What To Say To Upset Your Boss (And Oprah)

"That's not my job." - This is number 15 on the list of 17 Things You Should Never Say To Your Boss and Number 3 of my Seriously, Someone Said That?? list.

Are you kidding me? There is a time and place for everything. But there is never a time you should say "That's not my job." Not to your boss. Actually, not to anyone. If you're on a team and you're getting paid to get things done, then you need to get things done.

Between work and teaching, I've heard quite a few things that have made me snatch my pearls. Here's my list, with reactions from Her Holiness, Oprah.

5 Things You Should Never Say To Your Superior 
(Be it your ACD, CD or teacher.)

1. You didn't tell me how to do it.

Really? Your job is to solve problems. Even if it takes you 3 hours of Googling, 2 phone calls and a webinar to figure it out - figure it out and do it. End of story. 

2. I wasn't sure. 
This is often followed by "...so I didn't do it" and is often said within 5 seconds of the deadline. My response is the same as #1. Figure it out. Guess. Try something out. You can't get feedback and advice on an empty piece of paper. If you absolutely can't figure it out, speak up before it's too late.

3. I don't want to. 
Yeah, it may be some bullshit like making copies or resizing 23 banners or some ridiculous exercise in futility that'll probably end you back right up where you started, but if you're asked to do something, do it. Most of the times they know it's an inane request and will reward you with something better later. (However, if it goes against your morals or ethics, definitely say something. Nothing is worth your soul.)

4. It was [insert someone else's name] fault.
Think you're saving your ass by throwing someone else under the bus? Nope. You're just making yourself look bad. You don't have to accept blame if you really weren't the one who messed up, but you don't have to be an asshole. Instead, try: "This was an unfortunate situation. I'm going to make sure it doesn't happen again."

5. No. 
No doesn't mean no in this business. No means "I'm lazy, I don't want to think, I'm defiant, I don't respect you, I don't give a shit about this job so please give me a cardboard box and send me home for the rest of ever. Thanks." Instead, try: "Sure, let me see what I can do." And then see what you can do. If the issue is time - ask for more time. If you totally disagree, try "Sure, let me try that and explore some other options to figure out what's best."

I'm in no way shape or form suggesting you never speak up, I'm just saying to watch what you say. You can be an extremely talented creative, but when you say some craziness like these 5 or the 17 in the article mentioned above, your days will be numbered. And the side eyes will continue to multiply.