Take That 4-Letter Word and Sub It

Associated Press

James O'Connor, president of the Cuss Control Academy, is bringing his tongue-taming techniques to corporate America.

The Northbrook, Ill.-based organization recently began offering seminars to curb cursing at the office in response to a deluge of complaints from employees about profane colleagues.

"A lot of people say swearing is a problem for them at their work and bring it up with management or human resources, but nothing is done," said O'Connor, founder of the 3-year-old group and author of "Cuss Control."

The classes, which run between $1,500 and $2,500, remind people that swearing damages others and fosters negativity.

To cut down on cursing, students learn to use alternatives to traditional four-letter words and are advised to practice being patient, make their points politely and think before they speak.

Baseball Fever Filling Sick Days

A new survey shows that more than 12% of Americans who follow baseball have faked an illness with their employers to spend a day at the ballpark.

The Maritz Poll of 1,400 randomly selected adults around the United States said 58% pay attention to the major leagues. Of that figure, one in eight, or 12.6%, said they had taken a sick day from work to see a game.

But the same study showed that professional football defeated baseball as Americans' preferred pro sport. Twenty-nine percent named football as their favorite, while 23% chose baseball, followed by basketball (11.6%), golf (4.7%) and hockey (4.3%).

"Employers are probably lucky pro football games are only held on weekends and evenings," said Phil Wiseman, marketing vice president at St. Louis-based Maritz Marketing Research Inc.

Some Recruiters' Interviews Failing

Some campus recruiters seeking new graduates don't make the grade when it comes to interviewing techniques.

A study of 170 graduates-to-be by New York-based Hanigan Consulting Group showed that many of them were subjected to tasteless and even improper questions.

Prospective hires said they fielded such tactless queries as: How many girlfriends do you have? Are you single? What will your boyfriend think of you working long hours? What is your political party affiliation? What are your plans for a family? Guess my nationality?

Interviewers sometimes ask such misguided questions to appear cool and show that they relate to young people, said Maury Hanigan, president of the firm that helps companies with campus recruiting.

The best response?

"Ask if this is a requirement of the job," Hanigan said.

"You don't want to be confrontational. What you want to do is redirect the interviewer back to your qualifications for the job."

Changing Attitude Adds to Workload

Altering your attitudes and behavior for different audiences may land you a key position in an organization, but doing so may hamper your efforts to get ahead in your career.

The problem is that these office chameleons are more apt to see their workloads balloon because their jobs require them to interact with so many different groups, according to research from Penn State's Smeal College of Business Administration.

"It was a mixed blessing," said Martin Kilduff, coauthor of the study.

"They had access to more people and information, but it increased the number of people depending on them. They become bogged down in all sorts of projects."

As a result, these flowery folks may find themselves so busy that they undermine their ability to get their own work done, the study said.

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