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by Rob Porter | October 30, 2023


Halloween is here, and you know what that means—ghosts, goblins, werewolves, and a whole lot of candy! For those of us who are older, Halloween isn’t really that scary when compared to things like those dreaded financial disturbances, yard work, and of course, trouble at the office. To celebrate Halloween, here are some scary things that can happen at work.

Being Asked to Stay Late

Kicking off our list is a relatively tame scare, and one that happens to just about all of us at some point. Yes friends, when you’re in the midst of a major project and the deadline is fast approaching, it might get to the point where your boss asks everyone involved to stay late and put in some extra elbow grease to get it done.

Being asked to stay late at work can be quite the inconvenience, but you won’t turn into a pumpkin after 5 p.m. The only thing to fear is the possibility that you’ll miss out on any plans you might have for after work. Now then, if staying late wasn’t scary enough, our next entry will no doubt strike fear into even the bravest of hearts.


We’ve all sat in on meetings at work, whether it’s been in-person at the office, or over one of those new-fangled Zoom calls that have become all the rage in the last few years. Most times, you’ll sit and listen, and perhaps take notes or ask questions, but if you’re the lead on a project or you’re particularly knowledgeable about a certain topic, you might be asked to…gulp…lead the meeting.

The very idea of public speaking might be enough to make some people cower in fear, but it’s really not all that bad. Like anything else, public speaking is a skill that needs to be developed over time, and the more you do it, the more confident you’ll be. If you’d like some tips on how to overcome the fear of public speaking, check out our previous blog here.

CC’ing Everyone

Despite the advent of messaging services such as Slack, email is still one of the most popular methods of contact in the workplace. In fact, statistics show that the average office worker might send up to 40 emails per day—that’s a lot of typing! With all those emails coming and going, you’ve got to pay close attention or else you might get confused.

Imagine a scenario where you’ve got a complicated email chain with many recipients on it, with several other email chains going on at the same time. Suddenly, you realize you replied to the wrong chain with some sensitive information, or worse yet, you cc’d the wrong person or perhaps the entire company! This can happen when your employer uses company-wide email addresses, so always double and triple-check your emails before you send them.

Hot Mic

If the last few didn’t scare you stiff, this one will. When you’re in a Zoom call or virtual meeting with many other people the best practice is to keep yourself muted unless you’re speaking, especially if you’re in an area with a lot of background noise. Once in a while you might hear a dog barking or a baby crying when one of your coworkers is speaking, which can be entertaining, but most people just brush things like that off.

You might have a real problem if you’re expressing your grievances out loud to yourself as the meeting is carrying on, only to discover that your mic was on the whole time! In another scenario, everyone on the call heard you scream out copious expletives when you stubbed your toe underneath your desk—true horror! Always focus your attention during virtual meetings, and take care to keep your eye on your mic settings.

“Can you come see me in my office?”

This is the stuff real nightmares are made of. When things seem to be going just a little too well, you might be surprised to hear that your boss is requesting your presence in their office. If you’re a particularly conscientious employee this isn’t something you should be worried about, but if you’ve been showing up late or ignoring your responsibilities, you might want to be prepared to hear about it in one way or another.

The nervousness from being summoned by your boss is one thing, but if there seems to be an overwhelming climate of fear at work, it could be a sign of a much bigger problem. In fact, nothing at work should ever be truly scary, so don’t let yourself fall victim to a toxic workplace environment. As for our list, it’s all in good fun, and if you’re going to be celebrating Halloween, remember to stay safe and enjoy yourself!