But according to Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, an etiquette and civility expert and the author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom,” your chummy coworker relationship can become problematic when you don’t keep it professional.
From things that make you sound unprofessional to awkward or impolite — and even harassing comments — there are a lot of things you shouldn’t say that could turn a work relationship ugly or even get you fired.
“In conversation, use a little common sense and discretion, especially when there are others present,” Randall suggests. “The general guideline is that if you wouldn’t say it in front of your boss, don’t say it.”
Aside from the obvious — like profanity and insults — here are some words and phrases you should never utter to your coworkers:
‘How much do you get paid?’
“This question is not only unprofessional, but awkward,” Randall says. “Why do you want to know? Will you complain to your boss if you find it inequitable? Or will you speak to your boss on your coworker’s behalf insisting they get a raise?”
‘Can I borrow some cash?’
Most of us have forgotten to bring cash or our wallet to work once or twice, and, Randall says, in this rare occasion it might be OK to ask your understanding coworker to borrow some money for lunch.
“But if your wallet is always in your ‘other purse,’ don’t be surprised if you’re excluded from future lunches,” she says.
Barbara Pachter, an etiquette expert and author of “The Essentials of Business Etiquette,” says that drawing attention to your honesty at that moment can lead people to wonder, “Aren’t you always honest with me?”