Wired PR Works by Barbara Rozgonyi

Real-izing Your Virtual Identity

In the Mood for a T_ r _? | Potty Mouth PR

Posted by barbararozgonyi on April 19, 2007

Apologies for the PG-13 language in this post, but it’s all true . . .

Last year about this time, my husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. But it wasn’t a romantic occassion. He was hit with a flu that sliced our getaway down to one day. To make up for it, we decided to get away again – one year later.

With three kids to be cared for while we’re gone, we searched for a romantic retreat close by. When I found a charming, established hotel in Lincoln Park with affordable rates, a spa on site and a French Bistro, I thought I’d found nirvana.

That was before I talked to the reservationist. . .

Our preliminary conversation was cordial and friendly. How weird can it be when you’re asking for open dates? Leave it to a pesky computer to set off a string of well, not quite expletives, but a potty mouth exchange that shocked me.

Now, I’m not a prude, but when I call a higher end establishment, I expect a classy representative to guide me in my quest with a conversation that stays on a professional level. That wasn’t the case with this call.

“My computer’s being a t _ _ _ _,” the perky reservationist explained when it was taking too long [in her estimation, not mine] for reservation results. I let that one go, only to be hit with, “My computer is such a t_ rd,” a few minutes later when I asked her to locate a referral hotel since her property was booked for the night.

Calling reservationists and asking questions gives me a feel for what I can expect when I get there. Even if rooms were available on our requested dates, “the tu_d” language would have colored my experience for not a romantic occassion, but a perfunctory flush.

But it’s not just this reservationist who’s a potty mouth. Once one of my guest speakers insistented on talking about sex as a stress releiver, which was a mild surprise at first and built up to a major annoyance at the third mention.

During a live presentation, a member of the audience used colorful language more than once making the rest of audience squirm.

Assuming that professionals won’t use offensive language doesn’t insure that they won’t. Our speaker agreements require a sign off signature on many points, including a clause that says they agree to refrain from using expletives or other language that might be considered offensive. I like a clean show. Saves on editing time and on-air surprises.

I am not a prude, but I am a professional. Being a potty mouth is being lazy. Use creative, not colorful, language.

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