Hearing bad things at work is going to happen no matter what line of work you are in. When it happens, you can almost guess what is going to happen just by the first words that come out of the bosses mouth.

Steve Tobak, a writer for the business management site BNET.com, assembled a list of what he considers phrases you never want to hear at work.

1. We've got a crisis on our hands.
What do you mean "we"? It may not be your crisis, but that pronoun means you're being dragged into it. The boss is counting on you to solve it.

2. There's no easy way to say this.
This could mean you're about to get fired, someone important to your project quit or you just lost your biggest customer.

3. Why don't you take some time off?
Ouch. They don't want you in the office? Now think! What did you do? Sexually harass an employee? Curse out loud at the CEO? Hit "reply all" to an embarrassing e-mail?

4. Can I have a word with you in private?
If your boss says this, take a deep breath and try not to panic.

5. You've been served.
Whether it happens at work or not, this is never good.

Have you heard any of these?


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