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Business Fun Is Not As Simple As It Looks

When ex-gangster Steve Martin turns state's evidence and is placed in suburbia under the witness protection program, the result is an uproarious culture clash comedy. Rick Moranis co-stars as the stodgy FBI agent assigned to safeguard Martin and help him adjust to his new life.

[Barney tells a joke. Everyone laughs, except Hannah]
Hannah Stubbs: I see that it's funny. I have a sense of humor.
Barney: Of course you have a sense of humor. Everyone thinks they do, even people who don't.
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: What's the difference between a light bulb and a pregnant woman?
Hannah Stubbs: What?!
Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli: You can unscrew a light bulb...You see, you have no sense of humor, whatsoever.

The sense of humor is essential for business leadership. Humor maintains a central place in life. With the advancement of computers the good businessman can simulate all the routines before he goes to the business work. He has the opportunity of concentrating more on the uncomputerised human expressions: The customer service, the relationships among fellow workers, safety and self improvement.

The occupation with the human capital in business management is obligation to deal with emotions. Emotions volumes are not measurable accurately, contrary to cognitive or physical volumes. The reason is that emotions expand all the time. It gives them their unique attribute: The human ability of identify with the other and be empathic.

We can measure exactly sales volume, I.Q. and weight lifting, but not the intensity of love and hate. For example: Questionnaires about satisfaction from a product or a boss give very limited answers. This leaves the business leader exposed to mistakes of emotional intelligence and the computers cannot help him.

There is nothing better then the sense of humor, the best known therapy for the soul, for illuminating the human factor. Humor is derived directly from an overloaded mind which seeks to facilitate the feelings it faces with others. Any accurate expression of emotion is followed by humor as part of a relief. The definition of humor is: Emotions made precise.

Every business negotiation is also a transaction of emotions. These are accurate emotions, purified through the long bargaining process. After a deal is closed, there is a mutual sense of emotional relief between the negotiating sides. While this sense of relief fades away down, It create a by product in the form of a lightness of the spirit, a sense of humor.

There is a use for humor in all aspects of business communication, but currently it is limited in scale and methods. Humor workshops for businessmen are relatively rare. A large part of the business continuity, from the morning meetings, through the motivation papers and finally with the private learning, is dedicated for advice on human resources.

The amount of humor in it is very small, compared to humor in ordinary life. While daily life is a continuous effort for laugher, business life is a cooperated effort for making life more serious and heavier. The business office needs steady humor supply. Otherwise its athmosphere may turn into acidly cynic.

Business fun is not as simple as it looks like. It demands professionalism both in humor and business. It has to be precise. Otherwise there is a danger of getting out of focus. Laser precision is part of any humor. If the target is missed, the damage is big.

One medium of humor, the cartoon, is more suitable for the business office. The Visual aspect of the cartoon makes it easy to grasp the content. It affords a visual relaxation in the visually intensive business world. Two major daily cartoon series deals directly with the business work. One is Dilbert by Scott Adams. Another one is The Daily Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen.

Maintain Your Sanity

  1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point your hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
  2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
  3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
  4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "in."
  5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
  6. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for smuggling diamonds."
  7. Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy."
  8. Don't use any punctuation.
  9. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
  10. With a serious face, order a diet water whenever you go out to eat.
  11. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."
  12. Sing along at the opera.
  13. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
  14. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds all day.
  15. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you're not in the mood.
  16. Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, Rock Bottom.
  17. When the money comes out the ATM, scream "I won!, I won!"
  18. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "run for your lives, they're loose!!"
  19. Tell your children over dinner. "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

It may start out as fun and games, but there's always the occasional prank that goes a bit too far, resulting in a firing or even a lawsuit. There's a balance to having some fun with your fellow employees and crossing moral and ethical boundaries. While I am a firm believer in the benefits of humor and laughter in the workplace, people should really think about what they're doing before they do it.

Gandhi said it best: "There's nothing funnier than the misfortune of others." We say it's even better when the misfortune is targeted at people you know.

While a coworker is away on vacation, open his windows and sprinkle birdseed on the windowsill. Continue sprinkling the birdseed on his desk, the picture of his wife and kids "" maybe even on those important spreadsheets. Birds will arrive. Be hospitable. Encourage them to come in, eat up, stay awhile. Birds are not shy about relieving themselves. After a few days of this, his office will be covered in bird crap. And bird crap = funny.

Cut up some fruit and place it in a cup near an open window. The produce will slowly attract fruit flies and become infested with their eggs. Place the maggot colony under the new intern’s desk, then stroll over and suggest he bathe.

Buy a fish. Freeze it. Tape it under a coworker's chair. Watch with glee as he sniffs his coffee, sniffs his pen, sniffs his pits and spends hours trying to figure out where that smell is coming from.

Allow a piece of fish to fester in a jar of water for a few weeks, opening it every now and then to let it aerate. Once it’s good and stinky, dab it on the underside of your victim’s desk. Save this one for douchebags on the other side of the office.

Continuing with the aquatic theme, place a live lobster or any other crustacean in the company file cabinet. Next, ask your assistant to kindly fetch a file for you. Settle sexual harassment suit out of court. Poke holes in the bottom of a can of tuna, allowing the juices to drain completely. Apply a piece of double-sided tape to the top of the can. Stick the can out of sight under your mark's desk. Watch the victim sniff between his legs, hopelessly trying to discover what smells so bad. Later, add mayo and chopped celery for a delicious tuna-salad lunch. Line the inside of a coworker’s drawer with heavy-duty clear garbage bags before adding rocks, plants, water, and the obligatory treasure chest. Then drop in a pair of live goldfish, sit back, and watch your former friend find Nemo.

On your mark's dark fabric seat, apply three to four squirts of Tabasco sauce. It will dry with no visible evidence or smell. After being sat upon for about an hour, the caustic residue will penetrate your victim's pants. Follow him as he darts to the bathroom, and watch him dunk his burning ass in the sink, desperate for relief. Then join him""it really is quite refreshing! Snag a cheap teddy bear that makes noise when hugged and gut it for the touch-sensitive speaker. Then carefully insert the speaker under your marks’ chair cushion. When he sits down, “Hug me!” will coo from deep beneath his butt crease.

Remember the good old days of computers when, every few months, your machine would crash and you'd lose everything you'd worked on? Take a coworker on a trip down memory lane by downloading a Fake Delete program. Install the program on your coworker's computer. When he returns, he'll see his computer seemingly deleting the entire contents of his hard drive.

All recent versions of Microsoft Word have an AutoCorrect function - it's under the heading Tools - that corrects spelling mistakes as you type. The prank: Change words in the AutoCorrect dictionary. Rig someone's computer so that every time he types a word it automatically switches to vulva. Imagine your coworker's surprise and delight! Or, replace common words (if, the, and) with sassier phrases (man-spackle, bum chum, and I heart chodes). For once his memos will be the talk of the office.

Using clear fishing line, tie your mark's chair to his garbage can. Fill the garbage can with something embarrassing (we recommend Tail Ends magazine), and push the chair under his desk. When he pulls the chair out with any sort of force, the garbage will topple over, spilling its contents and causing him to look like a dirty little man.

Smuggle a few cans of shaving cream into the office. Stick them in the kitchen freezer and leave them overnight. The next day they will have burst open a bit, allowing you to peel off the metal and extract the frozen foam. Place your bounty inside a coworker's file cabinet. Overnight, the foam will thaw and swell to a mammoth size, producing a fantastic, folder-eating froth. While your mark cleans up the mess, you're free to have sex with his wife.

Using a Phillips-head screwdriver, carefully unscrew (almost all the way, but not completely) every screw in every shelf, desk, cubicle and IKEA-style office-furniture piece of crap that you can find. Sit happily as coworkers' desks collapse around them. Wear safety goggles-those things splinter. To avoid suspicion, set your desk on fire.

Go to a health-food store and buy some valerian root capsules. Note the aroma: very similar to a filthy goat's ass. Separate a capsule and dump the contents into the mouthpiece of your victim's phone, tapping it briskly to nestle the powder deep within. Enjoy watching your mark retch repeatedly as he attempts to chat with potential clients. Here comes the butterscotch!

Place a sopping-wet towel on top of the ceiling tile just above your victim's head. Also balance a bucket of water at the edge of the tile. Poke a hole in the tile directly under the soggy cloth. This will cause a slow, Chinese torture-like drip upon your mark's noggin. He will eventually inspect the tile and, in turn, tip the bucket on his stupid head. Or fill the bucket with angry cats-it's even funnier.

Wedge a small piece of transparency in the corner of the copy plate in the copy machine, with the phrase "Sleep with me or you are fired" printed on it. Laugh as a marketing assistant makes 15 copies of a 150-page report with those words appearing on every single page. Smile as he's escorted out by burly security guards. Then swipe his stapler.

Original Pranksta. Maxim [Print + Kindle] . April 2006.
Jacob Kalish. House Of Pranks. Dirty Tricks. Stuff Magazine has ceased publication with the October 2007 issue. Stuff will now be a regular section within Maxim [Print + Kindle] .


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