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10 Ways to Get Fired from Your Job

How to Keep a Job - and How to Lose it Fast

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So you've gotten yourself a job. Congratulations! Celebrate your employment however you want - but don't show up to work doing any of the 10 things below. If you do, you might find yourself unemployed before you can cash your first paycheck.

1. Disrespect It

Young businesswoman eating lunch at desk
Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you're at an entry-level job, there's a good chance that you're a lot smarter than the stuff your boss makes you do, and that you normally dress a lot better than your dorky work uniform.  Who cares?  You're here to earn cash and experience, not to use your brain or look good.  Play along, because as lame as you might feel at work sometimes, it can't be lamer than getting fired.

2. Give Freebies to Your Friends

Your pals might try to benefit from your newfound employment by asking for free food and discounted goods. And why shouldn't they? If you get caught, they won't be the ones who get in trouble. When they beg you for freebies, just say no. Blame it on your ultra-strict boss (even if your boss is the coolest guy in the world). If you really want to do something nice for your friends, take them out for coffee with one of your paychecks.

3. Show Up Late, Even Once

Work isn't like school, where being tardy gets you a warning or a little detention time.  If you're late to work, your boss could fire you on the spot - especially if you're new to the job and haven't had a chance to prove your worth yet.  If you're naturally a late person, learn how to counteract it by setting your alarm clock extra-early and giving yourself way too much commute time.

4. Complain About Your Job on Facebook

Don't assume that your boss (or a coworker who's out to get you) never checks your Facebook account. People have been fired for saying that their job was boring and making jokes about their company, and someone even got turned down for a job because he complained about the company on Twitter before he was hired. Why give your boss such an easy reason to fire you? If you really feel the need to complain, do it privately.

5. Be the Weakest Link

Look around your workplace.  Are you the laziest, joking-est, most slacking-off person there?  If you are, your boss knows it too.  Step up your game by showing up to your shifts a little early, smiling a little more around the customers and never, ever letting your boss catch you hanging around doing nothing.  

6. Talk Back to Your Boss

If your boss says something that wounds your pride, it can be one of the worst feelings in the world.  But most entry-level jobs don't exactly encourage independent thought, so if you want to keep earning that paycheck, keep your mouth shut and save your venting for when you get home.  Even if you don't plan on staying at your job for long, keep your boss on your good side so you can use her as a reference on your next job application.  Yes, it might take a little acting on your part, but that's all part of working for a living. 

7. Skip Work (and Get Caught Doing It)

This should be a no-brainer, but if you play hooky from work one day, don't get caught. Stay far away from your place of work and avoid seeing any of your coworkers (even the ones who are usually on your side). And don't be like this guy or this girl who posted Facebook status updates on their sick days proving they weren't really sick.

8. Get Into It with a Coworker

You might not like all of your coworkers, but if you want to keep your job, you've got to swallow your pride, keep your head down and avoid any confrontations that could get in the way of your work.  If you do get into an argument, don't run to your boss - try to solve it on your own.  Your boss is more likely to fire anyone who's causing trouble than play babysitter to his employees. 

9. Use Your Computer for Non-Work Stuff

If your job gives you access to a computer, then never, ever use it for anything other than work stuff unless you have permission.  Even if your boss isn't looking over your shoulder, she might have installed tracking software that allows her to see exactly what sites you're looking at.  I know you want to check your email, but it's not worth the risk.

10. Give Yourself a Bonus

When you're working for minimum wage, it's tempting to give yourself some free perks (otherwise known as stealing from your employer).  You might think that after that 10-hour shift, you've earned a free sandwich or t-shirt or whatever, but try to resist the temptation.  You've agreed to work at your job for a set wage.  If you don't like it, look for a higher-paying job instead of taking it out on your current one.  Stealing is illegal, unethical and plain old trashy.

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