Is it unprofessional to say, "Whats up?" when answering a phone call from your boss?

Quick question, do you think it’s unprofessional to say, “Whats up?” when answering a phone call from your boss, that you know well.

This has been a debate of others, and would like to know your Humble Opinion…

When answering a phone call that you know to be your boss? I do it all the time. I would guess that a lot of people don’t think that’s very professional, but to me that’s the benefit of knowing your boss well and having a decent rapport.

Depends on the setting and your personalities.

In a professional, white-collar setting, possibly not, but let the boss set the tone. For instance, my boss starts every call with, “Happy (enter day of the week).” I always reply, “Back at ya.”

Assuming you know who it is calling, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I’m also assuming that you and your boss are on a “What’s up?” basis, and that she has no problem with this level of casualness.

I would say “Hi Tony, what’s up?” rather than just “What’s up?,” but yeah.

It really depends on the relationship you have with your boss. When I first got here, I certainly would not have done so since I didn’t know him.

However, we hang out outside of work (play poker, drink beer, sing in a band). It would seem strange to be formal with him (plus it would stunt the creativity and energy that we have professionally).

I have been known to answer the phone with, ‘what now?’ when he calls so YMMV.

Sometimes I will say “what’d I break?”
But “what’s up” would never have been a problem for any of the bosses I’ve had in my “white collar” career.

I don’t see the problem. When my boss calls and I ask her, “What’s up?” that’s short for “you called for a reason, feel free to skip the pleasantries.” Seems to work.

No it’s not a problem. It’s a legitimate saying. It would only start to maybe slightly be a problem is you pronounced all as one word “Whassup?”

You can always just say “What is up?” in a monotone voice as well.

Depends on which level of boss. My supervisor? Not a problem. Her boss? Probably not. His boss? Nope. His boss? I’d probably crap my pants if he ever called me, but I definitely wouldn’t answer the phone with “What’s up?”

I have had a boss in the past where I could answer “what up.” I would not, however, do so with my current boss.

You just have to be aware of your environment, including your relationship with superiors, and use your best judgment.

I answer calls from my boss in a similar way, assuming I know for certain he’s in his office. If I wasn’t sure, and there was a chance he was on speakerphone or conference call with, say, the CEO or a customer, I’d keep it professional.

It seems a touch casual to me. It’s not too stiff to say “Oh, hi Susan. How are you?” and it bumps up the professionalism by quite a bit.

It really depends on the relationship and the environment you work in. It’s not inherently inappropriate, it would be inappropriate if you didn’t have a given level of familiarity with your boss.

My boss asks me what’s up all the time, so I see no reason not to ask in return.

Heh - once I get to know people and they get to know me, I’ve been known to loudly say, “WHAT?!?” when people come over to ask me something. I don’t really do formal. :smiley:

We’re not real formal in my office. I’ve been known to answer with “What do you want now?!” when a co-worker is calling me for the fifth time in an hour. Even my boss answers with “What’s up?” sometimes.

It depends very much on the relationship with a boss. I have had bosses who I would answer even more casually, and others who I would always answer formally.

It depends, like the others said.

And even if you see caller ID saying it’s your boss - it might not be. Someone else might be using the phone, like your boss’s boss or a new client meeting with him/her in the office.

One of the doctors I work for used my colleague’s phone to call our clinic. The gal in the clinic who saw the caller ID is good friends with us, and can be kind of foul-mouthed at times. Fortunately her choice of greetings for a friend was something like, “What’s up, girl?” rather than the highly possible “What’s up, bitch?” The doctor was still stunned for a moment, then realized the clinic has caller ID. The woman who answered the phone and greeted a somewhat uptight doctor that way was kind of horrified at what the result could have been.

It really depends on the boss, your relationship with them, and also who else is around.

I mean, I’ve had bosses that in private/semi-private situations, could have said “What do you want, asshole?” and it would have been ok. It wouldn’t have been cool to say that to him in front of too many people (there was a short list of about 4) though. Even in front of others, “What’s up, Mike?” would have been just fine.

Other bosses have given the impression that they were not entirely happy with the first name basis that the company culture had, and I never was anything but first-name respectful. “Hi Bill.” “Can I help you Bill?” “Yes sir”, “No sir” and that kind of thing.