F off

I worked in an open plan office alongside my boss who was a lay preacher and pulled me up for swearing. As a senior manager I was not in the habit of colouring my language with swear words but I was sometimes very stressed and venting through expressing a few swear words out loud did make me feel better. I was not swearing at any one just in frustration and annoyance at the situation, a bit like if I hit my thumb with a hammer, only the pain was not self inflicted but usually some decision or statement from above. So I read with interest that a local authority was considering banning the use of abusive and offensive language in public. 
The idea of banning something is classic local authority thinking as if simple making the decision would mean it happens. Who would enforce the ban and how? Wouldn't it just lead to more bad language, more angry exchanges and aggressive confrontations?  
If a local authority did introduce such a ban presumable they would take a dim view of staff swearing. If you can't swear at work, can't smoke at work and can't drink at work and you can no longer send humorous emails to colleagues well what the ***!!!! can you do?


Security level: Public

More Blog Entries

International Women's Day

  The Black Panthers, the Vietnam war, Bob Dylan and the woman's liberation movement,...

Surrey CC played poker and won

  So the government claims no deal was done with Surrey County Council it just...


John Rudkin 4 Years Ago - Edited
Blair, Amusing, but it is an important point. It is not about swearing, but it is about the local authority's attitude to "right" and "wrong". What does an authority see is acceptable? Bad language?; Mild bullying?; Theft of computers?... Where does it start and stop? I never heard a lot of really bad language - in public, but I did hear it quite often, from a few individuals more regularly. I think that this matter is one for individuals, but if the outbursts upset others there has to be give and take... What really mattered to me was the fact that I worked with a senior manager who regularly (in front of staff) bragged about how he manipulated others; it was deeply unsettling. He used language to distort and hide behind; he knew what he was doing was fundamentally wrong, but he persisted to expound his expectation to expect others to accept that and he always said he would 'get away' with what he was doing. He expected others to accept this as the norm, and to risk impacts from the effects that might result. This is worse than any swearing Blair (obviously), but I guess it is a fact of life because he did get away with it. In this case that same senior manager made decisions that manipulated not just people, but also finances detrimentally. The effect on others did eventually have an impact, and although a number of people were aware of the wrongdoing, and was even the subject of an official whistleblowing report (I guess this was the 'official' opportunity to highlight discomfort formally), he seems to have got away with it with the help of his friends. Others lost their jobs. You raise an important point in the brief article, but the dangers of something as simple as ignoring others feelings is very damaging indeed. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/erdf_records_access_to_retained#comment-76419