Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace

Subject: Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace
From: cewinch -at- aep -dot- com
To: dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 14:04:27 -0500

Deborah: Well said...thank you. Having said that, I'll also add that, even
from the standpoint of faith, I see another side of this. (While I was
writing the following, another list member touched on some of it....)

Whether I'm offended by the use in vain of those names I believe to
represent diety...depends on the meaning of "offended." There are at least
2 meanings of the transitive sense of "offend": "to cause pain to" and "to
cause to feel vexation or resentment usually by violation of what is
proper or fitting"--as defined on m-w.com. Does hearing the
casual/incensed use of God's name cause me pain? Sure. Since I'm a person
of faith, that's to be expected. And, as we have well established, it's
not unreasonable to expect others to show me the same respect I strive to
show them--in this arena as in all others.

Does--or should--it cause me to feel resentment? Should it "cause" me to
express that resentment? Well that seems a bit much to me. I look at it
like this: The truth of what I believe in stands on its own; it remains,
regardless of how anyone acts or speaks. But if I get all bent out of
shape over profanity by someone who, through exercising their God-given
free will, does not share my religious beliefs...I risk subjecting that
faith to possibly even greater criticism. *Maybe* holding back my "Tsk,
I"m so *offended*!" thought and then showing that person unwavering
respect would serve as a more effective example of what my faith is truly
about. I'm reminded of the following quote (source indeterminate): "In
essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity."

OK, that's as religious as I'll get on list. =)


Thanks?
Connie
Connie Winch
Technical Communicator
American Electric Power, Transmission Line Standards
cewinch -at- aep -dot- com




Deborah Hemstreet <dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com>
Sent by: techwr-l-bounces+cewinch=aep -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
03/04/2010 12:23 PM
Please respond to
dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com


To
Kat Kuvinka <katkuvinka -at- hotmail -dot- com>
cc
techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject
Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace






I followed this discussion with interest.

I'm not so sure this is totally off-topic. How should we as
PROFESSIONALS behave in the workplace? I think this is the question.
What should our language be in the workplace when we relate to our peers?

When I worked in Israel, I was stunned by how many people used F, GD,
and JC as a regular part of their language. I learned that there are no
cuss words in Hebrew per se. Since this is a "Holy" language, all the
bad stuff was reserved for connotations in Hebrew, or blunt words taken
from Arabic, English, and more recently, Russian.

As an extremely unusual Jewish person in the workplace, I found things
like JC and GD extremely offensive. I did NOT make it a point to tell
people this in front of others. However, if someone was in my office and
said "JC" I would respond, "is Lord", and then continue with the
discussion. If they said, "GD" I said "No thank you," and continued. And
all other language, I would say, "Do is use this language when speaking
with you?" They would answer "No" and I would respond, "Then please
don't use it with me."

My colleagues treated me with the utmost of respect for my stand on
these issues. Sometimes we got into discussions about my faith, but no
one laughed at me.

When I returned to the US, I was astounded to discover that this same
approach is considered unacceptable. Fortunately, I have not had many
colleagues who talk this way... and these days, contracting from home,
its a moot point. I think it comes down to respect. I am not going to
try to educate my plummer in proper speech. I am not going to tell
others that I think they are making poor choices in their style of
communication. However, I see nothing wrong, in a professional setting
for setting a standard and living by it.

As for those studies that say everyone feels better and is more
comfortable when they cuss and swear at work. Just because they do does
not make it right.

I am stunned that here in the US, I cannot speak out against Islam, but
everyone can mock and scorn Christianity. I am stunned that people feel
comfortable to say and laugh at JC and GD - but they will not say a word
against the Koran or Shaira law (maybe spelled wrong but you get the
idea). As professional technical communicators, whose job it is to
COMMUNICATE, I am stunned that all of us are not more offended by the
double standard in communication presented by political correctness.

Kat was offended by GD. I completely understand her reaction. The people
listening, had they been more professional would have realized that this
kind of language can stay in the locker room, and has no place in design
reviews, code reviews, or business meetings. Asking for people to not
use this language is not asking them to compromise on a religious or
moral standard. It is asking for the same respect towards us, that they
ask us to give them. How can I prove this? No one has ever demanded that
anyone cuss or swear in order to get a good job done. Its not part of
the job description!

Well, those are my thoughts on the issue.

Deborah
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Re: OT: Profanity in the workplace: From: Deborah Hemstreet

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