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I've had this topic on my mind lately and am curious what you all think. Curse words at work... a bad idea?

What if you've just been promoted and have new young impressionable people working for you, are you supposed to be an example of professional conduct?

Or does it make you seem more approachable, funny and relaxed if you admit when things are really shitty?

This is 2014, do people really care?

Let's have a poll!

Curse words at work?

Never okay
Usually okay
Fucking awesome



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2014 08:43 pm (UTC)
A sip up? fine, whatever. But to routinely use curse words is not very professional.
Jun. 4th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
I cuss infrequently. When I do, people know I really mean it.

The culture at my office is very tolerant of cussing. But I think it is important to know your audience and how they will react. And, unfortunately, women get held to different standards than men do.
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:06 pm (UTC)
different standards how?

I feel like in male-dominated professions people tip-toe around women, we're not really "one of the crowd" and cussing actually helps with that.
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:52 pm (UTC)
Agree with this, yes. I think it's why I swear, mostly. They swear, why the hell shouldn't I swear? ;)
Jun. 5th, 2014 02:23 pm (UTC)
I hear people gossip all the time about how unprofessional people who swear a lot are. And women get a lot more shit for it than men do.

Like I said, it depends on your audience.

Jun. 6th, 2014 04:08 am (UTC)
Yup, cussing is like holding up a big flashing sign "Don't worry, I'm not one of THOSE WOMEN". (The fact that those signs exist...well, we're still working on that. Sigh.)
Jun. 7th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
Actually, in my corner of aerospace, the women cuss more than the men. Possibly for the reason you give?
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:47 am (UTC)
I agree with this. Guys are always apologysing to me for swearing in font of me at work, and the co-workers who really know me snicker and usually tell them I could probably teach them a thing or two about swearing.

I did catch myself drop an f-bomb in front of our intern the other day and it was clear by the look on his face I'd totally changed his opinion of working in an office and with me.
Jun. 4th, 2014 08:50 pm (UTC)
I don't swear much but no one cares if we do. Sometimes I even swear in class. But it's not like, angry swearing. I think swearing *at someone* is different that just, you know, saying "hey don't worry we all fuck up" or "Newton was a prick" or the like.
Jun. 4th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
I put never unless of course there's a slip-up. it happens. But I don't see the point of it. You can be approachable and friendly without using curse words. I think there's also a difference though between cursing at someone (I guess I took the question to this meaning) and just using curse word as an adjective or adverb or something (which I find just as annoying, but seem to tolerate it more).
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
i distinguish between using so-called curse words (e.g. "looks like the server's gotten fucked again"), which is perfectly fine, and actually cursing at people, which is very, very not.
Jun. 4th, 2014 11:00 pm (UTC)
I think it's really inappropriate to use curse words at work. It's really unprofessional. But I don't use it much at home either.
Jun. 4th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
Pretty much this - inappropriate and I don't use them much, anyway, so I'm not exactly censoring myself.

Here it's okay to say "what a shit day" or "this is bloody ridiculous" but both are acceptable in Australia Hell, too. (after all, we're the country that did the "where the bloody hell are you?" ad, by the Australian Government). But apart from those three words? No, I wouldn't, but I don't tend to use more than that in my day to day life, either. I wouldn't say 'shit' to my boss, but I would say 'bloody' (that's bloody crazy! or bloody hell! He would, too).

Edited at 2014-06-04 11:58 pm (UTC)
Jun. 5th, 2014 02:01 am (UTC)
Of course, I answer "fucking awesome" when I was still working for the government. In physical therapy, I'm more of a "sometimes".
Jun. 5th, 2014 05:43 am (UTC)
I'm in academia. There aren't really many contexts when cursing would be appropriate -- and many contexts when it would be wholly inappropriate (e.g., teaching).
Jun. 5th, 2014 02:42 pm (UTC)
Depends, honestly I swear in the classroom sometimes. Not often, but it can be fine. My colleagues swear much more in the classroom. Depends a lot on the culture of the place you're at, the department/field, etc.
Jun. 5th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
Well, as a high school teacher, I voted "never" because I think it's highly inappropriate and unprofessional. I think it would apply to most team leaders in white-collar jobs, but that's just how I feel.
Jun. 6th, 2014 04:06 am (UTC)
It depends who I am talking to and in what context.

If I am angry? No cussing. If I am talking "up" the food chain? No cussing. Peer to peer? Maybe, sometimes, but rarely. If I am talking to our proto staff? Yes. It makes them more comfortable with me and usually gets a smile.

It helps that I was raised with the THOU SHALT NOT CUSS mandate. In high school I just didn't. The few times I did? I had EVERYONE's attention. That was fun. In college, I added it into my "casual" language, but since I was so used to NOT cussing, I don't really have to try to keep it out of my everyday speech. It's my default.

Edited at 2014-06-06 04:09 am (UTC)
Jun. 6th, 2014 11:26 am (UTC)
I work in a café, generally totally inappropriate to swear in front of customers.
Jun. 14th, 2014 07:26 pm (UTC)
I teach high school (11-18 year olds). Cursing in front of the kids = no. Cursing in the staffroom = acceptable, occasionally.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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