When your boss starts talking to you, it may as well be like Lord Voldemort approaching you for some documents. Your palms begin to sweat, your voice gets hoarse, your mind can't stop racing. This tension builds up because you know there can only be two reasons that your boss is talking to you: he or she is either asking you to do something or is firing you. Usually the latter is a failure to complete the former.
The problem with conversations with bosses is that they're not like normal conversations among coworkers. You can't ask questions, can't explain yourself, can't really do anything but just agree to whatever they are asking. But even what they're asking can be tricky at times because usually they are saying a lot more than what comes off and they expect you to understand their limited direction.
When talking to your boss, you must treat him or her like God almighty himself, even if that means swallowing your pride and dignity many times. You might be wrong, but you're not in a position yet to question it (that comes with time and hard work). If you want to keep your job, you can't be dense. Many young workers are fired or get on their boss' bad side as a result of incompetence. Your boss doesn't just expect you to do the minimum, he or she expects a devotion to your work. Bosses expect you to know what they are asking for, before they even ask it.
In this economy, you're lucky to have a job and they know that. They expect your highest performance all the time and if you falter or just screw up, it's your head. So if you're too scared to ask your boss questions, but still don't know what the hell he or she wants, here's a list of common phrases your boss uses and what they really mean.
Can You Do This?
No is not an option.
Are You Free?
You're always free.
Where's That Thing I Asked For?
I expected it 10 minutes ago.
Do You Have Time?
Do it now.
Next time, you're fired. We Need To Talk
I'm pissed and I'm about to fire you.
Don't Be Late
On time is still late.
You Can Leave Early
You better not, and I'll be judging you if you do.
You Have An Hour For Lunch
That means 30 minutes.
Can You Grab Me A Coffee?
Where's my coffee?
That's An Interesting Skirt
Your skirt is too short, you slut.
We Celebrate Casual Fridays
That just means no blazer.
It Looks Good
It could be better.
We Have A Loose Sexual Harassment Policy
You will be touched. (Just kidding... but seriously, you might.)
I Didn't See You Come In
Where the f*ck were you?
What Are You Doing This Weekend?
You need to come in on Saturday.
Can You Run Out For A Minute
I need you to do a ton of sh*t for me.
Come Into My Office
Get the hell out.