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to be appalled at the foul language in my new workplace

(20 Posts)
Malificence Tue 16-Nov-10 11:43:06

or at least , in one part of it?

I started a new p/t admin job a couple of weeks ago, it's an IT place with a call centre / offices and warehouse, it's exactly what I was after, Mon-Fri, practically start and finish when I want as long as I do my 16 hours, so far so good.

I've been shocked by the language of the men in the call centre, they never stop swearing, they range in age between 20-35 and they even swear when on the phone to clients, which in my view is utterly unacceptable and unprofessional.
Thankfully I only flit in and out of there, the language in the warehouse is nowhere near as bad and they are much friendlier than the arrogant office boys.
The young men in the seperate customer call office obviously don't communicate in that way either.

Am I naive though? I've worked for local government or in education for 15 years and never heard people use foul language when working/in public.
I just feel it's so disrespectful - our boss is a woman and I'm sure they wouldn't use that language in front of her, so why do they think it's ok in front of me, would they call someone a "fucking arsehole" in front of their mothers? They also have (^fairly^ soft) porn pictures on their screens a lot of the time hmm, they obviously have unmonitored access to the net.

I would like to say something but I don't actually work with them, my DH says I shouldn't have to put up with it though and if one of his staff made a similar complaint he would take it very seriously.

I'd be very ashamed if they were my sons, this morning they were discussing the "pussy" on offer at other companies while I was stood in the kitchen making a drink - I think I'm probably invisible to them, I'm probably the oldest person in the place at 44!

On one hand I feel I should just toughen up and ignore them, on the other I feel like why the hell should I.

TheCoalitionNeedsYou Tue 16-Nov-10 11:53:44

Who are they on the phone too? If it is field engineers, then part of the job is listening to them moan and moan and moan and pretend to sympathise with them in order to keep them on side, so they'll go a bit further when you need them too. Part of building this rapport is echoing their language, which will not feel like public speech to them as they are in their car.

Using language that makes you uncomfortable in front of you is not acceptable.

I think 'fucking arsehole' is not all that out of the ordinary in a non-customer facing role. IME - fuck, shit, bollocks etc ok if used appropriately, cunt not really but likely to be forgiven if used in extremis.

Though I now work with a load of Americans who say gosh, darn and jeepers.

PurpleKate Tue 16-Nov-10 12:28:29

I had this issue in my last job too. I have worked in IT for years and never had a problem until this job. But this particular company had a very laddish and swearing culture (I was the first female developer there), that didn't stop when I joined. I decided that most of the swearing I could put up with but one particular word was an issue for me. So I asked them not to say that one word, and they did stop saying that.

However over time I found that it wasn't the swearing that was the main problem, it was the constant sexual talk that went on all the time. After one particular episode I decided I'd had enough and made it very very clear that their behaviour just wasn't acceptable, and I'd take things further if they didn't stop. And they did change, for the better.

I think that they won't change unless you ask them too, but you will have to be very clear about what you want them to stop doing.

PurpleKate Tue 16-Nov-10 12:32:25

By the way, I'm in my forties too, but it was the guys around 30-35 that were the worst offenders, the younger ones (my son's age) were not so bad.

Onetoomanycornettos Tue 16-Nov-10 12:35:50

I feel like this when I travel on public transport. Apparently saying 'fuck' all the time is perfectly normal for the older teenagers on the train. I am like you, I think it's just outrageous in public, but they don't. I've started to think I'm a bit of a fuddy duddy, but I really wince. They also loudly exclaim over porn shots on their mobile, including one recently with dogs in it. They consider this a perfectly reasonable topic of conversation for the train. I just don't know what you can do, but there definitely is a sea-change in what a lot of (mainly) young men think is acceptable language and behaviour, and I hope to god if I ever have a son, they never think this is ok.

GnocchiGnocchiWhosThere Tue 16-Nov-10 13:01:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Doigthebountyeater Tue 16-Nov-10 13:05:12

I love a good swear myself but am a bit uncomfortable about sexual swear words and nudey pictures in the workplace.

Doigthebountyeater Tue 16-Nov-10 13:05:59

In fact, I'd probably have a quiet word with the manager. That sort of thing can be seen as sexual harrassment nowadays.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Tue 16-Nov-10 13:06:16

I'd complain. It's not a normal part of the workplace, and you shouldn't have to put up with it. It's up to your boss to deal with it - they may have been waiting for someone to complain.

badfairy Tue 16-Nov-10 13:17:10

I think it just depends on the office culture. What is acceptable in one office is totally unacceptable in another. Is it just a culture shock or are you genuinely offended? - because if it is the latter then you need to speak to you manager. The people concerned are probably totally unaware that they are causing offense....to them the way they are behaving is probably the norm, and if no-one tells them any different that is what they will continue to believe.

Malificence Tue 16-Nov-10 14:01:03

I'm quite shocked but I suppose I am also personally offended, I see swearing ( especially in public) as a huge lack of respect for other people in general.
Those men don't know me, I could be deeply religious for all they know - it just makes me wonder if they talk like that in front of their wives/girlfriends/mothers.
One of the older ones called me darlin this morning <shudder>. I don't think there's any hope for them really - they leave the kitchen in a right state and expect the cleaner to wash their dishes, more fool her unfortunately.

Butterbur Tue 16-Nov-10 14:14:37

I used to work in IT, and swearing was commonplace. I used to enjoy the release of a good swear, as we worked under pressure a lot of the time. In fact it was always one of the bonuses of working, as opposed to being a SAHM, as needless to say, I've had to tone down my language since I had kids.

I wouldn't be happy with misogynistic sexual talk though, nor with porn in the workplace.

whatdoiknowanyway Tue 16-Nov-10 14:16:35

Swearing - I understand your concern
Sexual talk- i understand your concern
Being called 'darlin' - quite standard in many areas. Not necessarily derogatory unless you have specifically asked them not to call you that and they ignore your request.

upahill Tue 16-Nov-10 14:21:34

Swearing is normal in my place of work from the Head of Service down.

However we all know there is a time and place. Therefore when Young People are in the building everyone watches what they say and also if someone is on the phone however if it is a mangers meeting it tends to end up being a bit of a free for all!

However certain words are not used eg :

commonly used are fuck ( and all permutations of it), twat, knob
Never used - cunt tit.

TinyPawz Tue 16-Nov-10 14:23:42

my my place of work, it is the women who swear like sailors....myself included.

There are a few "delicate hmm" folks who have mentioned that they don't like that kind of talk and it is toned down in thier presence.

MadamDeathstare Tue 16-Nov-10 14:26:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

upahill Tue 16-Nov-10 14:29:30

MadamDeath Our job isn't remotley stressful - it is in fact rather enjoyable but - fuck goodness me! the language!!

FindingMyMojo Tue 16-Nov-10 14:30:26

very normal here too - but we are a small office, have to deal with lots of nightmares & we all know each other very well. The 'newbie' has been here 7 years

I've heard it all here though to be fair cunt/cunty are only used on rare occasions when someone is mightily pissed off. No one would ever swear AT another staff member or is abusive against others with it - it's more venting & daily style cursing.

Despite the loose lips it is a very respectful place to work - years ago a couple of guys downstairs put up a girlie type calender and drooled over it which I found v sexist etc & I objected to it - it was removed straight away. We treat each other kindly & with care and consideration. Nicest place I ever worked.

FindingMyMojo Tue 16-Nov-10 14:31:13

oh we are VERY professional!

ChippingIn Tue 16-Nov-10 14:39:36

The swearing I wouldn't have any problem with (but if you've seen my language on here that would be somewhat hypocritical!) I wouldn't swear in an office unless that was the culture. I'd rather people work with people that swear than a lot of Oh Golly Gee Wizzers (or those that do neither!).

The screensavers wouldn't bother me.

The talk about the Pussy they've had would though and if it was continual I would probably say something.

The bottom line is that we all have different views and 'cut offs' and I think you should give it a little longer, see what you are happy to 'tolerate' then talk to someone else about the rest if you determine it is bothering you more to hear it, than it will be to put up with the comments behind your back - which are inevitible if you are new and want their office culture changed to suit you.

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