Ask an employee in any office, warehouse, or restaurant in America, and every one of them will agree that they’ve had a moment in which they must say no to their boss. No business or industry is exempt. Unfortunately, these moments happen more since the recession started. Employees are forced to work longer hours, pick up extra tasks, and do more work because they are afraid to lose their jobs.
The hardest part isn’t saying no. Once your mind is made up, refusing something is relatively easy. The difficult moments arise when you must make the choice to say no. Often these situations are sprung upon someone with little to no warning.
If you’re faced with one of the following moments, remember to be strong and confident. Above all else, be polite. You stand a much greater chance of being listened to when you politely decline something rather than doing so rudely.
When they request your personal items be given to the IT department.
They may ask you to hand over your smart phone, tablet, or laptop to IT so they can link your work email with your devices, allowing you to work from home. There are two reasons why you should immediately refuse. First, if your company wants you to work from home, they can give you a company device to use. Second, you can’t guarantee they won’t plant spyware on your internet connected device. Paranoid? Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do it.
Your boss has friend-requested you on Facebook, or they’ve suggested you like the company page.
If there’s one thing that so many people are guilty of, it’s forgetting who they’re friends with on Facebook. Don’t be the person who complains about their boss, only to have their boss see it. Beyond that, friending them means they can see everything you post, good or bad. Remember, chances are they will use social media to check up on you. Do yourself a favor and set your privacy settings to the strictest possible, so that only your friends can see your profile.
They asked you to do something not work-related during business hours.
Unless the words “personal assistant” are in your job title, you shouldn’t be delivering their lunch or picking up their dry cleaning. Even if you feel like being nice and doing them a favor, they won’t return it if your work isn’t done on time. Think your boss will care the reason your report isn’t finished is because you took 45 minutes to bring his car for an oil change? He won’t, and you’ll only look bad.
You’ve already told them no.
Don’t let them bully you into doing something you’ve refused to do. You shouldn’t feel guilty for standing up for yourself. If you shot them down earlier in the day and they’re asking you again to do something right before you leave, be firm when you refuse again. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of.
You’re being asked to use personal time for work.
Your time is just that: your time. It’s not theirs. This is especially true if you’re paid on salary. Being paid overtime to come in early or stay late is one thing, but to work for free is entirely different. Sure, you may have occasion to do so, but make sure it’s on your own terms. Remember, if you agree to it once, you’ll be asked again. Agree a second time, and they’ll assume you don’t mind doing it.