Swearing in business: what’s the f*cking problem?

Not this old chestnut again Sarah! Yes, I know, but I don’t feel I’ve fully exorcised this demon. As Father Merrin stands by my bedside shouting “the blood of christ compels you!” I vomit this – I too, am getting tired of talking about it.

This subject follows me wherever I go, like a spirit possession I just can’t shake off

Censorship

I was booted off LinkedIn because of it, “it goes against our policy agreement Sarah.” As does nuance and sarcasm. White, upper-middle-class rapists get treated better (and why should a “promising future” be ruined by non-consensual sex with an unconscious student? Brock Turner, you piece of shit).

While incels spout their lady hate, racists become emboldened by our current political climate, It’s odd that I’m gaining a reputation as a controversial figure. All because of swearing. Which frankly baffles me. Naughty words are part of my vernacular, sure, but I do use other words. And no Karen, I don’t think about how it might offend people because I honestly don’t give swearing that much thought.

SWEARING DOESN’T DEFINE ME!

I throw a few swears in my blog and online because that is me and for no other reason. But when my business life starts to become affected by the offended, I start to question what the hell is going on.

Just stop swearing, Sarah

No, I bloody won’t!

And please don’t tell me it displays a limited vocabulary, a phrase much used by people with a limited vocabulary. Sadly social platforms like Linkedin are cracking down on profanity. Our so-called progressive society is becoming increasingly prudish and puritanical – our very civil liberties are at stake! Yeah, I dunno if they are. I have a thing for the dramatic.

LinkedIn is confusing hate speech and online abuse with being British

These huge corporations that rule our online world – actually, our lives all seem to be headed by a group of Sunday school teachers. They are also American, who even now, still don’t allow swearing on late-night TV. The Brits show love for one another by trading insults. But often the way we are is lost on everyone else and these social media giants haven’t built that into their algorithm.

Be professional

This archaic view of what is expected in business is bollocks. Social media knows so much about us, how we interact in all settings, business trends, marketing parlance, it’s down with all the personal brand stuff (and other shit I hate but have to know about). They are manipulating our brains so they make more money, swearing is hardly pushing the fucking envelope of acceptable behaviour.

You decide

I think, as adults, we are capable of choosing what content we like to engage with. It’s the same when we choose what food to eat or who we decide to work with. If you don’t like swearing, especially from a woman, then I’d rather you know now before we hop on a Zoom call. I like to filter out the misogynists before I embark on any kind of relationship.

Let’s move on

Can we? Because I’d really like that. How nice would it be to banish this notion of not being professional because some of us get a little sweary from time to time? Can we also stop asking “are tattoos acceptable in the office?”. We are not living in the 1900s. Gone are the days when only convicts and sailors were inked up.

When you choose to part with your cash, and work with me, or some other person, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they any good at their job?
  • Do I like them?
  • Will we have, a bit of a laugh?

You might be thinking about other things too, like integrity and trust, but for me, that’s all part of the “are they any good at their job” bit. And if you really can’t handle any swearing I suggest you see someone about that.

If it’s good enough for Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed, it’s certainly good enough for me.

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