Question of the Week

Do You Curse in Your Workplace? If So, in What Situations?


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A story in last week’s Wall Street Journal explores whether cursing on the job can hurt one’s career. Fired Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said at a conference last month that she “probably wouldn’t have said the F-word” as often if she had a do-over with the Internet corporation, the newspaper reported.

One recruiter told the Wall Street Journal that she rejected someone for a job after he let fly with profanity just minutes into the interview. Jane Howze, a managing director of Alexander Group, a Houston executive-search firm said she thought to herself: “This guy has no emotional intelligence.”

Oh the other hand, one female senior litigation partner told the Wall Street Journal that she notices that she can make some male clients feel like she’s “one of the guys” when she swears—and get them to speak more candidly with her sooner. Men think that “if you don’t shrink at foul language, you won’t shrink at something opposing counsel will throw at you,” she said.

So this week we’d like to ask: Do you curse in your workplace? If so, in what situations? If not, are you always offended when you hear your colleagues and clients swearing in professional settings?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Did You Get a Prenup Before Marrying? Would You Ever? When Would You Tell a Client to Get a Prenup?

Featured answer:

Posted by Alex Hamilton: “My wife and I knew each other from age 13 and started dating at 16. We went to junior high, high school and college together. Our marriage was not entered into as a business arrangement, nor have we ever viewed it as such in the decades since. For almost 35 years, our philosophy of expecting to celebrate our 60th anniversary together has proven more inspiring than planning for failure. I would never marry anyone who was more concerned about their stuff than about me, but what do I know about the institution anyway?”

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