Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

Humor at Work Requires Simply Speaking

1. English as a Second Language?

Here’s some new office jargon for you to toss into your next
conversation: “workspace-specific perceptual abstraction”
(daydreaming), “interdepartmental liaison facilitation”
(lunch with a coworker) and “negative-patient care outcome”
(a lovely health care term meaning, well, death.) When I hear
leaders speaking like this, I begin to think that I should offer
English as a Second Language courses for managers! Books such
as, “Why Business People Speak Like Idiots” remind us of the
need to think before we speak, and for the need to speak in
conversational, simple, everyday language in the workplace.
No, this doesn’t mean “dumbing things down”, but studies show that
the use of obscure, vague jargon in the workplace contributes to
low morale and a lack of trust. And of course, as I often suggest
if you want to be HEARD and you want to stand out from the HERD,
then adding a little humor will also help you prevent people
from going crazy in the dark mazes of bureaucracy
(bureau = “office”; cracy = “crazy”).
2. Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

Dish out some “Un-Awards” to award ideas and initiatives that are
the total opposite of what your clients might expect from your
kind of business or profession.

For example, if you’re a bank, think of all the stereotypical
clichés and negative associations people have with banks, then
reward and implement “un-bank” ideas – those un-bank-like things
you could do that no one would ever expect a bank to do.
If you’re in the government, it could be awarded to people who
manage to untangle the red tape and eliminate overly burdensome
policies. And if you work for a tax agency, offer an award to
someone with a sense of humor. (I’m KIDDING – this is for
all my accounting friends out there at Revenue Canada! I love
you guys! Please don’t audit me!!!)
3. Deep Thought of the Week

“Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.”
Steven Wright
4. It’s a Wacky, Wacky, World

A contributor to Workforce Magazine recently doled out the
“Awfuls.” These no-so-prestigious awards go to the year’s worst
bosses. This year’s winner was a California alarm-sales company
which held pep rallies reminiscent of an episode of “The Office.”
Some of the rallies featured diapers, baby food, and, spanking,
which resulted in a million dollar lawsuit. (Remember, like
Mom said, it’s all fun and games until some slaps a million
dollar lawsuit on you).
Copyright Michael Kerr, 2008.

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