Humor at Work: A Dash of Black Humor, December 17, 2008

The Hump Day Humor-Gram, December 17, 2008 Issue Number 286
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1. A Dash of Black Humor

What’s the definition of optimism? Answer: An investment banker
who irons five shirts Sunday evening.

With all the bleak economic doom n’ gloom news it’s natural to
see a spike in black “gallows” humor. Many professionals dealing
with stressful, life and death situations (paramedics, doctors,
nurses, perhaps even florists) use gallows humor to help them
normalize difficult and even tragic events. Remember, there’s a
difference between using humor to laugh AT a challenging
situation vs. using humor to help cope with challenging events.

Of course, if you dwell too much on gallows humor, then it has
the potential to become a drag on everyone’s spirit. So treat
black humor like a spice: a little bit seasoned throughout a
difficult period can help make a situation more palatable; too
much and you risk spoiling the dish.
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2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Here’s an idea courtesy of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream: whenever
someone says the word ‘serious’ in a meeting, everyone puts on
a pair of Grouch Marx glasses. Of course you can get creative
and adapt this to any number of words or acronyms you want to
have fun with on your team, combined with any number of reactions.
For example, if someone says an idea-squashing phrase such as
“It’ll never work,” everyone can start squawking like sea gulls.
Or if someone says one of your favorite buzzword value words, such
as “teamwork” everyone must hold hands or break out into a cheesy
grin or dance on their left foot or flap their arms or do the fun
dance. Can you see how much fun this might be? I’m doing it right
now at home! Of course no one can see me, which makes me feel a
little silly, but that just goes to show how committed I am to
trying out new ideas on your behalf.
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3. Deep Thought of the Week

“Work is really important. If it wasn’t for work, where would
people rest up after their vacation is over?”
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4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky, World

As seen on a sign in an office:

AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE
DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD.

Happy Hump day one and all. Remember, if you suppress laughter,
it goes right to the thighs and hardens the attitudes.
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