If you are lucky enough to have a job, it is likely that you are working for someone who worked their way up in the industry or company – someone older than you, probably someone born between 1946 and 1965.
As an ex-manager and a baby boom generation member, I can personally vouch for the fact that certain behaviors (no matter what the age of the person demonstrating them) irritated the heck out of me at work. In my opinion, these behaviors contributed to workplace discontent and lack of productivity; and also sometimes made me wonder about the suitability of the employee for their job.
So, here are 5 easy ways to irritate your boss!
Expect special treatment.
Unless and until you have proven your excellence at getting this job done, done well and done on time, don’t think you are entitled to a cube by the window, a bonus or pay raise, exemption from following office procedures, or an extra day off. Just coming in each day on time and doing your assigned task doesn’t warrant special treatment – it does keep you from getting fired for the most part though.
If you are a junior member of the company or group, without special skills, training or experience, don’t expect everyone to perk up their ears to listen to your suggestions on getting the job done. As Robert Heinlein says in Citizen of the Galaxy, “If you don’t have status, you aren’t listened to. That was a universal rule.”
Don’t expect the boss to bend the group schedule to meet your needs. Don’t expect to take long lunches or come in late. Don’t expect to be able to have long personal phone conversations or spend the day visiting back and forth with your co-workers.
As a manager, continually dealing with requests for special treatment was an annoyance that took me off task, diverting my time and attention away from critical mission work.
Text constantly during meetings and conversations.
Cell phones are are remarkable invention and can be very useful tools. However, unless you are expecting critical, business related texts, keep your phone on vibrate and your eyes and thumbs off your phone during meetings and conversations at work. The person in front of you deserves your time and full attention. Not only is it rude to text while you are in a conversation or meeting, it wastes precious face time – time you should be using to use to build a relationship and trust.
This wasn’t a big problem when I managed people, but it is irritating now in social gatherings – when I am trying to converse with someone who is constantly checking their phone and texting.
Surf the net, work on your side business or shop online at work.
Unless your job requires these activities, you are wasting company time doing them. The company is not paying you to surf the net or shop online – and you may be putting it at risk with the web neighborhoods you visit. The company is not paying you to work your own business, and may in fact, be entitled to any product, invention or document produced by you for your business on company time or equipment.
As a manager, if I walked by and saw people goofing off on the internet, I knew they were not being fully utilized or they were not getting their jobs done. If this happened, I tended to first make sure their work was getting done, done well and on time. If so, I tended to step up the pace for the entire group – since they obviously were not getting enough work to do.
Expect step by step instructions for every assignment.
There may be some jobs where an employee is given step by step details and is expected to only and always follow those. However, in most areas, an employee is hired more for their skills and intelligence than their ability to follow rote instructions. Lots of structure and oversight of work assignments is just not in the cards for most of us (thank heavens!).
It used to really surprise and anger me when I gave an assignment to an employee who then expected me to solve all the problems related to the assignment. I managed computer programmers and business analysts. These folks had education, training and experience. I expected them to tackle the issue, come up with solutions, decide on the best one and go get it done – possibly with one or two touch base meetings. I was trying to deal with the larger picture and it was most distracting to be asked to step in and do a piece of the job that I thought was being handled by a competent associate.
Have you encountered things that irritate you as a boss (or have you identified things that irritate your boss)? What are they?