“5 Hilarious Ways to Say ‘No’ at Work Without Getting Fired”

Sumiya Shaikh
3 min readApr 7, 2023
It’s ok!

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the workplace can be a hotbed of awkward situations. From your boss asking you to work overtime without any extra pay to your colleague stealing your lunch from the fridge, there’s always something that makes you want to scream “NO!” at the top of your lungs.

But here’s the thing: saying no at work doesn’t have to be a grim affair. In fact, it can be an art form. And what better way to approach this art form than with humor?

So, let’s get started with some tips on how to say no at work in a funny way:

1.The classic “I’d love to, but…”

This is a classic for a reason. It’s a simple way to say no without coming across as rude. Plus, it’s easily adaptable to any situation. For example:

  • “I’d love to help you with that project, but I’m already juggling a few deadlines.”
  • “I’d love to come to your after-work drinks, but I promised my cat I’d spend some quality time with her tonight.”

See? Easy peasy.

2.The “Sure, if you want a disaster on your hands” response

Sometimes, people ask you to do things that you know are a terrible idea. This is where the “Sure, if you want a disaster on your hands” response comes in handy. It’s funny, but it also conveys that you’re not going to be responsible for any mess that results from this decision. For example:

  • “Sure, I can try to fix the coffee machine, but I can’t guarantee it won’t explode.”
  • “Sure, I can wear a clown suit to the client meeting, but I can’t promise it won’t scare them away.”

3.The “Sorry, I’m allergic to that” excuse

This one is great if someone is trying to pass off an unpleasant task to you. Simply say, “Sorry, I’m allergic to that” and watch their face as they try to figure out whether you’re serious or not. For example:

  • “Sorry, I’m allergic to filing paperwork. It gives me hives.”
  • “Sorry, I’m allergic to cleaning the office fridge. It makes me break out in a cold sweat.”

4.The “I’d rather eat a raw onion” response

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If someone asks you to do something that you really, really don’t want to do, say, “I’d rather eat a raw onion.” It’s funny, it’s memorable, and it gets the point across. For example:

  • “Would you mind doing a presentation at the company meeting tomorrow?”
  • “I’d rather eat a raw onion.”

5.The “Sorry, I have to wash my hair” excuse

This one is a classic for a reason. It’s funny, it’s light-hearted, and it’s a great way to say no to something without coming across as rude. For example:

  • “Sorry, I can’t make it to the team-building event this weekend. I have to wash my hair.”
  • “Sorry, I can’t stay late tonight. I have to wash my hair.”
Feel Empowered

In conclusion, saying no at work doesn’t have to be a drag. With a little humor, you can turn it into an art form. Just remember to be respectful and professional, even when you’re being funny. And if all else fails, just remember: you’d rather eat a raw onion.

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