|Career Development Professional Profiles Office Culture Job Hunting Advice Editor's Picks|
Home > Article
Please help! I am in a small office, and two coworkers, one a man and one a woman, curse all the time. I really don't like it, but I can't change my cubicle space because I work closely with these people. How can I get them to stop using such ugly language without antagonizing them?
Same to you, buddy
The reason you are so uncomfortable, I suspect, is that profanity relies for its effect on the shock value of imagined, acrobatic scenarios that are alarming to visualize and all-too-frequently involve relatives. Not what you expect in an environment where people's livelihoods are at stake.
In the proper context, of course, profanity can be delightfully creative and amusing. I recall the time I spent working under a retired naval officer when I was an impressionable young person with an excellent memory. With gratitude I still rely on fragments from Commander Carl's arsenal of epithets in moments of extreme provocation, life-threatening emergency, or rush-hour traffic.
Still, I rely on my stylist to make my hair do what it does, on my dog Dickie to be a universal accessory and companion - and on linguistic understatement to be my stalwart friend.
You are unlikely to teach your coworkers by example. And no retailer advertising in any of the catalogs I read has introduced a filth filter small enough for the average cubicle. Alas, you must speak to them in your own unsullied words. Expect pressure to conform to lower standards. Meet any suggestion that you "lighten up" in the name of collegiality with polysyllabic indifference. Direct speech, such as "I don't like it when you do that and I want you to use other language" might also work.
Failing that, you could always give them a dictionary.
Copyright 2000-2004 © Salary.com, Inc.
More Related Articles
Rules for Cubicle Courtesy
Cubicles are designed to enhance interaction and help companies maximize space. But because partitioned environments lack privacy, it's critical that cube dwellers develop a healthy respect for their co-workers.
Eight Sticky Work Situations and How to Handle Them
Ever suspect your boss was put on this earth just to make your job harder? If so, you're not alone.
How do I get a raise at my temp job?
As circumstances change at a temp job, it is sometimes possible to negotiate for higher pay - but go through the agency, not the company.
Google Web Search
Didn't see what you were looking for?
powered by Google