Don't Lie to Your Boss or Coworkers. Ever

A website offers funny "rules" for reducing stress, but fibs are never a good idea.

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This piece from 45 Things, which suggests 10 workplace rules that are "guaranteed" to reduce stress, definitely seems like a joke. But on the chance that not everyone will read it that way, I'm going to pretend that it's serious and tell you why some of these suggestions should really be avoided:

2. Claim you already gave to the latest charitable cause for which a colleague is collecting money. You're not a bad person, but if it comes down to saving the sea turtles or a latte, well...

In many circles, this claiming of falsehoods is known as "lying." If your coworker is trying to get the office to give up hard-earned money for sea turtles, you should really feel free to say that this is a cause you don't feel strongly about and would prefer not to give. To stay friendly, you might ask him or her to E-mail you some information about the issue.

6. Claim you didn't get the phone message from your boss over the weekend because your service sucks. And the e-mail? Same thing.

7. Show up for the company potluck with your personal, extra-secret recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Good thing Mrs. Field's is near your house...

These "rules" are also, in many cultures, known as "lies." Couldn't you, instead, tell your boss that the issue relayed in the message sounded like it could wait until Monday, as you were with family this weekend? Also—lying about store-bought cookies is such a mistake. It's the kind of dumb lie that someone will spot and point out to everyone, and then you'll be established as the kind of person who doesn't always tell the truth. That's not a good association, and it certainly won't reduce your stress.

corporate culture

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