Woman talking to her boss and laughing but maybe wishing she could say something else

8 things employees wish they could say to the boss

Elizabeth Bromstein|

Everyone bites their tongue around the boss. This extends right up the ladder, to the CEO, who has to watch his or her mouth around the Board of Directors.

Well, almost everyone. I guess maybe there are bosses out there to whom one can say anything they want, but they are few and far between. We have to filter ourselves around even the best managers. Most of the following statements don’t apply to the best managers, however.

Here are the top eight things employees wish they could tell the boss.

“Get off my back and let me do my job. And stop asking me to document everything and report on everything. Just let me do my job, and you do yours.” (Our research shows that the top complaint people have about their bosses is micromanagement.)

“I want a raise. I need more money. Don’t believe what you’ve been told about employees not caring about money. That’s just a rumour being spread by management types so they don’t have to give up more of it. I have a mortgage and a family. Give me more money. Please” (Our research shows that salary increase is the top motivator for both employed individuals who are either actively or passively seeking other employment.)

“Please don’t fire me. I’m worried you’re going to fire me. I know you can’t reassure me that I’m totally safe, since you’re not the only one calling the shots. But we live in a climate where people are constantly being let go with no warning, and I, like everyone, am worried. So, if you can reassure me in any way I would appreciate it. Also, could you warn me if you know something I don’t?”

“I wish you’d stop taking credit for my work. You know when you tell people that “we” came up with idea, or took an initiative, or that you did something that I actually did? I know you are doing this. I can hear you. And if I don’t hear you, I know because nobody is telling me what a great job I did. I might not be able to say anything now, because to do so would make me look petty and childish, but I won’t forget this. And you will get yours if I have anything to do with it.”

“Can you please give me some #$@*ing feedback? I hate your “no news is good news” policy. I need to know what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong. I’d appreciate a pat on the back when I do a good job and I would also appreciate constructive criticism, because I don’t want to find out too late – while you’re firing me – that you weren’t happy with the job I was doing.”

“That person is totally ticking me off. They are not doing their job and I am always picking up the slack. I do my job plus theirs and nobody notices or cares and it drives me crazy. You should fire them, and give me the credit I deserve. I hate this.”

“I don’t want to go to another freaking meeting. I have work to do. Do you know how much time I spend sitting around a table listening to people talk about stuff that never actually gets done? I don’t have time to do this every day and do my job. It’s literally impossible. And then you’ll be annoyed with me for not having things done and I won’t even know what to say to you.”

“And I don’t want to go to another stupid work party/team building event. You know the party that I can’t bring my partner or kids to? So, the few hours we get to spend together in a day, we now have to spend apart while I make small talk with people I already see more than my family? I don’t want to go to that. And the one that I’m supposed to bring my family to? We don’t want to do that either. We want to do something else. Please don’t think I’m not a team player or that I don’t care about my job. I just want to attend to my actual life.”

What do you wish you could tell your boss?


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  • withinNB

    How very true

  • http://about.me/davidalangay David Gay

    What, no “you are SUCH an idiot” in the list? Colour me shocked.

    http://about.me/davidalangay

  • T.H

    Employers that treat employees the same, for example, one person has done something inappropriate and now everyone is treated as though they have done something inappropriate. Why don’t bosses pull the offender aside and speak to him/her, instead of painting the whole group with the same brush?

  • Anonymous

    All of these are dead on.