RE: OT: Profanity in the workplace

Subject: RE: OT: Profanity in the workplace
From: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>
To: "John Posada" <jposada99 -at- gmail -dot- com>, "voxwoman" <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 11:02:29 -0800

John gives excellent advice about handling a difficult situation in the
workplace, and I totally disagree with his characterization of profanity
and vulgarity in the workplace and the psychology of meetings. People
are rational animals, and words don't just pop out in the "heat of the
moment." People with cognitive impairments notwithstanding, people
choose what to say. Similarly, productive discussions don't just happen,
they are controlled and driven forward by like minded participants who
respect each other. If one were really concerned about moving a
discussion forward, I think conventional wisdom would suggest that they
do their utmost to not flagrantly offend others. When it comes to being
able to behave decorously, avoiding vulgarity is low hanging fruit.

It's widely accepted that when a writer fails to communicate to his
readers, the onus of the failure falls entirely on his shoulders.
Similarly, when a speaker in a meeting offends one of his listeners--by
using a phrase that is universally acknowledged to be profane or
vulgar--the onus is on him, not the person who is offended. And if that
same speaker can't handle the tangent that he himself inspired, the
fault for that also is entirely on him.

Leonard



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+leonard -dot- porrello=soleratec -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- c
om] On Behalf Of John Posada
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:26 AM
To: voxwoman
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace

> But I worked as the lone female engineer in an R&D lab for a long
time, and
> cursing is par for the course when you've been debugging hardware for
10
> hours straight and stuff blows up or doesn't work.

I think this is toward the core of why I have a problem with those who
"hijack" a conversation to state their indignation about a word they
object to.

It immediatly changes the direction and tone of the conversation from
the subject at hand to the new subject.

You can be rolling along, making progress on a topic, have everyone in
the mind-space and clicking along, and in the heat of the momemt,
someone utters the word "XXXX" (whatever).

Don't say anything and everyone stays on the subject. Take the
"initiative" to expres how you feel about that word (like you are the
word-police to begin with) and BAM! there goes the train of thought.

If you object to something someone said, after the meeting, approach
them in private and explain your position. If they have a problem with
what you are discussing, escalate it. All you did at the moment it
happened is put them on the defensive and state that you feel yourself
as morally superiior.


--
John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
NYMetro STC President
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References:
RE: OT: Profanity in the workplace: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace: From: Chris Morton
Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace: From: Wade Courtney
Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace: From: voxwoman
Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace: From: John Posada

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