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Annie Hayes



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‘F-ing and blinding’ is turn off for bosses


Too much swearing is putting bosses off with one in 10 admitting to sacking an employee for foul language.

A poll by, as reported in Online Recruitment, shows that almost half of employers would fire an employee for using bad language.

A foul mouth occupies the top and second place in a ranking of the worst habits and behaviours in an office environment, with 96% of senior managers saying a colleague who swore was “unacceptable to work alongside”.

Lunchtime drinking, making excessive personal calls, poor personal hygiene issues and gossiping have also added to the demise of employees.

Interestingly, almost half of bosses also thought smoking breaks were ‘not acceptable’ whilst the use of iPods at work was not appropriate either.

“How people conduct themselves is of vital significance from a motivation and commitment angle,” said ClickAJob chief executive Yngve Traberg.

“Swearing suggests impatience, or a lack of self-control, hardly qualities an employer would want from any staff member,” he added.

One Response

  1. Appropriateness and sensitivity?
    Isn’t this interesting!

    One group’s generally accepted joshing and joking can be a seriously beneficial collective team-building mechanism, most especially to let off steam under stress (ask most medics, members of the armed forces or even many senior management teams!) – or another’s deep and probably private alienation.

    And conversely, any didactic ‘political corectness’ unexplored can sadly apear to be only the product of someone else’s ‘personality by-pass’ or the fruits of a ‘psychic vampire’, sucking all the apparent joy out of life.

    I don’t think there are any absolutes here.

    The essence is surely inter-personal awareness first, a sensitivity to team members above all, and a deep cultural awareness of that group which becomes an inclusive social contract.

    Small groups need to be aware of the norms of larger groups, of course, and so ad infinitum; but larger groups dictating to smaller groups in reverse doesn’t seem to have quite the same integrity or validity.

    Back to the ‘essence’ above? Isn’t that what comes first? A sense of wider cultural norms and above all, a sense of ‘appropriateness’ by all involved?

    Some teams may need making more aware of others’ sensitivities than some – and a light hand on this tiller in my experience is often far more appropriate than a heavy hand by a gaffer, whether in UK Ltd or as UK citizens.

    Just my thoughts?

    Otherwise, we will live in a world of double-standards, that have no integrity and, even worse, no credibility.

    Last week, I sat in a UK airport departure lounge listening to some of best jokes by holiday-makers that I have heard for ages. But being quite foul-mouthed and in public, they struck me as being completely inappropriate.

    All it needed was the right time, the right place, and the right people? And not just at work, nor at home, nor at play.

    Sensitivity to others and appropriateness seems to me paramount – and in full support of individuality – let the former be our watchword?


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Annie Hayes


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