Top Ten Things Not to Do In Front of Your Boss

Ten things not to do


The inspiration for this list came in a discussion with Teagan Geneviene on the ridiculousness of some policies that have been created by bosses. It came to me then to develop a list of things not to let a boss see you do since it could result in a new policy.

Top Ten Things Not to Do in Front of Your Boss.

10 If your boss is looking, do not laugh. If you do, at best you will raise a question as to why you are not serious about work. At worse, you boss will assume you’ve gotten away with something and will try desperately to find out what it is. (Cozy with your boss camped out in your cube huh, Ferd?)

9 If your boss is looking, do not frown. If you do, at best your boss with think you are unhappy. At worse, you boss with think you have a problem and offer to help you solve it.(” I’m your boss, and I’m here to help you,” are the most feared words right, Buster?)

8 If your boss is looking, do not chat on the phone. If you do, at best your boss will time the call. At worst, it will be assumed you cannot prioritize your work. (How are you enjoying those after work classes on work priorities, Pud?)

7 If your boss is looking, do not leave for lunch. If you do, at best, you boss will feel abandoned. At worse, you boss will question your dedication to the job at hand. (Yeah I know it was just a half hour but will that be of comfort at the unemployment office, Putz?)

6 If your boss is looking, do not allow anyone to visit your cube. If you do, at best it will be assumed you use the office as a social venue. At worst, you’ll be required to fill out a form for every minute of the work day. (Now, did that conversation take two minutes exactly, Bunky?)

5 If your boss is looking, do not yell at a fellow worker no matter how annoying. If you do, at best your boss will put you on the disruptive watch list. At worst, your after hour weekday will be taken up by classes on sensitivity and the rights of others. (Lucky you the other classmate is Tiny the WWF champ who keeps growling at you when the instructor turns away. Don’t worry Buster Tiny hates everyone. Nothing personal)

4 If your boss is looking, do not throw away anything. If you do, at best there will be an after-hours look into your wastebasket. At worst, your boss will report you to the recycle and security departments for a full investigation as to compliance.(What this strip search has to do with recycling is anybody’s guess huh Buford?)

3 If your boss is looking, to not leave your cube without locking your computer. If you do, at best the demerit will put you one over the line. At worst, security will be called to remove your computer for a full disc scan to determine if it has been compromised. (Those online searches for golf clubs look a little embarrassing now don’t they Tex?)

2 If your boss is looking, do not shut your computer down a minute early. If you do, at best you boss will come in and ask a question that will require an embarrassing restart. At worst, you will have an additional set of classes to attend dealing with office hour policy. These classes meet on Saturday, Pard.)

1 If your boss is looking, do not, I repeat, do not, sneak a chew of that gum. If you do, at best you’ll be reminded about the policy about eating at your desk. At worst, the environmental department will be called to set rodent traps, and pest spray your area. (Your request for a gas mask and allergy shots has been denied, Herm.)


  1. Good list, John. I wonder how much the class on the rights of others and sensitivity will help Tiny. He must have been hired by a relative. I’d hate to be the one who suggested he be placed in the class. It was probably the guy who suddenly had to go on sick leave then took disability. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. I couldn’t have painted a better picture of Tiny’s ex boss. (I do mean ex) 😀

  2. So glad I’m the boss 😉

    1. I’m so glad too. There is none of you in any of these……..Right? 😀

      1. Um… Not anymore?

  3. Great list, John! I’m thankful to have a great boss. Happy Monday!

    1. You should be thankful. So glad to hear it, Jill. 🙂

  4. Well this brings back horrible memories. Also, never log in a minute early in the morning too. It’s like that extra minute in the clock will bankrupt the company. Had a boss like that.

    1. Yes. Just stand there and watch the clock hit the hour. Gotta hope there are not 60 workers ahead of you. If so, one minute late.

      1. That’s a benefit to signing in with your computer. No lines. Yet, it also means you can’t touch it if you show up early and an extended load time can mark you as late. Ain’t technology fun?

      2. Have to wonder if we are moving ahead or not.

      3. I’d to think we are. Though I’ve been wrong many times before.

  5. I think I worked for that guy when I was consulting. Those time sheets could make a grown man cry. And, to Charles’ comment, I remember not being allowed to clock in early at the Post Office, even though I was 30 minutes early. Then, when I would forget to actually clock in at the appointed time, I would be docked 😦

    1. I had the same problem at the Post Office. I finally learned although it cost me money for the lesson. Thanks, Dan

  6. Gwen Plano · ·

    Computers seem to have a life of their own, don’t they, in that they harbor a story that employees may not want shared. Thank goodness for retirement! Great list, John.

    1. Thank you, Gwen. Yes, breathe the air of freedom. 😀

  7. So glad to have escaped that particular erosion of guilty pleasures… 😛

    1. Me too, Jan. Thanks.

  8. John… I get the distinct impression that you have plenty of experience with this. 😉
    I’ve suggested they get prison anklets for us — It would be cheaper for them than the 4 monitoring systems they mean to use, and a dang sight easier for us than logging every time we come to and leave our desks. Then a coworker advised caution, saying that Sweden has a chip for the index finger used for monitoring. I asked him if that was meant to count how much time was spent on nose picking, and how many boogers the average employee has.
    Thank you kindly for the mention. Have a marvelous Monday. Mega hugs!

    1. Yes, I have experience. Over 45 years a prisoner of organized commerce. Many of those years spent being interrogated and subjected to reprogram efforts due to policy infractions. (I never confessed nor did I comply) Thanks, Teagan 😀

  9. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Sage advice from John 😃

    1. Thank you, Chris.You made me smile. 🙂

      1. Welcome, John – Now I know where I’d been going wrong when I worked 😄😄😄

      2. Yes. It is hard to stay on the right side though.

  10. And this is why I work at home, with only the cat to judge me.

    1. Be careful. Cats have a very high expectation of performance. 😀

  11. Another list very well done, John!

    1. Thank you, John 🙂

  12. I think I am guilty of most of this which is why I am better working for myself… great as ever John.

    1. Ha ha ha. I’m sure you would be a great boss. Thanks, Sally.

  13. Too funny! You could spin a whole story from number one alone, LOL!

    1. I think you are right.

  14. Love it…glad I work at a home office…

    1. Me too. Over 45 years of observations of all kinds of bosses. I once had one accuse me of being too happy and therefore not working hard enough. 😀

      1. That takes the cake….unbelievable!!

  15. I laugh and frown in front of my boss all the time, but always for a good reason. I’m still employed.
    He usually leaves for lunch before me and returns after me, so…
    He would be wise not to worry about what I throw away since he always uses to many coffee grounds to make too much coffee that he never fully drinks. I will throw away that half-used post-it note if I want to.

    1. You go, Mary. No hank of a boss is gonna get you down. 😀

  16. Sounds exactly like the workplace I’m familiar with.

    1. Ha ha ha. Thank,s Craig.

  17. Ugh! This brings back memories of a company I worked in my early 20’s. It was the most depressing place I’ve ever worked. After a few months of rules like these I was outta there. It wasn’t the place for someone like me who smiles, and talks a lot. 🙂

    1. Free spirit and organized commerce do not coexist well.

    1. Thank you, Reena. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: