7 Things Guys Should Not Say At Work

Time for some serious financial advice:

I’m recycling old magazines and donating books. My bookshelves are busting at the seams with books and periodicals I’m keeping for reasons beyond my knowledge. While I was making stacks today, I came across an Esquire special magazine which featured a HUGE list of phrases guys shouldn’t use at work.

Keeping a job isn’t just a good part of being a guy…it’s part of being financially fit. That’s why, if you’re wondering how the hell this post fits this website, I was able to sneak it in under the wire.

I’m trying to help you keep your job.

Being a guy is part science/part art. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I  don’t even quite understand “the rules.” I admitted at a bar one time that Muriel’s Wedding was one of my favorite movies.

Let’s just say that didn’t go well.

I tried to make it better by telling them that I loathe Steel Magnolias (don’t get me started), but apparently admitting that I’d even seen the film was a reason I’ve been told I have to forfeit my man-card.

That said, if you were a dude and said any of these in the office, it might catch my attention:


My Favorites From Esquire’s List of “Things a Man Should Never Say at Work”


7) “You seriously wanted me to do that?”

6) “Nice Botox”

5) “I had a dream about you last night.”

4) “How much’re they paying you anyway, sweetheart?”


I’d fit in like a lobster at a seafood restaurant

3) “It’s called Zumba. I’ve lost 12 pounds.”

2) “That’s not how we did it at my last job.”

…and my favorite line from Esquire’s “Things a Man Should Never Say at Work”

1) “They’re white-chocolate cranberry. I baked them last night.”


I hope these tips helped you hold onto your job a day or two longer. Any I missed?

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Author: Average Joe

A 16 year veteran of the financial planning and financial media circus. Lover of hamburgers and ice cream.

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    • I’m not takin’ the bait, JP. We both lose if I go down that argument road….

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    • Yeah, unless you can explain yourself…that one gets difficult in a hurry.

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  1. Lol! I used to work in an office with all women years and years ago. I ran into this way too many times to care to remember.

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    • You should see the entire list, John. These were just the beginning. Another good one is saying “You’re the boss” (when speaking to the boss).

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    • Uhh…I agree….I hate those. ;-)

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  2. “You’re coming back to work immediately after having your baby, right?”

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    • We may have a winner.

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  3. Muriel’s Wedding rocks – I love the movie but find it upsetting. I know I am not a bloke but still have to keep a job; have not said any of the above. But…

    I read a book about what we should not do in management and realised that I have done ALL these things during my six years in university management. Starting with telling a group of colleagues Deans that there is no way I am having working dinners witt them – my evening are precious and I can think of many more exciting things to do with them. You can guess how this went down; surprisingly some of these people are still my close friends.
    maria@moneyprinciple recently posted..Two factors behind debt and what does this have to do with youMy Profile

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    • That’s why I like it! It’s not at all what you’d expect. I’ll bet that went over great at work. I can imagine if a colleague said that to me. I know I’m a boring dude, but….

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    • I’ll bet you get some awesome glances from your coworker after that! Maybe even a wink or two.

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    • Sounds like something grandma should say, not a dude.

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  4. I agree with TB- the first thing that comes to mind is “It sounds like you’ve got a case of the Mondays…” I hate it when people say that!

    Greg and I work together and another husband/wife work here so there are definitely some weird dynamics going on in our office sometimes!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Why People Aren’t Buying Life InsuranceMy Profile

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    • I can’t imagine how the office would be…that could sometimes be a crazy place, I’ll bet. But at the same time it could be really cool. I can’t imagine what it would be like working with Cheryl.

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  5. I think #1 should be: “So, when’s the baby due?” Never ask this. Ever. I had a co-worker ask me this when I wasn’t pregnant — talk about terribly awkward!

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  6. You know, while we’re on the topic, ANY sentence that starts or ends with “sweetheart” is not okay — unless the sentence begins with “Kathleen is such a” — then it’s fine.
    Kathleen recently posted..State of my Debts: October Check inMy Profile

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    • Kathleen, you’re such a sweetheart for commenting on my blog! That’s kosher, right?

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    • Yeah. I’d like to see that rolled out some day. It’d be one of those fantastic train-wreck-in-slo-mo moments.

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  7. You should work in a gynecologist’s office….I choose my words with care whether with staff or patients.

    We cook steak, not cookies. I’ve never heard of either of the movies mentioned, but I sure love Outlaw Josey Wells, and Braveheart.

    You probably liked that dumb movie with Leonardo leaning over the front of the ocean liner….Lovin that movie would ‘sink’ your manhood ranking quickly…
    Dr Dean recently posted..Specific Christmas Toy On Your List? Better Hurry!My Profile

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    • Especially in your line of work, Dr. Dean, words are minefields.

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  8. I only have one male employee besides the other optometrist and they know better, but I’ve had many men call me honey or darlin over the years, and have even had some crack jokes during the exam about being alone in the dark with a woman. It’s only OK if they are over 80. Eveyone else is just creepy.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Being a Boss, The Good, The Bad, and The UglyMy Profile

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    • I don’t understand what they’re trying to prove, Kim. Is that supposed to make you like them more? I can’t wait till I’m 80, based on your comment.

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    • Good point, Gillian. I don’t even like it when male bloggers refer to their spouse as “the Wife.” Just makes me cringe….

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    • We are now bff’s! You have awesome taste in films.

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    • That would be the problem with me and teaching. I’d SO say something that would land ME in the principal’s office.

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  9. Hey … wait a minute, Joe! NONE of those answers you listed are what you came up with when you had that question posed to you at FINCON12 last month.

    Not one of ‘em.
    Len Penzo recently posted..Your Personal Finance Voter GuideMy Profile

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    • Excellent. A friend of mine interviewed a guy who’d been fired from his old job for being late too many times. My buddy asked, “How many times a month do you think is acceptable?” The guy said, “Probably only three or four.”

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  10. Although I’m a women, I alway seem to blab out “You were in my dream last night!” to co-workers of both sexes. I get the craziest reactions and notice that people get the wrong ideas, even though I mean it in a perfectly innocent way. It’s just because I remember my dreams every night and they are normal day-to-day events that so many people I work with are in my dreams.

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