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Top Ten List of Things Not To Do at Work

Here is the Ninth installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not To Do by John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at and Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy and Happy Labor Day.


10.  If you arrive to work early, do not go into someone else’s cubicle to look for snacks even if you know they are in the top drawer and it is doubtful that anyone can see you. You may just stumble on a deep dark secret and they may have to kill you if they know you know.

9.  If your boss stops by to talk to you, do not start offering excuses for your poor performance until your boss actually says your performance is poor. You may wipe out the positive comments that your boss was going to make and instead get a more critical look at your performance.

8.  If your boss asks you about a co-worker, do not start a critical review before the boss actually asks for a critical review. In your boss’s mind, your co-worker may walk on water and you’ll wind up treading water.

7.  If you have your annual review scheduled for the morning, do not continue to stuff your face with bean and cheese breakfast tacos until the moment of truth. You might just become a very undesirable and odoriferous office companion and the review could end before the salary increase discussion begins.

6.  If you are going out to lunch with your boss, do not order spaghetti or ask for a doggie bag for whatever you do order. If the former, you just may wind up looking like you have been to a tomato pie eating contest; with the latter, your boss may wonder if you are supplementing your food stamp program with carry outs.

5.  When asked to work late, do not demand carry in food and drink. You may just may get the reputation as someone who is so focused on food that you cannot live an extra hour beyond the dinner hour, which will not go unnoticed next time.

4.  When asked to travel on business, do not take this as an opportunity to live beyond your means. Just because you are not paying the bill is no reason to act like a rock star and order room service ten times a day and trash your hotel room. You could be asked to pay the money back which would make you an indentured servant to your firm for years to come.

3.  When taking someone to dinner on company credit, do not let it be known that the sky’s the limit on food and drink. It could be the person you take to dinner may just have a spare family or two that they are supporting and will most likely order enough to feed them all.

2.  When asking for a raise, do not talk about how much you need the money or how much others are making in relation to you. It just could be your boss might think you are not worth what you are currently being paid and give your share to those who he thinks are more worthwhile.

1.  When attending the company annual Christmas party or picnic, do not feel you need to tell everyone exactly what you think of them even if you have been over-served and really think it is the right thing to do. Wait until the next day to make your statement when everyone is too hung over to care.

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Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

15 replies

  1. Marie. Great job (even if I say so myself) I remember (I think) sitting on the stoop of my bosses house after his summer party and insisting on saying good night to everyone. I also told a few fellow workers how much I lived them. (or not) Had a wonderful Monday morning apology session with the loved and unloved.


    1. Oh, dear, years ago we used to go to office parties, especially when we both worked in the private sector. Times like that I wished I had blacked out so I wouldn’t remember 😉


  2. Really good fun! Ugh, I still remember those mornings after the night before when everyone was crawling in after the office party, wondering who’d made the biggest show of themselves 😉


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