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10 Ways to Annoy Your Boss

10 Ways to Annoy Your Boss
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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?

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“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:-

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“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.

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“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

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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