Swearing at the workplace

Wix.com TcEs77
Sep 16 37 Comments

I'm working in an established team with friendly relationships and from time to time we use tough language. Like, "this is the f**k up, bulls**t", etc. We work in a separate room, so noone can hear us and has any complaints. Recently, we've hired a new team member and after a while we've started to receive escalations to our manager that we use inappropriate language at the workplace. Everyone thinks that this guy is reporting us, while he remains silent and doesn't ask us anything directly. While I agree that it is inappropriate, as I said, we almost like friends and have some established culture, perhaps not the best culture, but still. And now we need to behave like super polite white collars, which is not so comfortable as it was, because that one guy.
Is this guy oversensitive and not a cultural fit for us, our our team should learn to keep their mouths shut?

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TOP 37 Comments
  • Oracle fky$49&$6
    Swearing at work is not appropriate, it’s a recipe for HR case.
    Sep 16 7
    • Boeing WSJ🤭
      @DontMindMe we're on the same team.

      that said, the fear of HR is real. all the whiney aggrieved dummy needs is 1 witness..... annnnnnd you're fucked.
      Sep 16
    • T-Mobile fun)))
      I had a POS boss from Expedia who used to bang the keyboard and curse looking at the monitor. It was his inability to understand code. Anyone on the team could have helped him. But he swore and swore. No one likes him on the team now.
      Sep 16
    • Salesforce oolala
      Would you be ok if a woman on your team did it to you? All of you would be uncomfortable. This is why tech feels so unfriendly to people outside the mainstream bro culture.
      Sep 16
    • Boeing WSJ🤭
      no way. swearing makes you one of the bros!
      Sep 16
    • T-Mobile fun)))
      The Bros are all coding fine. Cursing guy never made it
      Sep 16
  • Booking.com XqBM21
    well a mature thing would be to talk to the person directly and ask whether he’s uncomfortoble with this and why. i guess it’s just sad that someone would be reporting higher up without having a discussion with their peers first.
    Sep 16 1
    • Salesforce oolala
      He might be intimidated. Or offended or both. Managers fault. He needs to be upfront with the new guy about the culture before he joins. Not just the pleasant aspects of it.
      Sep 16
  • Boeing WSJ🤭
    it's both.
    yes, he's a tool. but where verbal language and written comms are concerned, y'all have no choice but to play by the strict rules. ... or risk HR/legal bullshit.

    beyond that, you have a couple choices...
    sith: set him up to fail /frame him / get everyone to strictly monitor & report on his sub-par performance.
    jedi: try to get to know him. try to understand. be compassionate n empathetic n shit. learn what makes him tick. maybe there's a win-win scenario... where yall bend toward him and he bends toward yall and the TEAM can succeed together. ? maybe ?
    Sep 16 2
    • Spotify Atinlay3
      Do the sithful and be a man
      Sep 16
    • Google UWOM24
      Maybe he is being framed?
      Sep 16
  • Twitter jkkugdyh
    Using this kind of language is a micro aggression and is the reason for sexist and racist workplaces.
    Sep 16 3
    • Wix.com TcEs77
      OP
      Sorry, but how does the phrase "we fucked up" relate to racism and sexism?
      Sep 16
    • Twitter jkkugdyh
      Creates a hostile work environment for non bro minorities that are likely to be underrepresented gender and racial groups
      Sep 16
    • Wix.com TcEs77
      OP
      Why do you assume that they are likely underrepresented gender and racial groups? He is a straight white male. I'm not even talking to him or offend him. For example, when I find a bug in code and say "oh shit, how can I missed that". Why it is hostile?
      Sep 16
  • Uber / Eng Bruh!
    Just stop the cussing. My previous manager was a cusser and everyone thought he was a tool. You come across as immature and have low EQ.
    Sep 16 3
    • What’s an EQ?
      Sep 16
    • Roku cruella
      Emotional quotient.

      Though they should have said CQ. Conversation quotient.
      Sep 16
    • Thanks captain
      Sep 16
  • VMware
    doof_s

    VMware

    PRE
    Dell, General Motors
    doof_smore
    The latter. Keep your mouths shut . Swearing is not appropriate whether it's the public setting or the workplace or your home .
    Sep 16 2
    • Wix.com TcEs77
      OP
      I think it is my own business to swear or not at my home, or in the circle of friends if it does not offend them in some way.
      Sep 16
    • Boeing WSJ🤭
      doof - is this a troll or are u for real?
      Sep 16
  • Roku cruella
    Grow up and learn to talk like adults at work place.
    Sep 16 0
  • Taylor Farms azerty_
    He is overly sensitive. You don’t need him on your team. Report him to HR
    Sep 16 0
  • New / Consultant SkoobySnac
    If your company has a culture where you guys can communicate in a manner that's open and expressive then you aren't doing anything wrong. The new person unfortunately isn't fitting into the culture as you mentioned. Your manager needs to step explain to that person that the culture within specific teams is expressive and he doesn't micro manage adult language and if this person isn't comfortable with it then they can find a new or different team for that person to join. You can't disrupt a teams productive and healthy culture of (x) amount of ppl because someone new is joining in. It's the managers job to place that person in a group/team with a cultural fit to their personality. Disrupting your teams workflow because this person doesn't like the langue is ridiculous.
    Sep 16 0
  • New / HR XFQY67
    My HR advice to people is to always be concious of who is around. Although you're not directly using the language towards him, he could still be offended. Ongoing exposure to offensive behavior could lead to a harassment type situation, which you dont want. Scale it back or stop all together. Not worth getting pulled in to HR on this one.
    Sep 17 2
    • Taylor Farms azerty_
      Would HR fire all the team over one overly sensitive guy who gets offended by comments not addressed towards him?
      Sep 17
    • New / HR XFQY67
      Fire? Doubtful. But formal write up to your file? More likely. Especially if you dont cut back after being told to by management. If your remarks get really out of hand or derogatory, termination could happen but it really depends on your company's policies.
      Sep 17
  • New GUIQ05
    Where is this guy from?
    Sep 16 1
    • Spotify Atinlay3
      Now we’re talking
      Sep 16
  • Google / Eng d3j88wq
    I think swearing is completely innocuous, as long as it's not directed at someone ("this is the fuck up" is fine, "fuck you" isn't). This is also the majority view at Google. But I guess many companies still have a problem with "bad words", regardless of context.

    I guess if your manager thinks all swearing is inappropriate there isn't much you can do other than stop. I would avoid any sort of retaliation against the new teammate. Retaliation is just childish and vindictive.
    Sep 16 1
    • Wix.com TcEs77
      OP
      I have a feeling that my manager would agree with what you said, but he just doesn't want problems and higher level escalations. Confronting the guy directly is not an option, since he wants to remain anonymous. And I doubt that we can solve this problem in a win-win manner.
      Sep 16
  • Uber ananna
    For all the people on this thread who think if you use fowl language or curse you must be a tool or have low IQ: Most studies show that the opposite is true.
    https://nypost.com/2017/08/28/smarter-people-are-more-likely-to-use-curse-words/
    Sep 19 0
  • Salesforce wackaplant
    Team culture. But then again, remember that he is part of your culture now.

    I try to keep it like TV network level swearing where you can say shit like every once in a while and maybe fuck once if you really mean it. I feel free saying damn and hell because i don’t believe those are bad words.

    If it gets excessive things just start to feel uncouth and your culture starts to lose a lot of sophistication. I’d rather try to keep composed most of the time but if I’m frustrated these words do a good job to convey that I am particularly frustrated in those moments.
    Sep 16 0
  • Ipreo qaIG18
    Don't directly confront the guy. If it is him that means the behavior disturbs him so much that he's not comfortable basking you to knock it off. Ask your manager to meet with ALL of you to talk through some team boundaries. Honestly if the guy has reported several team members over this then he might not be a good fit.
    Sep 16 0