5 Seemingly Unimportant Things that Can get you Fired

by Everyday on June 7, 2011

Is stealing time the same as stealing money? Is lying acceptable if nobody finds out? To some employees, these questions have obvious answers; to others, they’re grey areas.While you probably haven’t committed any serious crimes at work, you may stray into the grey areas more often than you care to admit. This can easily get you fired and you wouldn’t even know you were in the wrong. Let’s take a look at some of the mistakes you can make at work without fully realizing it:

Copying software for your personal use.Installing the software you use at work on your personal computer without a prior authorization/agreement with the employer is definitely a grey area or even outright illegal. Even though it’s not a physical product, a program is still protected by copyright, and installing it using a work license is practically like stealing a stapler or other office supplies.

Fired 5 Seemingly Unimportant Things that Can get you Fired

Eating food out of the office fridge.While companies do not generally care about the employees time off work, including pauses, if you constantly take whatever you can find in the office fridge without asking permission, someone is bound to complain, which will attract the employer’s attention upon you and may even get you fired.

Down playing your productivity.You get paid by the hour, so you make the same amount of money whether you cash 5 checks per hour or only 2, right? You might be tempted to work slower or just do some work, take half an hour off and then say it took you 1 hour to do the work. This is a very common reason people get fired, and most of the times employers know all the tricks in the book and can see the signs right away.

Applyingto other jobs. Nobody likes an employee who is only there temporarily and can quit at any time because he found a better offer or is just bored. If you start applying to other jobs and your current employer notices, you’re bound to have some explaining to do or you can even get fired prematurely.

Calling in sick so you can run personal errands.Sick leave should be used only when you’re sick. If you make a habit out of calling in sick when you need to go shopping or run some personal errands, your employer is bound to eventually notice and you’ll definitely not get away scot free.

Blaming someone else for your mistakes.If you make a mistake, it might be a good idea to just admit it and say that you’ll be more careful next time instead of laying blame on everything and everyone else in the office. Not taking responsibility for your actions is about the worst thing you can do if you want to advance in a career.

Making personal calls on the clock.You know they’re not allowed, so don’t tempt fate (and the employer). Making personal calls when you’re on the clock, especially using the company’s phone is a big no-no if you want to keep your job.

Exposing others to germs. If you’re sick but you “can’t afford” to call in sick – please, don’t do it. This is exactly the time for calling in sick, and if you don’t care much about yourself, think about the other people in the office who might contract the same disease you have – nobody wants that, including your employer – they’d much rather pay you to stay at home or go to a hospital.

Fudging the numbers.If the numbers don’t add up, you shouldn’t just change them to fit your needs – you need to investigate and solve the problem itself. If your report shows you’re $1000 short of the goal, simply changing the numbers to match the goal isn’t going to work and not only can it get you fired, but you can also have criminal charges against you for fraud – this is very serious.

Avoid the above things, and you should be safe!

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