Watch Your F***in Language

Those who know me know that I tend to have a potty mouth – just ask Mrs. CV or my Mom. While my kids often giggle at it and my friends seemingly have little to no issue with it, I do recognize that there is a time and a place for this language. For example, on radio and television you can’t say many words that our society has deemed inappropriate. Although you can *bleep* them out, which saves our poor children from actually hearing the phrase “Mother *bleep*ers”, despite the fact that we all know exactly what word was hidden behind the *bleep*.

In the corporate world, many words and phrases are also deemed inappropriate. For example, publicly stating that your corporate strategy is a cluster fuck wouldn’t be prudent – even if it’s wholly accurate.

Me, oh I’ve been known to drop the F-Bomb all too often. Hell Sorry, heck it’s a great word!

I even once as a kid asked my Mom for permission to swear! Yes, I did…she said ok…I dropped an F-Bomb, appropriately used I might add, and she went ballistic. Yet, I proudly yelled, “but I asked first and you said YES!” – as she chased me with a wooden spoon.

And, while I have no issue with swearing, even I believe there are some things you should not say in the office environment.  

Let’s take a look at some of the things I think should be off limits in the office. To me, these fall into two categories – sales speak and acting your age.

Sales speak
Look, I recognize everyone is selling something. You may be selling a product, an idea, your company, or yourself (no I don’t mean hookers). But, please dear god, can we lay off the traditional traveling salesman sales speak?

Leading off a conversation with, “Hey buddy” is never acceptable.
I have a buddy. He and I have built a relationship over many years. Our relationship is personal. We went to school together. Our wives are friends. Our kids hang out. I’ve gotten drunk with him and we have pictures of our parties with friends that we swore we would never show outside of the group, but we often will bring out with each other and laugh. I trust him with my family.

He’s my buddy.
You are not.
Don’t call me buddy.


“I have a killer deal for you.”
“This product will knock your socks off.”
“We’ve only got this for a limited time and I want you to have first dibs on it.”

Folks, if it’s ever been uttered on a local TV station after the hours of 11:30 pm OR if it’s shown on an ESPN2 commercial during their 73rd airing of The World’s Strongest Man episode from 1982 at 4 am don’t use it with me or anyone else for that matter.

Believe it or not, but each of those lines comes from a voice message I received within the past couple of weeks.
And, people wonder why I never answer the phone.

When it comes to sales speak please don’t force the corporate Kool-Aid down my throat. Give it to me straight. Tell it like it is. Don’t sugar coat it. Yeah, that’s business jargon, but seriously…just speak to me in plain old English.

Acting your age
In theory, all of us in corporateland are adults. Oh sure plenty of my coworkers act like children (yeah I’m looking at you Cubicle George and WikiWally just to name two), but at least from an actual age perspective we’re all over 18 and that is government manufactured age for adulthood – you can vote, go to war, and drink…errr…well not “technically” in the U.S. But, c’mon folks when talking with customers or coworkers don’t speak like a 14 year old schoolgirl.

I know that abbreviations are very popular. People of all ages use LOL, OMG, WTF all the time in communicating with others. However, they are almost always used in forms of personal communications and usually in discussions via text with friends, over IM, in emails, etc. But, they should never actually be spoken in the office.

Recently, I overheard one coworker talking to another (once again I forgot my headphones…F**K! See THAT’S a good use of the word).

CW1 says to CW2, “…WTF was she thinking?”

Ok seriously? Not saying the actual words and instead using the acronym is unacceptable.
Next time say, “What the fuck (or what the hell if you prefer) was she thinking?”

A couple weeks ago, I heard another CW say, “…LOL…that’s funny.”

First off, why use LOL at all? Just saying “that’s funny” is enough. OR, how about actually laughing out loud…I don’t mean saying it…I mean laughing loudly so everyone can hear you.

By using these acronyms in actual speech you sound like the 2012 equivalent of a Valley Girl.

Nicolas Cage was so cool in this film. What happened to you Nic?

It’s really common sense people. Don’t bull shit us with sales jargon. Don’t talk to your coworkers like you would talk to your friends in the back seat of Mom’s car when you were 14 and she was driving you to the Mall on a Friday night.

Just speak English dammit!

P.S. There is a time and place for a good F-bomb. Even at work, especially when describing some form the cluster fuckery that typically happens around the cubes, but as any live performer will tell you – know your audience.


About CubicleViews

Observations, thoughts & random bitching about cube life, food, beer, wine, whiskey and sometimes politics. Living the dream in a 6×8 doorless polyester walled cell.
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8 Responses to Watch Your F***in Language

  1. I agree completely, I work with a young girl that says tru dat and A’ight, ALL THE TIME. She is 23 and very very white. I cringes everytime I hear it. But she thinks it makes her look “cool”. There is never a place in the office for tru dat….ever.

    • CubicleViews says:

      Language and dress should always represent the environment you are in. If you work at Spencer’s in the mall go for it. Talk like that. Dress like a pimped up teen.

      Dress/speak the part.

  2. As a born and raised San Fernando Valley girl, I will admit to having used the words, “like omigawd totally” in close proximity to one another. And then I grew up.

    Ok fine. Then I decided to pretend to be a grown up. Part of that is coopting the professional demeanor required in an office.

    My valley girl persona remains back in my childhood years and “This project is a bit more intricate than originally discussed” means “OMG. This is a complete and total cluster.” and that is when you will hear me laughing – out loud – to myself.

    • CubicleViews says:

      Pretending to be a grown up is best! But, like a good actor you need to immerse yourself in the role. You don’t see Matt Damon when playing Jason Bourne all the sudden break into a rendition of Evita do you?

  3. mamanic24 says:

    I couldn’t agree more — one word recently has brought on violent venting with my friends. I had a guy I’ve never met before repeatedly refer to women as “babe” or “babes”. For example, he told me “If I were to choose a religion I’d be a Mormon because they have hot babes.”

    Look, don’t get me wrong. I use “babe” a lot in reference to friends and pretty much my entire soccer team. But I’ve been on my team for 2.5 years, I’ve punched people in the balls for them….we’ve developed the kind of relationship where I can call each and every one “babe.” But this guy, didn’t know him and with each “babe” that came out of his mouth, the more I wanted to slap him.

    And yes, I fully support the role “cluster fuck” has in the office — I use it in legal terms to explain the messes that are my cases quite often. “This case has a lot of moving parts and is highly complicated” or in layman terms, it’s a cluster fuck of a case.

    • CubicleViews says:

      Hey don’t get me wrong I like a hot babe…errr beautiful woman just as much as the next guy (and some girls too…not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I agree with your assessment of using the term “babe” and as I said earlier…it’s all about the situation. On your team, that’s cool. In the office, not cool.

      I think you have your answer already – as I mentioned here: there’s nothing like a good humiliating kick in the crotch to end it.

      Plus people will laugh as for some reason kicks to the groinal region create laughter among all. Well except for the recipient.

  4. David Kaa says:

    I find furniture tossing combined with the F-word is most effective in making your point. And getting you fired.

  5. Pingback: The Weekly TPS Report – April 20 | The Cubicle Views

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