Please feel free to pass this along, paste it on a washroom stall, fax
it to a friend, staple it your forehead, staple it to a friend’s
forehead . . .
This Week . . .
1. Thank God It’s May!
2. Thank God It’s Wodin’s Day?
3. What Dilbert Can Teach us About Our Workplaces
4. Quote of the Day
5. It’s a Wacky, Wacky, World . . .
1. Thank God It’s May!
April,(a.k.a Humor Month) is over, which means, yes, you guessed it,
But just because Humor Month is over, it doesn’t mean there are no
reasons to laugh. In fact, with Mental Health Awareness Week (May
6-13), and World Laughter Day (May 12th), there are plenty of reasons
Yours truly will be the master of ceremonies at the official launch of
Mental Health Week in Calgary, Alberta next Monday, May 6th. The week
is designed to raise awareness about the need to maintain our mental
health, and of course, one way to do that is to remember to laugh and
share our sense of humour more often. Humour helps us floss away the
mental debris and helps keep us in control of our emotions during
stressful times. Remember, as the late Milton Berle said, “Laughter
is an instant vacation.”
World Laughter Day is brought to you by the fun folks at the World
Laughter Tour. The day is intended to raise awareness of the mental,
social and physical benefits of laughter. So mark your calendars now,
and set aside some time to laugh!
May, in case you were wondering, also happens to be: Official Barbecue
Month, Fitness Month, Better Sleep Month, Photo Month, Arthritis Month
and Shoelace Month (okay, so I’m making up the last one, but I think
we do need one).
2. Thank God It’s Wodin’s Day
Wednesday, “Hump Day,” is named after the supreme deity of Norse
mythology, Wodin. Now, having never met the supreme deity Wodin, I
have no idea how he would feel about his namesake being nicknamed
“Hump Day,” but I’m guessing he was a swell god, and as such, probably
had a well rounded sense of ha ha.
So in addition to Happy Hump Day – Happy Wodin’s Day!
3. What Dilbert Can Teach Us
Most folks probably wouldn’t lump those cynical, sarcastic Dilbert
cartoons, by Scott Adams, into the category of “positive” workplace
humor. Although they aren’t sing-around-the-campfire, feel-good
cartoons, they can, I believe, teach us a thing or two about our
The simple fact that Dilbert is SO popular, is yet another indication
that too many workplaces are not viewed in as positive a light as they
should be. For any humor to work, there has to be at least a grain of
truth in it, so if our workplaces were all the happy, positive,
well-functioning places they should be, no one would understand or
Many workers pass around or post Dilberts not just for the laughs, but
because they are sending a message of frustration. So if you are a
leader or manager, look for the message being sent in those Dilberts.
Listen for the serious underlying messages between all the humour
shared in your office. If workers are expressing primarily a
sarcastic, cynical type of humour, what is the message? Is there a
certain theme of Dilbert cartoons that employees seem to laugh hardest
A few companies I’ve stumbled upon have even created “Dilbert
Committees” or “Dilbert Policies” where employees are asked to be on
the lookout for any workplace practices that might be fodder for a
4. Quote of the Week
“It takes a wise man to learn from his own mistakes, but a complete
idiot NOT to learn from the mistakes of others.” Dr. Frasier Crane
5. It’s a Wacky, Wacky World . . .
Here are just a few signs that we need to be laughing more often on
the job . . .
In a recent survey, 25% of workers said they had physically assaulted
their computers at least once.
Alberta leads Canada as the photocopy rage capital, with 51% of
respondents saying they have attacked a photocopier. (The rest of us
presumably only dream of it).
In a related, rather frightening story, a man was charged after
throwing a muffin at a Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop employee. (Assault
with a deadly pastry?)
And in the United States, a judge leapt from behind his bench, charged
a defendant and bit the tip of his nose off.
So remember folks, as we celebrate Mental Health Week next week, a
laugh (or 2 or 3 dozen) a day keeps the mental health doctors away
. . .
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2002
“Just wanted to say “WOW!” Our group has had many speakers over the years, but none the likes of Mike Kerr.”
Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
“Michael Kerr is one of the best speakers I have seen. I highly recommend him!”
Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
“Mike held the full attention of our senior management team for a full FOUR hour
presentation – no small accomplishment!”
Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics
“Our participants rated you as the speaker with the highest quality and relevance.”
Lana J. Larocque, Alberta Human Resources