I will answer Rex Huppke’s question, “Gosh darn it, why the heck should offices ban profanity?” in the Jan. 22 Herald.
My answer is this: Profanity in the workplace is a form of bullying. Vulgar language tends to suppress participation and promote exclusion, a stupid waste of valuable human resources. Furthermore, dignified behavior begets respect which pays dividends for all concerned. Bullying is juvenile and should not be tolerated in the workplace or the playground.
Workplace bullying, of course, goes beyond coarse language. It includes perpetrating or tolerating sexual harassment or coercion, targeting solid employees for demotion or denial of fair and equitable salary treatment for reasons having nothing to do with performance, and other low uses of power.
Ironically, the bully sometimes becomes the victim of his/her own practices. I won’t elaborate, out of respect for the dead (co-worker’s actual suicide) and indifference toward the deservedly demoted (co-worker’s political suicide) among others.
Priscilla “Penny” White