You're just a click away from a sweet pair of heels when, wouldn't you know it...someone's over your shoulder. Gilt-y! Here's how to recover gracefully.
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Accept that you're totally busted.
Your first instinct will be to minimize your screen at warp speed--but don't go there. "You'll look more suspicious if you scramble to cover things up," says Lindsey Pollak, career expert and author of Getting From College to Career. Your boss may wonder if you're doing something way worse than shopping, such as, say, prowling Monster.com for a new gig. So hands off the mouse. Let her get an eyeful of those Shoedazzle.com goodies you're drooling over.
And we mean this instant. Pollak advises saying something like, "Oops, I'm totally online shopping right now! I had a few minutes of downtime and was just taking a little mental breather." Your boss is human, too, and odds are, she spends a few minutes goofing around on the Web every day. Plus, admitting what you're up to could actually make you look better in the long run. "If you show your boss you can own up to your mistakes, she'll trust you to be honest in other situations," Pollak says. The more your boss trusts you, the better your overall relationship will be and the more responsibility-and leeway-you'll get in the future.
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Look, the boss lady has more important things to worry about than this little blip. "As long as you don't remind her, she'll probably forget it," Pollak notes. But just to be safe, give her a reason to be psyched about you. "After any mistake or awkward situation in the workplace, the best thing to do is pretend your boss is watching you 24/7 for the next week, so do something to earn some extra credit," Pollak says. Go in an hour early the next morning so you can turn in that report well before the deadline (triple-checked, naturally). You'll prove your productivity and be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
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