When the boss delivers bad news at work, you know what's coming because of the first words out of his mouth. Steve Tobak, a writer for the business management site BNET.com, assembled a list of what he considers the top 10 phrases you never want to hear at work -- because if you do, you'll end up on the wrong end of it.
The top 10 things you never want to hear at work:
1. We've got a crisis on our handsWhat do you mean "we"? It may not be your crisis, but that pronoun means you're being dragged into it. The boss is counting on you to solve it.
2. There's no easy way to say thisThis could mean you're about to get fired, someone important to your project quit or you lost your biggest customer.
3. Why don't you take some time offOuch. You don't want me around? Now think! What did you do? Sexually harass an employee? Curse out loud at the CEO?
4. All your meetings have been cancelledUnless you have a contagious skin rash, chances are you are now officially insignificant. It means no one wants to see you or wants your input and ideas.
5. Did you really just say thatMany a celebrity and politician has experienced this (usually when the microphone was on and they didn't know it), but if it happens to you, it could spell trouble on the job.
6. I accidentally deleted it. It's goneEven if you weren't the one who deleted it, you're being told this for a reason. Chances are, it was your file that got zapped. You know, the one you were working on for three months. Hope you had a backup!
7. Do you really think your presentation went wellThat's a subtle way of saying your presentation was horrible.
8. Can I have a word with you in privateIf your boss says this, take a deep breath and try not to panic.
9. Um...how long did it take you to do thatNo matter your answer, expect instructions to do it over again.
10. You've been servedWhether it happens at work or not, this is never good.