August 5, 2008

$%!!#&^Pet Peeve ... the Chit-Chat "F" WORD

I am soooo over the profanity everywhere you go… Cursing is so commonplace today that few people truly notice. Especially the F-word!! My husband tells the story of seeing a man cussing on the street when he was a small boy in Bridgeport, CT and how they “hauled the guy away in a paddy wagon” (wow…that ages you Babe) for swearing in public. Now my Jim has been known to exaggerate from time to time, and I often thought the guy was probably disorderly or drunk but the point is, there was a time when swearing was not acceptable.

I am not so sanctimonious to say I don’t swear myself, I do. But remembering back several years I think of a client who came to our office one day. She sat drawing for a couple of hours. It was quiet and a rather peaceful time as she began to reflect back on her childhood. Remembering warm memories of good people left behind, far from the ugliness that brought her into care…it touched a chord in her heart and ours as we silently imagined a past that might lead to a future. A while later, her harried young case manager appeared to collect her, a casemanager at end of her rope, but the child had been tangling from hers for a long time.

The day ended sadly, a confrontation in the small visiting room across from our office, quiet voices of the staff trying to seek the right path, escalating conversation, police, scuffling and metal cuffs banging against the large glass window. But ingrained in my memory is the shouting of 14 yr old, screaming over and over at the top of her lungs “F-you!! F-you!! F-you all!!!!” Screams unleashing all the pain she ever felt…endless, endless pain. They were good words she was using, true words…and they were not ugly enough…surely there were worse words for the occasion?

So when I think about the F word…that’s the day I remember and I think it should be reserved for times like that. Shouldn't you save a bad word for a very bad time? Of course that would make it very subjective...that's okay too. Maybe your bad is nothing compared to my client's but it's your bad time. I will not judge another's pain...but the chit-chat has to stop!
Interestingly there is an actual organization called Cuss Control Academy, they actually get paid ($1500) to come out to your company to give a presentation about the negatives of swearing in the workplace. Even though I probably agree with the principle....that’s a little too much! Today for me, I just want to voice a pet-peeve and that’s the use of the F-word to chit-chat about everything in life, it is really on my nerves and we should upgrade our language skills!!

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