1997 - Humor at Work
- In the spirit of the holidays, some of our favorites
- Live, Love and Laugh LARGE! - Tips for improving your daily
- Internet Resources for general workplace humor
- Holiday sites for Christmas and Seasonal Humor
- Books to keep you laughing all year long
- Our Scrooge Award
In the spirit of the holiday season, our newsletter for December is devoted to fun at
work. While this season is often one of good friends and good cheer, it can be a very
stressful time for business. To alleviate the stress, we encourage everyone to find time
to laugh a bit more than usual in December. Laughter is good for your health by the way,
which means it is also good for your company. If your management doesn't agree, give them
the Scrooge Award from us.
Play so that you may be serious
. . . . Anacharsis (c. 600 BC)
Have fun. Life is very fragile and success doesn't change that. Anything can change
without warning. That's why I try not to take any of what's happened too seriously.
. . . Donald J. Trump
Work is love made visible.
. . . Kahlil Gibran
Wanting to work is so rare a want that it should be encouraged.
. . . Abraham Lincoln
The taxpayer: that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have
to take a civil service exam.
. . . Ronald Reagan
No nation was ever ruined by trade.
. . . Benjamin Franklin
Life is work, and everything you do is so much more experience.
. . . Henry Ford
To lead the people, walk behind them.
. . . LaoTzu
Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior
. . . John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
The person who builds a factory builds a temple; the person who works there worships
there; and to each is due not scorn and blame, but reverence and praise.
. . . Calvin Coolidge
The employer generally gets the employees they deserve.
. . . Sir Walter Bilbey
A big corporation is more or less blamed for being big; it is only big because it
gives service. If it doesn't give service, it gets small faster than it grew big.
. . . William S. Knudsen
One cannot walk through a massproduction factory and not feel that one is in hell.
. . . W. H. Auden
Never give an order than can't be obeyed.
. . . General Douglas MacArthur
You do not lead by hitting people over the head that's assault, not leadership.
. . . Dwight D. Eisenhower
Keep things informal. Talking is the most natural way to do business. Writing is for
keeping records, but talk generates ideas.
. . . T. Boone Pickens
Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show
themselves to be great.
. . . Ralph Waldo Emerson
Don't be proud of dumb things. It's dumb to be proud of production records rather
than products. It's dumb to be proud of a plant rather than the working conditions of your
employees. It's dumb to flaunt your wealth and then try to tell employees that times are
tough, vacations must be canceled, etc. It's dumb to ask employees to make any sacrifice
you are not willing to make in kind.
. . . Lois Wyse
If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings
and put compensation as a carrier behind it you almost don't have to manage them.
. . . Jack Welch
Love what you're doing. Believe in your product. Select good people.
. . . Debbi Fields
Advice to executive women: Don't try to be one of the boys. Be yourself. Capitalize
on your female strengths and use the psychological tools you have acquired to deal with
male chauvinism as well as to climb the ladder of success.
. . . Dr. Joyce Brothers
Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.
. . . Chinese proverb
The office grapevine is 75% to 95% accurate and provides managers and staff better
information than formal communications . . . tune into it.
. . . Carol Hymowitz
Everything that can be invented has been invented.
. . . Charles H. Duell (Commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents) urging President
William McKinley to abolish his office, 1899
Wellinformed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and
that were it possible to do so, the thing would have no practical value.
. . . Editorial in the Boston Post, commenting on the arrest for fraud of
Joshua Coopersmith (who had been attempting to raise funds for work on a telephone), 1865
I think there is a world market for about five computers.
. . . Thomas J. Watson (Chairman of the Board, International Business Machines), 1943
What the hell is it good for?
. . . Robert Lloyd (engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM),
reacting to colleagues who insisted that the microprocessor was the wave of the future,
There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.
. . . Ken Olson (President of Digital Equipment Corporation), Convention of the World
Future Society, Boston, 1977 (within 5 years, there were over 1 million personal computers
installed in American homes)
NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES - EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Due to increased competition and a keen desire to remain in business, we find it
necessary to institute a new policy.
We are asking that somewhere between starting and quitting time and without infringing
too much on the time usually devoted to lunch period, story telling, ticket selling,
vacation planning, and the rehash of yesterday's TV programs, that each employee find some
time that can be set aside and known as the "work break."
To some this may seem a radical innovation, but we honestly believe the idea has great
possibilities. It can conceivably be an aid to steady employment and it might also be a
means of securing regular pay checks.
While the adoption of the "work break" plan is not compulsory, it is hoped
that each employee will find enough time to give it a fair trial.
Has your get up and go, got up and went? Are you tired before you get out of bed?
Are you like my college friend who tried to sell me lazy lessons? Just roll me over and
put the tuition fee in my back pocket was the essence of his marketing campaign.
Here's the deal about experiencing greater joy and vitality. If you don't zip out of
bed full of vim and vigor, and expectant about a delightful day, then you can afford to
laugh a bit more.
Laughter is free, low-calorie, non-toxic, organic, always available, fun and absolutely
required to enjoy a full, successful life. Laughter is also one of the most overlooked
workouts for building a joyful life, and instead, dubbed a result of joyous living. Not
true! It's a myth! Don't believe it! You can chuckle your way into success and into a life
joyous beyond your wildest dreams!
Here are a few suggestions:
- You are about to make a sales call. Chuckle first. Your tone will change. Fear of
rejection or any 'neediness to make the sale' will subside. You will be freed to enjoy
building a relationship with your customer, which we all know increases 'ink on paper.'
- You are having a 'fat day' or a 'bad hair day.' Giggle so you don't have to take
yourself so seriously. Let others love you, regardless of your feelings about your
- You live alone. Fake a guffaw. Let the sound of your own voice bring life and joy into
your home. The company of laughter especially your own is a rewarding and uplifting
- You feel depressed. Give a yourself a hoot. As you'll read in a moment, hoots heal.
- You are in the company of complainers. Tell a joke or leave. If you don't enjoy the
company you keep, it's not worth keeping!
- You are about to have one of those 'difficult conversations' with someone at work or a
loved one. Do yourself and them a favor, take a few minutes to relax (take a shower, go
for a walk) and laugh while you do it. You'll get an attitude adjustment that will
positively adjust the outcome of your conversation.
- You are about to go on a job interview. If you really want the job, go to the rest room
to primp and to work up a great big belly laugh. Studies show employers choose vital,
enthusiastic candidates over sullen, serious ones.
- You are exhausted. It is the end of the day. You have worked, helped others, and
performed the daily rituals of living. Now do something for yourself, something that will
make you smile in celebration of you. Smiles are the external expression of an inner
- You feel like crying or shouting in frustration. Find a 'safe place' and do it! Do it
now, unbridled, and with all you've got in you. Once you get it out, you'll be able to
laugh again perhaps even at the sound of your own wail! And until you release the
frustration, it will snuff the giggle that gets you 'out of yourself' and back into
Studies show that adults laugh on average fifteen times a day. Not bad. But children
laugh over four hundred times a day. Now doesn't that fifteen look a bit cheap and
cheating? Well, it is. It is cheating ourselves out of the fun and freedom from stress
that children so easily breathe into each day.
Here are a few more suggestions specific to the workplace:
- When we enjoy what we do, we do it well.
- Ask yourself before starting a less than fun task, "How can I make this fun?"
An answer will come.
- Even the most dull, hideous and lifeless tasks can be injected with levity:
- Do it with someone else.
- Do it with someone new.
- Let someone else do it who would enjoy doing it. (I know people who love to edit. I let
- Do it while walking in the fresh air.
- Do it in a fresh environment.
- Do it in the shower. (Not recommended for tasks requiring electrical devices! Highly
recommended for creative problem solving and innovative ideas!)
- Humans have a natural desire and need for pleasure. Help others enjoy what they do with
you . . . Have a joke handy.
- At group events, give everyone a fun name-plate or name-tag. Patrick
what-was-he-thinking-when-he...? Mulcahey. Jennifer looking-marvelous-today Smith. Mr.
- Ensure everyone is clear about the task at hand and that they have the tools to do it.
Confusion is frustration, not fun.
- Fake it till you make it. When in fear, think of someone who would not be afraid.
Pretend you are them. Soon you won't have to pretend.
- Humor heals. Humor can harm too. If you don't think your concept of a Creator/Higher
Power will laugh at your joke . . . better not tell it!
Article by Jesse Weeks (e-mail jesse [at] soul-utions.com) of Soul-utions, Inc.
More Soul-utions for Business can be found at http://www.soulbiz.com.
Be sure to sign up for their monthly autographed signed business publications and to check
out the new Personal Postcard series by WebWaves. Thanks, Jesse!
Books to keep you
laughing all year long
Suggestion: develop your own library of favorite books and flip through the pages when
you have "one of those days"
- 101 Ways to Avoid Reincarnation or Getting Right the First Time. Hester
Workman Publishing, 1989 ISBN 0-89480-383-2
- Buzzwords: The Jargon of the 1990's. John Davis, Crown Publishers Inc., 1993.
- Don't: A Manual of Mistakes & Improprieties more or less prevalent in Conduct
and Speech. By CENSOR, Field & Tuer, Ye Leadenhalle Presse, E.C., London, 1880 (©
1982, Pryor Publications, New York in the US) ISBN: 0-946014-02-7
- E.T. 101: the Cosmic Instruction Manual for Planetary Evolution (an emergency
remedial earth edition). Mission Control and Zoev JHO, HarperCollins, 1995. ISBN 0-06-251267-6
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull: a story. Richard Bach, Macmillan Company, 1970.
Avon; Reissue edition (July 1995) ISBN: 0380012863
- Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun. Wess Roberts, Warner Books, 1987.
- Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People, P.J. O'Rourke, Atlantic
Monthly Press, 1989. ISBN: 0-87113-375-X
- The Awesome Egyptians. Terry Deary and Peter Hepplewhite, Scholastic Publications
Inc., New York, London and Ontario Canada; Ashton Scholastic, Australia and New Zealand,
1993 Bt Bound; (October 1999)
ASIN: 0613091736 (part of the "Horrible History" series: history with the
nasty bits left in!)
- The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle's-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads
& Other Workplace Afflictions. Scott Adams, HarperCollins, 1996. ISBN 0-88730-787-6
- The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation.
Christopher Cerf and Victor S. Navasky. Pantheon Books (Random Books), 1984.
Villard Books; (July 1998) ISBN: 0679778063
- The Knight in Rusty Armor. Robert Fisher, Wilshire Book Company, 1980.
- The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook. Henry Beard and
Christopher Cerf, Villard Books; Revised and Updated edition (November 1993) ISBN: 0679749446
- The Official Sexually Correct Dictionary and Dating Guide. Henry Beard and
Christopher Cerf, Villard Books, 1995 ISBN 0-679-75641-8
- The Primal Whimper: More Readings from the Journal of Polymorphous Perversity.
Glenn Ellenbogen, Ballantine Books, 1989 ISBN 0-345-36474-0 Guilford Press; (July 28, 1989)
- Visitor's Guide to the Afterlife: Where to Go, What to Do, Where to Eat and Other
Heavenly Hints. Annie Pigeon, Kensington Books, 1995. ISBN 0-8217-4987-0
- Zapp: The Lightning of Empowerment. William Byham and Jeff Cox, Fawcett Books; Revised edition (February 1998)
For managers who fail to get into the spirit of the
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Page updated: February 27, 2010