When I was the boss, there were some surefire ways to annoy me. Some of my employees frequently did so. How dare they, I used to mutter to myself! Ungrateful wretches. Fortunately, those I had lined up for execution at dawn were a tiny minority. They were the ones who had dared to question my decisions or had led a coup d’état to topple me, their beloved leader (tyrant!).

All the others who annoyed me would get off with lighter sentences such as life imprisonment or instant exile. Just joking! Seriously though, they all had remarkably similar traits and habits which convinced me that they just had to be got rid of. Learn from them. Here are the 10 guaranteed ways to annoy your boss.

1. You always arrive late

Your boss will not be impressed by the excuses. After a while, the traffic, parking problems, sick children, and delicate health will wear thin, just like her patience. If you are worried about this, there are plenty of ways to always be on time, such as scheduling events 10 minutes early. There are lots of good suggestions in this article on how to cope with time, if you really want to improve. If you have no intention of changing your ways, remember this quote from Lip Hock Yap Ivan:

“If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.”

2. You rely far too much on emails

You still have not mastered the email etiquette and this is making your boss mad. You have this irritating habit of copying him on emails that are of minor importance. You have also raised sensitive and important matters by writing it all down. A walk on the wild side or a phone call could have made life easier for everyone. You also have this awful habit of using capitals for subject headings. This is the same as shouting. Your boss is not deaf – yet!

3. You are the office gossip

Your boss knows how much energy you are devoting to this and you have honed your skills to a pretty high level. She has even heard you make gross statements at the water cooler, “Now, this you must not repeat.” She shudders when tales of “bad management” reach her ears and she knows who has upgraded her campaign. Once this gets on the social media, the virus can damage not only staff morale within the company, but also outside it.

4. You need constant reminding

Whether it is a deadline or just a mundane regular task, why do you need constant reminding? It is true that there are some bosses who are micromanagers and their behavior is pathological. They check up on every little detail, including the font size in that report. There is a happy balance and if you find that you are constantly failing to meet deadlines as regards timing and budget, your boss is right to be annoyed.

5. You are always on the phone

Why are you tempting your boss to initiate a no texts, no cell phone ban on the whole staff? Your boss is already having sleepless nights about the impact of all this texting on productivity but is also keenly aware that a total ban might be a boomerang. Employees hate been treated like naughty kids at school. But why push her to that extreme measure?

“Texting is a supremely secretive medium of communication – it’s like passing a note – and this means we should be very careful what we use it for.” – Lynne Truss

6. You dominate meetings

Yes, you are talking far too much. Colleagues begin to doodle, yawn, shuffle and your boss or team leader has a hard time keeping to the agenda and finishing the meeting on time. She often wonders why some colleagues just did not go for a career in acting, given their passion for strutting on to the stage and talking in monologues.

7. You are living in your own world

This is when your own little microcosm comes into collision with some of the bigger galaxies in the office. You are convinced that you need new software to make you super-efficient. When you push for that, you are unaware this may mean a painful budget cut in another department or simply that a colleague may not be able to attend a skills training course. You just have forgotten the bigger picture or fail to see what the company mission really means.

8. You make a few guesses

If you are stuck for figures in a report, you simply make a few guesses or you make them up. They are perfectly reasonable guesses, of course! But this can come back and haunt you. There will be misunderstandings and transparency among staff will be at risk. It is when you say, “I just made a few assumptions”, your boss sighs and thinks about The Odd Couple’s famous line:-

“When you assume you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.” – The Odd Couple

9. You take lots of sick leave

Your boss needs to know how your work is going to be covered when you are ill. If this happens on a regular basis, then the effects on other members off staff is creating a tsunami! Your boss will be looking at ways to stop you abusing the sick leave policy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.” – Oscar Wilde

10. You label everything as “urgent”

You think that your boss needs to know everything and that means everything. You do not bother to distinguish the risk of losing a contract from a blip in delivery procedures. The latter is an inconvenience and probably your job, so your boss does not need to know. Keeping the real emergencies or problem issues for her attention is the name of the game.

“One of life’s best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.” – Robert Fulghum, Uh-oh- Some Observations From Both Sides Of The Refrigerator Door.

Now that you know what makes your boss mad, reflect on whether any of the above defects might apply to you. But, of course they don’t – you just read this post between updating your Facebook status and deciding where to have your coffee break this morning!

Featured photo credit: World’s Best Boss/Kumar Appalah via flickr.com

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