Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Yucking It Up At Work

 Is being funny an asset in your workplace?

A recent article by Allison Linn on reports the results of a survey of Chief Financial Officers:

“The survey of 1,400 CFOs, conducted on behalf of staffing firm Accountemps, found that 57 percent think an employee’s sense of humor is somewhat important when it comes to fitting in with the company’s corporate culture. Another 22 percent said it was very important.

Humor can be an asset in the hallowed halls of my school, and I do what I can. Once a student told me that she took my class because a friend recommended me as a teacher. “But she didn’t tell me you were funny!” the new student added as she walked away.

Hmmn. I still don’t know just which meaning of the word funny she meant. Funny as in “causing amusement or laughter,” or funny as in “peculiar; odd?”* Or both?

Are you funny at work? Do you think humor is necessary at your job, or should we cut the shtick and focus on the tasks at hand?

* definitions


  1. A colleague and I once appeared at school the day of the Halloween party, dressed as Siamese Twins, wearing two Pairs of Levis, which Annie had sewn together, uniting my left pants leg, with Paul's right pants leg. And thus we traveled the day in unison, and I do mean in unison. It was a hilarious stunt, and one in which the middle schoolers reveled in. Both Paul and I are very comfortable in our sexuality, so closeness was not an issue.

    Now does that qualify as "causing amusement or laughter," or as "peculiar; odd?" Or both?

    And, while I'm asking for analysis here, does it qualify as silly or goofy?

  2. Humor is critical - and I do mean CRITICAL - in my work. Actually, humor is critical in my life but that' s another story.
    I have a sign up in my office: When all else fails, laugh. SO true. Just don't laugh AT middle school kids, laugh with them.
    20 years ago I worked at a school where most of the teachers were so f**king serious - don't get me wrong here. I do take my responsibilities seriously - you know I do - but levity makes all the difference. There were actually three men on staff who were serious natural comedians. The four of us took to having lunch together every day in a little office tucked away in our part of the campus. I will never forget the hysterical lunches we had - all three of these guys taught K - 2 graders (as did I , at the time) - our daily lunchtimes became our salvation against the negativity that resided on that campus.

  3. Humor of both kinds (funny AND peculiar) are so necessary!!! I actually think your question is kind of rhetorical because the answer is so obvious!!!

    1. Hey Judy! I'm glad you see the need for humor-- I shudder to think what I'd do without it. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Thinking way, way back when I used to 'work'...yes, I remember always being surrounded in humor. I can't think of any job where humor would be bad - because humor can be tasteful, it can bring joy where there is sadness, it can help lower blood pressure and ease the mind...humor can do so many thing. It's all about balance and good timing! :-)

  5. As a former technology help desk supervisor and now as an accounting manager...if I didn't have a sense of humor and also work with people who have a sense of humor, I wouldn't be able to do the work I do.

    I should write a blog post about how I made all the help desk girls get up with me and do The Hustle. It was a disco sort of day.

  6. I think my job at the halfway house would be completely unmanageable without humor. I don't think I've gone a day without at least one belly-laugh level moment at work.