I once worked with a crew that, to put it mildly, had dirty mouths. However, we had worked together for years and we knew what we could and couldn’t get away with. One of us would say something improper and someone else would inevitably shout: HR Nightmare!
We’ve already talked about what an employer can’t ask during a job interview. However, the interview is just the first step. As an employer, you also have to recognize boundaries once that person is a part of your team. Employees, too, must recognize what is appropriate to say to an employer.
As the employer, you know that you shouldn’t comment on an employee’s personal appearance. Unless the employee is breaking a dress-code rule, any mention of appearance is generally frowned upon. You might have the best of intentions, but your compliment might be misconstrued as flirting. The same rules apply as an employee. Although you might think it’s funny to make your boss blush by talking about how that sweater makes s/he look sexy, you could be making that person incredibly uncomfortable. Basically, unless someone has broccoli stuck in their teeth, don’t mention anything regarding physicality.
Another thing to avoid talking about is the wild time you had last night. Your boss does not want to know who you took home and what happened later. You might be very proud of yourself – and good for you! – but, I promise you, the person you’re relating this information to is cringing. This is not your friend or your diary. In these sensitive times, you should be aware that you are opening yourself to a lawsuit by graphically describing your exploits.
Finally, know your audience. If you’ve worked beside someone for 15 years, fell into each other’s arms at the company Christmas party and sympathetically cried over each other’s divorces, you can probably get away with a dirty joke or two. Chances are, this didn’t happen with most of the people you’re working with. Until, and unless, you really get to know your workmates, keep things on the emotional and verbal level of a soft drink.
Bourke Accounting associates are not saints (I’ve heard some of Bill’s jokes). However, Bourke Accounting associates are professionals. If you come to see one of our experts and happen to drop a 4-letter word, no one will give you the evil eye. Our Bourke Accounting professionals can accommodate you. Whether you are someone who swears with every breath or more along the “Gee, Whillikers” variety, our Bourke Accounting specialists will make you feel completely at ease while they address all of your bookkeeping, taxation and payroll needs.
Written by Sue H.