There is a story* about a Portuguese explorer who discovered an island in the South Pacific. Warriors from a local tribe greeted his row boat as he approached the shore. Attempting to show them respect, he put his hands in the air, signifying that he meant no harm and carried no weapons. They cut off his arms. Apparently, in their culture, that meant something bad.
And while you’re not a dumb old Portuguese sea captain, you may be insulting people all the time and not know it. In psychology, this is called, “reverse axis signaling”** and it’s when you say something you think is a compliment or simply an innocuous comment, but it's taken as a grave insult.
You may be surprised how many times you do this at work without even realizing it. The Intergalactic Business Report’s new study on reverse axis signaling shows you the 6 most common phrases you use at work every day that are actually condescending insults to your co-workers. Read these and stop saying them today.
1. “Jeff and I were talking the other day about how valuable you are to the company. It was an extremely short conversation.”
2. “I enjoyed your presentation, but I was confused about the part where you were speaking.”
3. “The report you showed me is really great. Did you hire a homeless person to write it for you?”
4. “Those are nice pants. Looks like you have a small penis?”
5. “Someone suggested we get a trained monkey to do your job, and I told them we should never do that because at least with you there’s slightly less monkey shit to clean up.”
6. “Suck my motherfucking dick—I will slap your face.”
*No there isn’t.
*No it isn’t.
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You’re not allowed to discriminate against a job applicant based on his or her age, because “ageism” is illegal. Or something like that.
The next time you interview for a job, look for subtle clues that your potential employer is trying to find out just when your birthday was. The Intergalactic Business Report presents a definitive list of common age-discriminatory queries and then tells you how to respond. You’re welcome. Our guide is below:
THE SUBTLE, GENERATIONAL QUESTION:
Here, the interviewer makes a seemingly innocuous reference to an event, phenomenon, or personality from a time period only people of a certain generation would understand, thus gauging your age by your answer.
EXAMPLE: “Which 80’s icon do you relate to more? Long Duck Dong or Long Dong Silver?”
HOW TO RESPOND: “Long Dong Silver.”
THE NOT SO SUBTLE, DIRECT QUESTION:
Sometimes an interviewer will simply ask about your age in a more direct way.
EXAMPLE: “You look old, motherfucker. Are you old?”
HOW TO RESPOND: If you can, throw your teeth at him. He’ll respect this.
THE QUESTION ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE:
Employers may ask a question about your experience to determine how long you’ve been working—thus making a rough calculation about your age.
EXAMPLE: “Are you a virgin? Yes or no.”
HOW TO RESPOND: “That’s private. But I’ve been with lots of people. I didn’t go all the way every time, but it’s not like I don’t have experience.”
THE QUESTION ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL LIFE OR LIFESTYLE:
Often your lifestyle can tell employers your age.
EXAMPLE: “Are you into no boundaries sex with old men like me?”
HOW TO RESPOND: “Yes.”
THE “HOW’S THE WIFE” QUESTION:
Here, the interviewer drops in a question about your spouse. Are you just married? Hitting your 50th anniversary? Spending a lot of time with the grand kids?
EXAMPLE: “Is your husband willing to have sex with me for this job?”
HOW TO RESPOND: “Are you willing to have sex with him?”
THE “HEALTH” QUESTION:
Your health is often attached to your age, and some employers will try to measure whether you will be a burden on their health care plan if you are at high risk for disease or hospitalization.
EXAMPLE: “If you sucked my dick for money, would you get a heart attack?”
HOW TO RESPOND: “How much money?”
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