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spike bullet December, 1997 - Humor at Work

In the spirit of the holidays, some of our favorites
Live, Love and Laugh LARGE! - Tips for improving your daily laughter count
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.

Happy Holidays!!

spike bullet Some of our favorites

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.
. . . Lao�Tzu

Good management consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people.
. . . 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 mass�production 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

Well�informed 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, 1968

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)


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.

chuckling Santa Live, Love and Laugh LARGE!

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 appearance.
  • 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 companion.
  • 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 titter.
  • 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 living.

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 'em!)
  • 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. can-you-say-'fabulous' Myers.
  • 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] of Soul-utions, Inc. More Soul-utions for Business can be found at 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!

World Wide Web graphic Internet Resources

smiley graphic  Holiday Web Sites

book graphic Books to keep you laughing all year long  -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

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 Mundis, Workman Publishing, 1989 ISBN 0-89480-383-2
  • Buzzwords: The Jargon of the 1990's. John Davis, Crown Publishers Inc., 1993. ISBN 0-517-88060-1
  • 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. ISBN 0-446-39106-9
  • 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. ISBN 0-87980-421-1
  • 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) ISBN: 0898623774
  • 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) ISBN: 0449002829 

spike bullet The Scrooge Award:

For managers who fail to get into the spirit of the holidays


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Page updated: October 16, 2023      

The 10th Need: Mischief    :)

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