1. Someone else being late for a meeting has nothing to do with me.
Just because I was the last point of contact with a client does NOT mean I personally orchestrated a traffic jam right before they were scheduled to meet with you.
2. I don’t know why the _________ machine isn’t working! Believe it or not, I didn’t get my start as an engineer for Xerox or Honeywell.
Repairing and/or diagnosing malfunctioning office equipment, last I checked, was not listed in the job description. Why don’t we go ahead and call the specialist you were obsessed with hiring 2 months ago?
3. Turning off the air conditioning unit and turning up the thermostat are two very different things.
As much as I love being way too hot or absolutely freezing, let’s maybe explore the nuance of temperature that this space is very much able to provide.
4. That wasn’t me, that was the person before me.
I know that my entire existence as a human being is incidental to you, but it’s hard to be accountable for things that I had zero knowledge of because they happened 3 years before I was hired.
5. I didn’t tinker with your cell connection, so please stop acting like your phone cutting out is something I’m personally responsible for.
Sometimes these things happen. Sometimes they happen when I’m not sitting at a desk that you can call too, so get used to it.
6. How is this work related!?!
“Are you kidding, I would LOVE to organize your daughter’s graduation party! That’s why I moved here to work in this business to begin with!”
7. There are many other ways to start a question besides “what ever happened with…”
Why ask anything unless it implicates blame and irresponsibility, right?
8. You have a calendar for a reason. Read it.
Yes, there IS a conference-line for your afternoon call, why don’t you consult your meticulously updated schedule to procure that information?
9. If you use the phrase “follow up” one more time I will throw myself out the window and into the parking lot.
Can we curtail the work jargon a smidge and talk like human beings instead?
10. I QUIT!
Oh wait, I have a Bachelor’s Degree from a liberal arts college, never mind, I’ll totally keep listening to you talk about the person who parked in your spot this morning.