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Dawn Rosenberg McKay

Cursing at Work

By July 26, 2012

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Do you drop the f-bomb at work? You're in good ... well, let's just say you have a lot of company. About half of all respondents who participated in a Careerbuilder.com survey reported that they swear at work. If you live in Washington, DC, Denver or Chicago, the number of people who use bad language at work may not surprise you. The survey found these cities to be among the top of the heap when it comes to people swearing at work.

If you let a curse word slip out occasionally, you're probably okay, but if you frequently use foul language at work it could get you into trouble with your employer. It might even keep you from climbing the corporate ladder. According to the survey 64% of employers report that "they'd think less of an employee who repeatedly uses curse words." Don't care what your boss thinks of you? Would you care more if it meant you wouldn't get promoted? Fifty-seven percent of employers say they'd be "less likely to promote someone who swears in the office."

You won't be surprised, I'm sure, to find out there's a double standard here. While many bosses don't like workers who curse, 25% report that they do it themselves. And they don't just curse in general. They say they swear at their employees! Employees, in turn—28% of them—swear at co-workers.

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