I happened to be in the grocery store early in the morning (6 a.m.), before work and there were a couple of produce department people unpacking vegetables. Whether they saw that I was there or not, I was pretty surprised at what I heard.
They were discussing the recent football games and apparently one of them was pretty unhappy at the result. They were bantering back and forth about the teams in a joking way, which I thought was great.
What wasn’t great was the language that they were using to colorfully describe the teams and players. The more they jabbed at each other the louder they became.
I am not opposed to this kind of play and do not have a problem with it when it is done out of the public eye. But when these co-workers on the job tossed out certain four letter words like they were the tomatoes they were unpacking, I was pretty shocked.
Apparently they really did not care who was in the department as you could have heard them a couple aisles away. As I continued my shopping, I wondered what would happen if a supervisor heard them. Do companies have policies to prevent potty mouths at work?
With this still on my mind, I Googled “foul language at work” and found this great article (link below) posted on the Forbes website. The article is about a survey that CareerBuilder has done on this very topic.
According to the survey 64% of employers said that they think less of an employee who repeatedly uses curse words, and 57% would be less likely to promote that person.
Workplace cultures do vary and in some instances swearing may be acceptable at work. But according to the survey a majority of hiring managers said they believe that the use of curse words brings the employee’s professionalism and lack of control into question.
The survey also states that more than half of the hiring managers felt using dirty words at work makes an employee appear less intelligent.
I know for myself hearing these employees swearing and carrying on (though all in fun), made me think that they forgot their “at work mouth filters” that day. I also felt that they did not really care that they might offend customers who were shopping that morning.
What have you experienced when it comes to potty mouths at work?