Manager "apologizes" for swearing?

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Devil Ledbetter

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My new job is at a company that is male dominated in a male oriented industry. At meetings, some of the guys swear. It's not directed at anyone or abusive, but simply used as a (perhaps crude) way to emphasize a point.

Although I behave like quite the lady at work and never swear when there, swearing doesn't bother me at all. I'm quite capable of painting my own colorful blue streaks when I feel like it, though I like myself more when I don't.

Here's what is starting to bother me, though. My manager, a nice guy about 12 years younger than I am, apologizes to me in advance before he drops a swearword at a meeting. So he'll be saying something, then pause, look at me and say "I really hope Devil will pardon me for this, but" then turn back to the others and say "but I think it's bullshit if bla bla bla."

I hate this. I know he thinks he's being polite, but really, in the time he's taking to beg my pardon, he could think of a more clever adjective than "bullshit." But that doesn't bother me nearly as much as the way his stopping to single me out for a preemptive apology serves to point out to everyone in the room that I'm the only female there, and "different" and perhaps considered easily offended and delicate. Which is simply, uh, bullshit.

So, should I address this with him privately, or should I wait until apologizes in advance at another meeting, then sweetly reply, "it's fine, Mr. Manager sir. Really, I don't give a shit if you swear. It doesn't bother me one fucking little bit."
 

Siddow

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Me, I would probably go all southern-belle on him..."Why, Mista Manager! I do declare, I have nevah heard such utter filth in all my life! Pardon me, fellas, while I go wash my virgin ears with holy water." And then prance out of the room.
 

Mandy-Jane

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Definitely the second answer. That'll stop him once and for all.

I hate the way some men treat women as though they're delicate little flowers. I mean, really!
 

JoNightshade

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It may not necessarily be a gender issue (although you're the one there, not me, so I'll defer to you). You mentioned you never swear at work, while most of the other guys do. I am always the "non-swearing" person in my friend and work groups, often predominantly female, and people are always apologizing to me for swearing. People pick up on the fact that I'm not foul-mouthed and it makes them feel self-conscious for doing it themselves. Although apparently not self-conscious enough to stop. I don't really care either, and if they're friends I tell them so. But still, people have this reaction like I'm cataloguing all of their tresspasses and reporting them somewhere. ;)
 

Devil Ledbetter

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That's a good point Jo. But a couple of the guys never swear, and he's not apologizing to them. Just me.

My mother never swears, ever. My dad's fairly liberal with the swearing (I'm sure that's where I get it from, in fact, some of my favorites I learned from him, but I'll not repeat them here as I wouldn't want to offend anyone). Well, he was going a little overboard for a while, and one day she got fed up with it and said, in a very gentle tone, "Honey, would you do me a favor and go in the fucking pantry and get the fucking plates out of the fucking cupboard and put them on the fucking table so I can serve us our fucking tuna sandwiches? Please?"

My dad nearly fainted. And he was a lot more circumspect about swearing around her after that, because he really hated to hear that mess coming out of her normally ladylike mouth.
 

Williebee

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It's passive aggressive crapola.
Although I like Siddow's answer better, because it would just be more fun, I think the answer is to let him know in private. You don't dress down your boss in a crowd, not even a crowd of strangers. It will come back to bite you.
 

Perks

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should I wait until apologizes in advance at another meeting, then sweetly reply, "it's fine, Mr. Manager sir. Really, I don't give a shit if you swear. It doesn't bother me one fucking little bit."
Absolutely, 100% do this. I double dog dare you to just because it'll be so awesome and the guys will get such a laugh out of it and all your troubles in that vein will evaporate.
 

Hillary

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Option two. I'd make it shorter, though. A simple "Why the fuck do you do that?" With extreme emphasis on "fuck" and the second "do."
 

Devil Ledbetter

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Absolutely, 100% do this. I double dog dare you to just because it'll be so awesome and the guys will get such a laugh out of it and all your troubles in that vein will evaporate.
I'm sure they would laugh. They all know me pretty well, as I worked there for many years a long time ago, and the place has almost no turnover. My young manager is the new guy there, he started just last summer.

But Williebee is probably right, that it will come back to haunt me some other way if he feels I've humiliated him in front of all the old guys.

He also does the "pardon me" bit before swearing when he's speaking to me privately. I've told him it doesn't bother me, yet he persists in making these silly pronouncements. I don't know if he thinks he's being gentlemanly or what. If he's really concerned about that, he should just refrain from swearing in front of women. Apologizing before doing it doesn't really cut it, in my opinion.
 

DWSTXS

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Absolutely, 100% do this. I double dog dare you to just because it'll be so awesome and the guys will get such a laugh out of it and all your troubles in that vein will evaporate.


I agree with this. Go for it. It will probably move you up the ranks in his opinion of you, too. Not that you need it.
 

Silver King

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Once you're there a while longer, you'll be one of the "guys," and I doubt they'll defer to your presumed sensibilities. It sounds like they're trying to take your feelings into account, which isn't such a bad thing. But I agree it would appear demeaning, as if you aren't capable of handling their comments without first being warned of the impending phrases.

Keep in mind that if you decide to pull the manager aside to voice your displeasure, which you probably should, he'll forward your comments to the rest of the crew almost immediately. This could work to your advantage, or it might not.

Maybe the best approach would be to wait until it happens again, and before he has a chance to finish the sentence, say, "You know, I'm really not bothered by the language at all. Please don't worry about it. I hear it and say it away from work all the time."

I'm a BIG fan of cursing, as it can be an effective tool for communication when used within reason. If you swear too much, though, it takes the punch out of your message.
 

Perks

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But Williebee is probably right, that it will come back to haunt me some other way if he feels I've humiliated him in front of all the old guys.
He'd have to be a humorless lump to feel humiliated, but you can't go guns blazing in a small room - ricochet, dontcha know.
 

Sonneillon

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I swear like a sailor. But before people know that, they often apologize to me in advance for swearing. I think it's because I'm tiny and I have a cute face and most people assume I have a cute personality to match. *sweatdrop*
 

choppersmom

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I swear like a sailor. But before people know that, they often apologize to me in advance for swearing. I think it's because I'm tiny and I have a cute face and most people assume I have a cute personality to match. *sweatdrop*

I'm right there with ya. My assistant and I (another woman) are always saying things to each other like "You wouldn't say that with my *male chicken* in your mouth." We're disgusting, really, but we don't do it front of the bosses or the older ladies we work with.
 

Eskimo1990

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I hate when people do that. Most people don't think I swear. Even though it's the complete opposite. Half the time I can't STOP swearing, seriously. But yet people are always shocked when I swear....
 

benbradley

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My new job is at a company that is male dominated in a male oriented industry. At meetings, some of the guys swear. It's not directed at anyone or abusive, but simply used as a (perhaps crude) way to emphasize a point.

Although I behave like quite the lady at work and never swear when there, swearing doesn't bother me at all. I'm quite capable of painting my own colorful blue streaks when I feel like it, though I like myself more when I don't.

Here's what is starting to bother me, though. My manager, a nice guy about 12 years younger than I am, apologizes to me in advance before he drops a swearword at a meeting. So he'll be saying something, then pause, look at me and say "I really hope Devil will pardon me for this, but...
Perhaps not suggested, but I have the idea of interrupting him right there to say "No, the devil won't forgive you, first he'll take your soul then he'll <bleep> you in the <bleep>." Fill in the bleeps with the "appropriate" choice words of your choice.

Or, "Mind if I drop the F bomb? Here, pull my finger..."

Sorry, no, I have no serious suggestions as of what to do.

Well, maybe..."you know, last night I was reading something on the Internet, it was from a woman whose boss apologizes to her before swearing..."
 

Sonneillon

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I'm right there with ya. My assistant and I (another woman) are always saying things to each other like "You wouldn't say that with my *male chicken* in your mouth." We're disgusting, really, but we don't do it front of the bosses or the older ladies we work with.

Not precisely on topic, but have you noticed how much men freak out when women make a *male chicken* reference? Like you know how in some areas you can show how unimpressed you are at something by rolling your eyes while making a jerking-off motion with your hand? I did that once, and every guy present nearly had a heart-attack. Also, I've discovered there is no faster way to shut a man up than if a girl tells him to suck her *male chicken*. Their jaws just drop and hang.

It's amusing, but sort of curious.
 

Unique

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devil Ledbetter should I wait until apologizes in advance at another meeting, then sweetly reply, "it's fine, Mr. Manager sir. Really, I don't give a shit if you swear. It doesn't bother me one fucking little bit."


Absolutely, 100% do this. I double dog dare you to just because it'll be so awesome and the guys will get such a laugh out of it and all your troubles in that vein will evaporate.

This is why we love Perks - pricelss advice. :)

Not precisely on topic, but have you noticed how much men freak out when women make a *male chicken* reference? It's amusing, but sort of curious.

I find it amusing :D- but then, I am easily amused. You know - because life is simple when you're simple.
 

James81

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Definitely the second answer. That'll stop him once and for all.

I hate the way some men treat women as though they're delicate little flowers. I mean, really!

I mean, heaven FORBID people show you some common courtesy. lol
 

choppersmom

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Not precisely on topic, but have you noticed how much men freak out when women make a *male chicken* reference? Like you know how in some areas you can show how unimpressed you are at something by rolling your eyes while making a jerking-off motion with your hand? I did that once, and every guy present nearly had a heart-attack. Also, I've discovered there is no faster way to shut a man up than if a girl tells him to suck her *male chicken*. Their jaws just drop and hang.

It's amusing, but sort of curious.

I LOVE when I get those reactions! Men are so shocked when they discover that women have the same grasp of the crudities of the language as they do. I think it intimidates them to a degree. They suddenly realize, hey, she ain't no delicate flower, maybe she's as smart as me too!!
 

Elaine Margarett

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Sigh, I work with the military...Army, Marines and Air Force. It's terrible how that language soaks in and permeates your own vocabulary. Once a year we have a required film military and civillians have to see regarding among other things the use of offensive language. A total waste of time. Everyone from the Commander all the way down the chain swears constantly. I'll swear at work, but I try really hard not to do it at home.

Once when my son was three he asked me in his sweet little boy voice if it was time to, "feed the f*****g dogs?" I realized then I needed to clean up my language, quick!

I'm with Perks; let your boss see you can give as good as you take. He'll realize his *cute* little asides to you are unnecessary.

WTF...
EM
 

StoryG27

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I think you should ask him why he bothers apologizing if he's gonna do it anyway. Though, if it were me, I might just go with your little comeback in your first post, just because it would make me laugh for weeks afterward.

My hubby has work language and home language. Most of you know, he's a soldier, so his work language is not pretty and it occasionally slips in to home language. When the kids and I are with him at a fellow soldier's bbq or some Army event, we are bombarded with curse words (not from hubby, he uses home language at those things) and the constant cursing is offensive. I just tell my kids that people who cuss aren't smart enough to think of real words to get their point across. I have to admit, my bad words are damn and, if I get hurt or surprised, I'll throw in the occasional "shit." I use those, but that's about it and I don't use them that often (well, damn comes up about once a day). Don't get me wrong, cuss words have their place, but if used in excess, they lose their punch and just sound yucky, IMO.

My other bad words: fudge, fruitcake, mommy (often replaces the "s" word when I stub my toe or get a paper cut), and flapjacks. I know, I should go wash my mouth out with soap, but since I only typed them, I'll just wash my fingers. :D
 

Julie Worth

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My suggestion is to take up swearing during these meetings, making a point of apologizing to your manager in advance.
 

choppersmom

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I think you should ask him why he bothers apologizing if he's gonna do it anyway. Though, if it were me, I might just go with your little comeback in your first post, just because it would make me laugh for weeks afterward.

My hubby has work language and home language. Most of you know, he's a soldier, so his work language is not pretty and it occasionally slips in to home language. When the kids and I are with him at a fellow soldier's bbq or some Army event, we are bombarded with curse words (not from hubby, he uses home language at those things) and the constant cursing is offensive. I just tell my kids that people who cuss aren't smart enough to think of real words to get their point across. I have to admit, my bad words are damn and, if I get hurt or surprised, I'll throw in the occasional "shit." I use those, but that's about it and I don't use them that often (well, damn comes up about once a day). Don't get me wrong, cuss words have their place, but if used in excess, they lose their punch and just sound yucky, IMO.

My other bad words: fudge, fruitcake, mommy (often replaces the "s" word when I stub my toe or get a paper cut), and flapjacks. I know, I should go wash my mouth out with soap, but since I only typed them, I'll just wash my fingers. :D

LOL! Flapjacks - can I borrow that one? I do need to clean up a little, and who doesn't love flapjacks?
 

EriRae

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So, should I address this with him privately, or should I wait until apologizes in advance at another meeting, then sweetly reply, "it's fine, Mr. Manager sir. Really, I don't give a shit if you swear. It doesn't bother me one fucking little bit."



I would pull him aside in private, and THEN go for the balls in front of the whole board meeting if he addresses you in advance again. Dumbass. Then you know he's just a poser, and not truly trying to tiptoe around your delicate sensibilities.
 

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