly examples of work-related mistakes that can haunt you forever.