Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Frustrated Swearing

My former client W came to mind when I read this report on how swearing at work boost team spirit and morale. We were a group of six who frequently collocated for several hours everyday in a big conference room. W joined us when she could and swore like a sailor as the drama of the day unfolded. When the team was new, most of us chucked along hesitantly at her colorful language. After a while, she found a comprador in K who speciailized in double entendres.


The stress levels were extremely high and I have to admit because of the two potty-mouths the atmosphere grew much more convivial, we relaxed and at times laughed until our sides hurt. Shit continued to flow downwards, management made absurd decisions that reduced us to a hobbling pace from a bracing spirnt that we had managed to achieve with a great deal difficulty. We all hated Monday mornings with a passion. K constantly dreamt of "calling in rich" after winning the lottery.

The quality of our worklife never improved but our feelings of victimness and slow cooking in a pressure cooker eased a good deal because of W's endless stream of swear words and K's dangerously off color jokes. While it was a great stress buster for the non-participants among us, I am not sure how much it helped either W or K.

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