Headline, October 26 2020/ ''' '' LAUGH AT WORKS '' '''

''' '' LAUGH AT 

WORKS '' '''

REACHING INTO OTHERS WORLDS TO CHANGE THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE : The World Students Society for every subject in the world, is the exclusive ownership of every student in the universe.

SCHOOLCHILDREN FOR THEIR PART - give their teachers nicknames which are only used out of earshot; at Bartlesby's school, Mr. Canard was known as ''Quack'' because his surname was the French word for duck.

WHEN BARTLEBY REFLECTS ON LIFE'S LESSONS - he always remembers his grandfather's last words : '' A truck ! '' Bartleby's uncle also suffered an early demise, falling into a vat of polish at the furniture factory. It was a terrible end but a lovely finish.

Whether you find such stories amusing will depend on taste and whether you have heard them before. But a sense of humour is, by and large, a useful thing to have in life.

A study of undergraduates found that those with a strong sense of humour experienced less stress and anxiety than those without it.

Humour can be a particular source of comfort at work, where sometimes it can be he only healthy reaction to setbacks and irrational commands from the boss. Classic examples can be found both the British and American versions of the TV sitcom ''The Office'', where workers have to deal with eccentric, egotistical managers, played respectively by Ricky Gervais and Steve Carell.

The comedy stems, in part, from the ways  that the office hierarchy requires the employees to put up with the appalling behaviour of the managers.

And those programmes also illustrate the double-edged nature of workplace humour. When the bosses try to make a joke, they are often crass and insensitive, making the situation excruciating for everyone else [these are shows best watched through the fingers].

The healthiest kind of workplace humour stems from the bottom up, not from the top down. Often the most popular employees at work are those who can lighten the mood with a joke or two.

Of course, humour can be used, even by non-managers, in a cruel or condescending way. What one man may mean as a laddish joke comes across to women as disrespectful put-down.

A better source of humour are the shared gripes that most workers face.  Everyone can appreciate a a quip about the cramped commuter trains, the officious security guard, the sluggish lifts or the dodgy canteen food. in that sense, the workers can feel they are all [bar the security guard] ''in it together'' this helps create team spirit and relieve stress.

Both soldiers and schoolchildren tend to create ''in jokes'' as a way of subtly subverting the hierarchy of their organisations.

In the first world war, British soldiers published a newspaper called the WIPERS TIMES. A typical poem began : ''Realising men must laugh. Some wise man devised the staff.'' Troops in the trenches dubbed themselves the PBI [poor bloody infantry].

The TV comedies ''Sergeant Bilko'' and ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' both relied on wily soldiers finding their ways of subverting the orders of their clueless, or callous, commanding officers.

A downside of remote working is that moments of shared humour are harder to create. Many a long meeting at The Economist has been enlivened by subversive quip from a participant. These quips only work when they ate spontaneously and well-timed.

Trying to make a joke during a Zoom conference call is virtually impossible, by the time one has found the ''raise hand'' button and been recognised by the host, the moment has inevitably passed. This is a shame, as most of us could do with a laugh now and again to get through the pandemic.

Work is a serious matter but it cannot be taken serious all the time. Some times things happen at work that are inherently ridiculous. Perhaps the technology breaks down just as the boss is in mid-oration, or a customer makes an absurd request.

[Remember the probably apocryphal story of a person who rang the equipment manufacturers and asked them to fax through some paper when the machine ran out?]

There is something deeply silly about management jargon. Most people will have to sit through presentation by executives who insist on calling a spade ''manual horticulture implement]''. Too many managers use long words to disguise the fact they have no coherent message to impart. Such language is ripe for satire or at very least a collective game of ''buzzword binge''.

But satire should not just applied to other people. Perhaps the most important thing is not to take one's own work tool seriously. As the late, great gag-writer  and comic Bob Monkhouse recalled at the height of his career.

''They laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian. Well, hey are not laughing now.''

With respectful dedication to The Economist, The office workers, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Life - Like '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!