We’ve all been taught that it’s okay to sprout little white lies from time to time. Most of us have taken this as a palpable life-lesson, and so we have become naturals at telling people what they want to hear, so that we can save ourselves a whole round of hysterics and unsolicited drama.
This profound theory has been ingrained in our work life as well. We may have spent months figuring out just the right thing to say to our colleagues. But we extend the same poker face courtesy to our bosses, above all, because we know not to tease a lion in its den. There is a constant need to meet a middle ground when dealing with bosses, because gearing more towards either side of the maze could either get you the ‘employee of the year’ award or, well, fired.
To all the bosses out there, we’d like to clarify a few things for you. For instance, when we say:
“Sure thing, I’ve got it covered. You can count on me.”
What we really mean – We have no idea what you just asked us to do, but we’re going to plaster a smile on our face and nod like we do, because we’re too afraid to ask you to repeat yourself. The minute you leave, we will combine Google, humans and the Gods if required to figure out what it is. But rest assured, the fear of your wrath will make sure we get it done.
“Yes of course I can come in on the weekend. No, no, I didn’t have any plans.”
What we really mean – Yeah, I’m going to have to tell my wife that our weekend getaway to Lonavala is off. I may have to sleep on the couch for a night or two, but what’s a little silent treatment and back-ache when compared to the thunder-cloud I’d have to face on Monday if I said no?
“There’s some crazy traffic on my route, I might be an hour late.”
What we really mean – I binge-watched Game of Thrones, fell asleep on the couch, woke up with a stiff neck after having snoozed my alarm 176845 times. I am currently brushing my teeth and stuffing my seemingly overlarge foot into a sock while I regretfully send this message to save some much-needed time.
“I did call him like you’d asked, but I couldn’t get through. I’ll try again.”
What we really mean – Yeah, we totally forgot, and we’re relying on the fact that you won’t cross-check with that person. But before you do, we’re going to call them and save ourselves, anyway.
“Could I leave a bit early today? I have a doctor’s appointment at 4.”
What we really mean – My movie starts in exactly forty five minutes, and I refuse to miss even one trailer because tickets are expensive, and so is the mandatory tub of cheese popcorn that comes with it.
“Oh no, not that restaurant. They have terrible service, and it really isn’t as great as everyone thinks it is.”
What we really mean – It’s the end of the month, or you just don’t pay me enough to go to the restaurant you fancy. Also, I am too proud to make you pay. Therefore, I would really like to go to someplace affordable where I can eat and pay for myself – also I will not have to hitchhike my way back home.
Have you said any of these things, or any other to your boss and meant something else? Tell us about your experience in the comments section.