Its no secret that storming into your bosss office and punching him in the face will get you fire--even though some of us have been willing to take our chances on occasion!
But even if you arent compelled to physical violence, there are still a few other things guaranteed to get you escorted out the door quicker than you can say pink slip. We checked in with employment and human resources experts to find the 12 quickest ways to get fired.
Its not OK to walk up to a co-worker and say, Hey, you look really hot, says John Uprichard, president and CEO of FGP International, a staffing and HR consultancy.
Inappropriate comments dont have to be sexual in nature--they can also be racist or vulgar, and can be part of a broader sense of how people express themselves, according to Uprichard.
You dont have to walk up to someone and make a direct off-color remark to be inappropriate. It could just be that youre yelling and dropping four-letter words. Most companies have clearly-defined values, and they dont want comments like this in the workplace.
Fudging your time sheet or expense report
If you get caught taking a client to a strip club and expensing it as dinner, or you claim to have driven 200 miles when you really only drove two, you can be looking at instant dismissal, warns Uprichard.
Many people are reimbursed for the number of miles they drive or the number of hours they work, and its very tempting to want to get a little more from your employer, says Uprichard. But people really do look into these things, and you could be in big trouble if youre found out.
If youre filling out your expense report and you cant remember whether something was a business expense or not, dont chance it-- you may have to make your case to your bosses later.
Inappropriate Use of Company Information
Sharing company information with competitors or using company information to influence the buying and selling of stock will land you in hot water. Its also dangerous to forward confidential company emails, even if youre just sending them to a friend.
If youre using any company information for your own personal gain, youre walking on thin ice, says Uprichard. You go beyond angering your boss and into breaking the law in some cases.
Many types of company info may contain sensitive legal facts and figures and exposing that info could potentially run the risk of you being sued in addition to being fired.
Bad Attitude/Creating Drama
In todays job market, people have to have a whatever-it-takes attitude. Bosses have very little patience for bad attitudes, and they arent afraid to get rid of the trouble makers and start running things a little leaner, says Uprichard.
Bosses are looking for people who are team players, not people who are constantly meddling and gossiping, he says.
Any sort of insubordination will be taken very seriously these days, says Kristy Dixon, human resources instructor at the School of Business at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.
Bosses have more work to do and fewer people to do it, and if you are eye rolling and hard to deal with, then they will be more than happy to show you the door, says Dixon. You may think your gossiping and talking back is just you being silly, but youre actually really putting your job on the line.
Social Media Overload
Its not OK to be on Facebook 10 times throughout the work day updating your status, says Uprichard. Especially if you are friends with other people in the company and absolutely not if youre going to be saying things about those coworkers.
Uprichard also advises to be careful what you share online about your after-work plans and to keep a lid on posting personal information.
One thing thats really a bad idea is blogging or Facebook posting about your company or employer, says Dixon.
There can be legal implications to this. If youre talking about a specific company incident or something that may be part of a confidential corporate policy, then you could be in violation of your companys privacy restrictions.
Blatant Refusal to Take Good Advice
This one may sound easy, but if your boss tells you Never do X, always do Y, and you end up always doing X and never doing Y, then youre asking [to be fired], says Bruce Clarke, president and CEO of CAI, a human resources management firm.
Every company has certain must dos and must donts in place; if you violate those more than once, your bosses may begin to think you are intentionally disregarding their wishes, says Clarke.
People get hired for what they know, but they get fired for who they are, says Clarke.If you use poor judgment and ignore obvious signals and requests from management, youre likely to be dismissed.
If you work at a cookie factory and you take one cookie, youre not going to get fired, says Clarke. But if you start taking cases of cookies and selling them at the flea market, then youre looking at immediate dismissal.
If youre at a flea market in a town where theres a faucet factory and you see 200 faucets for sale, they didnt just randomly show up there. Someone took them and put them up for sale. It happens more than you would like to think.
Even if you are selling your companys products for your own profit, the issue is usually not the dollar value of the item, its the break in trust and confidence, says Clarke. If your employer sees you take a few things here and there, they automatically think, Whats next? This person could be capable of anything.
Physical Assault or Threats
We take hundreds of phone calls from employers every week we hear that someone has either made a threat or carried out physical violence, says Clarke. They let their temper get the best of them and they let it come out of their fists.
Even if the assault is against a co-worker and not a boss, Clarke says the offender is likely to be dismissed. If the person who commits the assault commits another infraction, the employer could be liable for not taking action sooner.
If you take physical action against someone, theres not a whole lot you can do to recover from that, says Clarke.
Coming to Work Drunk or Using Unlawful Substances
In settings where there is medical care, manufacturing, or machinery, there is typically zero tolerance for alcohol or other substances, says Clarke. Managers are typically on alert for anything that would impair someones abilities because there is a huge risk from a safety perspective.
With a lot of jobs, such as truck driving or construction, its actually illegal to drink. However, in some office settings, a little alcohol is acceptable.
People have to use their best judgment when it comes to alcohol consumption. If you work at an ad agency, they may be pushing beer and wine down the hallway on a cart on Friday afternoons, but if youre operating heavy machinery and you take a drink, you can kill someone, says Clarke. But under no circumstances at any job is it OK to be drunk.
Sleeping on the Job
It may sound ridiculous, but Clarke says youd be surprised at the creative places people find to hide and nap during the work day.
In warehouses weve seen people arrange inventory in a way that creates a little nest so they wont be seen, says Clarke. They have gone to great lengths to find a way to get paid to sleep.
Many times employers will review security footage and see people disappearing into a certain area for a few hours at a time, raising red flags.
To an employer, youre basically stealing. Youre getting paid for working hours that youre not working. They take it very seriously, he says.
People think that if they come in late and no one says anything, then its OK, says Dixon. They assume that because theyve been strolling in late for a week or two that no one has a problem with it, and then one day--boom--youre fired.
Dixon says that just because an employer doesnt warn an employee about tardiness, it doesnt mean its being overlooked. Many companies feel that showing up to work on time is one of the most important requirements for the job and have no patience for workers showing up late more than a few times.
In the past, if you had people consistently coming in late or absent, companies would try to correct the behavior and have patience, but now they are like, Youve been late three times. Pack up your desk and get out, says Uprichard.
Failing a Random Drug Test
If youve been working for a company for a few years, you may have forgotten that the day you were hired you signed a piece of paper consenting to a random drug test. This means your employer has the right to test you at any time for illegal substances, including marijuana.
Marijuana stays in your system for 30 days, so a random test can get you long after you think it can, says Dixon. For some companies it means instant firing, and others make you go through rehab at your own expense. In either case, it can cost you.
Because the drug testing is done at random, some employees may get pulled two or three months in a row, while others may go years without a test. No matter how long its been since your last test, Dixon says you should always be careful.
Thats what random drug testing is. Youre not going to have enough time to clean up your act once youre called.