I recently wrote about making the most of chance encounters with your boss- like in an elevator. The situation is familiar. You're leaving the office and bump into your boss or another senior manager and think, "wow, what luck!" and then, "crap, what can I say to sound smart/competent/capable/promote-able, etc."
To me, the safest bet is to reference back something they've said and ask a follow-up question... nothing too probing. "Hi Susan, nice to see you. Hey, I read your corporate update last month and you mentioned your interest in forming new corporate partnerships. What kind of organizations did you have in mind?"
Pretty straightforward. However, writing this got me thinking about some of the more awkward possibilities. My list of "not to do's" included things like asking...
- For a raise
- Why everyone hates them, or
- How they're holding up since their wife left
For fun or torture, here's are 10 things you could dare your friends to say or do when they see their boss-- or anyone else for that matter- in an elevator.
- Say "Ok bye!" 15 seconds before the door opens
- "Weird to think only one person is going to walk out of here alive, right?"
- "I had a sex dream like this once. All of you were in it."
- Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside ask: "Got enough air in there?"
- Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.
- Ask each passenger getting on if you can push the button for them.
- Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers that this is your "personal space."
- Move your desk into the elevator and when ever someone gets on, ask if "they have an appointment."
- When the doors close, use duct tape and work furiously to tape the doors together. Ask for help.
- When the elevator is silent, look around and ask: “Is that your beeper?”