11 Things Your Boss Shouldn't Catch You Doing

Don't Misbehave at Work

Angry Business Woman
Don't let you boss see you lose your temper ... especially with a client. Peter Dazeley / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

Your boss hired you because she thought you would be an asset to the company. If she sees misbehaving, she may think of you as a liability instead. Here are 11 things your boss shouldn't catch you doing:

1. Losing Your Temper

While it's okay to react emotionally from time to time—your boss didn't think he or she was hiring a robot—it is never okay to let your anger get out of control. Do not ever yell at anyone, whether it is a customer, coworker, or subordinate.

Don't even raise your voice when talking to your spouse or child over the phone while you are at work. No one should ever feel like you are a physical threat.

2. Being Rude to a Customer or Client

Your employer's customers and clients are its bread and butter. Insult one, and he or she will take his or her business elsewhere. Always be as polite as you can be. If you find someone is particularly challenging to deal with, ask your boss for advice on how to handle it. Perhaps a colleague can work with that client or customer instead.

3. Spending Time on Personal Activities

Most bosses understand if you occasionally make a personal phone call from work or spend a few moments browsing online. Some companies have strict policies against it, so refrain from these activities if your employer is one of them. Even if your boss doesn't ban these activities, don't spend too much time tending to them. Your boss may think you aren't focusing on your job or that you don't have enough work to do.

4. Saying You Are Bored or Even Looking Bored

Speaking of your boss thinking you don't have enough to do, that is precisely the conclusion he or she will come to if you complain you are bored. And it will be accurate. If you have completed your assignments, tend to some mundane tasks like straightening up your work area or filing, rather than sitting around doing nothing while you wait for the day to end.

You could also ask your manager for additional things to do.

5. Stealing

Everyone knows taking what doesn't belong to you is wrong, but some people think that only applies to stealing expensive items or large sums of money. They don't believe pocketing a few pens or notepads counts as stealing because those items, purchased individually, are pretty inexpensive. The costs do add up though. If your boss sees you leave with even a few things, he will wonder what else you are taking or what you will take next.

6. Badmouthing Him or Her

Does this one need further explanation? No one, not your boss, your spouse, your child, likes it when others say bad things about her. If you are tempted to speak poorly about your boss, do so in the privacy of your home, where no one is around to overhear you.

7. Complaining About Your Job

If your boss thinks you are unhappy at work, she or he will suspect you are considering quitting and may, therefore, be hesitant to give you choice assignments. Ironically, those are the assignments that could make your job more enjoyable. If you have real grievances, don't stay silent. Instead, discuss them with your boss so together you can figure out how to resolve them.

Negativity is never productive.

8. Working on Your Resume

Although you are advised to keep your resume up-to-date at all times, don't do it while you are at work or you may need it sooner than you'd like. If your excuse is that you don't have a computer at home, use one at your local public library or ask a friend to use theirs.

9. Having a Private Conversation With Your Significant Other, Children, or Parents

We have gotten so used to talking on our cell phones out in public, we hardly even pay attention when the person next to us on a bus or train is embroiled in a heated conversation with someone on the other end of the line, right? Well, not really. You can't help but eavesdrop even when you are trying not to, and those listening to your conversations will do the same.  Since you certainly don't want your boss knowing too much about your personal life, make your calls privately during a break, in a place far from your boss and coworkers.

10. Using Your Phone to Text, Play Games, or Post on Social Networks During Meetings

In the past, the rule of thumb was to put your cell phone away during meetings at work to avoid the temptation to text, play a game, or check your social media accounts. Since you now use your phone as your notepad, calendar, and calculator, you can't easily keep it out of sight. You must use some serious self-control to avoid using it for anything else.

11. Drinking Too Much

Most people know not to drink while you are actually in your workplace, but what about lunches out with coworkers and holiday parties? Is it okay to have a drink or two? Since lunches are usually just an hour long and you have to return to work afterward, you should only have one drink, if any. If you feel it will affect your performance for the rest of the day, order a soft drink instead. As for drinking at a party, know your limits. One or two alcoholic beverages are okay as long as you are sure that much won't lower your judgment or inhibitions.