‘This Isn’t Toxic, It’s Genius!!!’: Worker Says Manager Shared ‘Toxic’ Advice For When Someone Asks A Question And You Don’t Know The Answer, Sparking Debate

A woman on TikTok says her boss told her to basically confuse the other person if she didn’t know the answer to a question they were asking. To her, that advice was toxic.

TikTok user Sundas (@sundaskhalidd) shared the story by stitching another viral TikToker who asked, “What’s the most toxic thing a leader at your company has ever said to you?”

In Sundas’ video, she says she asked her data engineering manager at her last job how she should answer questions when she doesn’t know the answer. She says she was new to the job at the time but does not say what company she was working for.

“He responded by saying that when you don’t know the answer, answer in a way that confuses the other person,” Sundas says. “And I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t.”

After that incident, Sundas realized that her manager used his own advice often. She says she could “see through him” in work meetings after that. When he answered questions, he would confuse people and make them question why they even asked their questions in the first place.

Sundas says her manager got away with it, too. People thought he was “so smart,” she says.

The manager’s advice garnered mixed reactions from viewers. Some said the manager’s advice wasn’t toxic.

“This isn’t toxic, it’s genius!!!” one viewer commented.

“Not toxic at all. When you have more experience you’ll understand,” another commented.

Someone else wrote, “How is this toxic? It is how to survive at a job.”

In reply to that comment, Sundas wrote, “because I realized that every time I went to him with a question, he made me dumb with [his] answer.”

Some users said the manager’s advice was typical manager behavior.

“I used to work with someone like that. I saw right thru it but not my co workers. I am used to playing chess and it’s a strategy we were taught,” one user said.

“Basically every manager. They’ve become managers bc they’re great at selling BS,” a second user said.

A third wrote, “sadly this is true… I see MANY people in high positions behave like this I respond ‘we’re digressing, get back to the point.'”

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