This Is Why Your Boss Hates You

Updated: November 15, 2010

If you think your boss hates you, then you're probably right. The reasons might be many, few, or inane, but you might want to double-check your work habits up against this list, just to make sure.

Lateness. If you're constantly late to work -- for whatever reason -- there's a 99.98% chance that your boss hates you, undoubtedly. Occasional lateness happens to everyone, but if nearly every morning your car breaks down, kid was sick, you got a speeding ticket, alarm clock broke, you get the picture, then your boss will probably be incredibly irritated with you. Lateness indicates a lack of consideration for your team and customers; one missing or late person slows down the entire chain of productivity, and your boss will hate you for it.

Asking Too Many Questions. Figuring things out for yourself is a never-ending part of your work, and failing to even attempt a good-faith effort can put you and your boss in straits. Before you e-mail or call about whether to include a certain phrase in a letter, or where to meet a client, try to research this information independently. It'll make you look like a more competent worker if you try, at least, before asking.

Goofing Off. Texting, facebooking, constantly chatting with co-workers, buying concert tickets online, or otherwise participating in non-work activities while on the clock will raise your boss's hate level toward you about tenfold. Again, we all have spare moments to kill -- but make sure that your "spare moments" don't compose 70% of your schedule.

Lack of Passion or Interest. If you don't take any initiative, don't care to send e-mails or updates, constantly request days off work, etc., then sure, your boss hates you. Falling asleep during a one on one conversation with your superior might be due to a tiring weekend, sure, but your boss will interpret this as not caring about your job or reputation.

Too Eager to Change Things or Help. Taking initiative can be a good thing, if it involves your own work. But the moment you start sticking your nose in other people's activities -- especially your boss's -- you might get into trouble. If you're constantly suggesting new ways to do business, deal with clients, or even do lunch, then you might want to hold off a bit: your boss thinks you want his or her job, and will react accordingly. Try not to be so eager, young grasshopper.

Bad Attitude and Argumentative. Sure, you might despise authority -- you might have even been radical in high school, once -- but at least for the duration of your job, you'll need to knuckle down and be okay with having a boss. This is not the same as being a doormat. If you want to express disagreement or displeasure, find a way to do it that won't totally disrupt the workplace atmosphere.

More Likable Than Him or Her. This might hearken back to high-school popularity contest levels of pettiness, but those memories burn for a reason: it's just human nature to want to be liked, after all. If you're constantly the life of the [office] party, always offering to take other out to drinks, an all-around swell guy or gal, and just a generally likable person, then your boss probably hates you. Yes, it's silly, but for some, it's a legitimate reason. Level your affability at your own discretion.

Gossipy. No one likes gossip among social circles, even if people might listen to it (or even spread it.) This is even more true at work, where sensitive personal information could likely cost someone a position. Employee e-mail lists especially aren't the place for this kind of interaction, unless you want your gossip-spreading ways forever documented in the inter-webs.

Lack of Rapport. This might be the unsolvable problem, I'm afraid. Sometimes, you and your boss might just have radically different social views, ideology, ways of conducting yourselves, ways of dressing, etc. The only thing you might be able to do in this situation is attempt to find common ground while fervently avoiding those topics or workplace issues you don't see eye-to-eye on (pushing it won't help, believe me.) Try to remain friendly and conversational despite perceived differences; it'll only get worse if you choose not to talk at all.

There. Now that you've got your list in hand, you're probably ready to change some things, yes? Go out and get 'em, tiger! Or possibly risk firing. Your call.

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