What can the consequences of being sarcastic to your boss at work possibly be? After all, everyone loves the “kidder,” that person in the office who is always ready with a sharp wit and sharper insults, rolling his or her eyes as the salvos of clever retorts and snide remarks are launched. Wouldn’t every boss just absolutely adore having a subordinate who was constantly hammering dry humor into every workplace conversation?
All kidding aside, there can be some serious consequences of being sarcastic to your boss at work. Although some people may find it difficult to shut off the part of their brain that generates sarcastic comments, it may be worth considering the potential costs before continuing to spout off.
Some people, in face-to-face conversation, honestly cannot decipher sarcastic comments very well. They may not realize that they are thinly veiled insults, and instead politely smile and nod along at what was really a complaint or even an insult. One of the consequences of being sarcastic to your boss is simply the possibility that, one day, he or she may not understand that you are using sarcasm; depending on the situation, this could result in discipline, outright firing, or even accusations of sexual harassment, distrust, etc. Just as there are many varieties of sarcastic comments, so too are there many potential costs from their improper usage. Especially considering an age where many office comments take place over the phone, or over e-mail, sarcasm is more difficult to detect, this increasing the chances of such woeful misinterpretation.
Whether it is the single-minded “Yeah, that’s my sarcastic little account manager!” line of thinking, or the gradual degradation of overall reputation in place of a conniving humor-as-a-weapon weasel, one of the potential consequences of being sarcastic to your boss at work is altering how your boss views you. After prolonged use of sarcasm, your boss may view you as just the sarcastic person, or the person unable to make a serious comment. Such a change in reputation can be professionally devastating.
Then comes the more subtle, but nonetheless serious, form of one of the consequences of being sarcastic to your boss at work: The lessing of the impact of your words. If you use sarcasm with your boss so much that word spreads, by you or by your boss, about your sarcasm, then people may see your words as two-faced weapons forged in your sarcastic brain, and fail to take into consideration that you may actually be a driven worker with great ideas for the company. You may be typecast into the singular role of The Sarcastic One, thus resulting in a stigma that would affect every office interaction you had from then on, and potentially a difficult obstacle to overcome.
The consequences of being sarcastic to your boss at work can be major or minor. Any potential usage of sarcasm should be carefully weighed in consideration of its potential benefits against its potential consequences. Then again, perhaps every choice of words should be thusly weighed.