Last Wednesday afternoon, I was harried and stressed. I was leaving for a conference on the West Coast. and if I didn’t leave the office by 2:30pm, the drive to BWI was not going to be pretty. But I had two people to call, five e-mails to write, three people to see and it was already 2pm. I decided to delegate a couple of the tasks to Ray, my new biz manager. Just at that moment, he walked into my office and I said, “oh, thank goodness you’re here.” Without missing a beat, Ray deadpanned, “You’re surprised I’m here? I’m always here. I work for you. My office is next door. I thought you designed it that way.”
With those few words, Ray turned my afternoon around. All my tension slipped away as I burst out laughing. I gave him a couple of calls to return, promised to make calls from the taxi, and headed on my way.
If you Google “sense of humor in the workplace,” you’ll get all kinds of posts about how humor is often NOT appropriate in the workplace. But I challenge anyone to tell me their dry, humorless office is a great place to work. Personally, I don’t think I would have survived the early MatrixMaxx software releases without Tanya’s dry sense of humor. And Eric made the recent recruiting process for a Project Manager enjoyable with his hilarious stories from working in a casino. Thankfully, at least one blogger, Elaine Ambrose, says that “(a) sense of humor will save your job and probably your life.”
A sense of humor won’t get you hired at Matrix Group, but it’s certainly not going to hurt. And if you can keep me laughing during an interview or Web site launch going south, I may just decide to keep you on the team.
How about you? When did a sense of humor at work save you?
2 replies on “At Work, as in Marriage and Friendship, A Sense of Humor Rocks”
I agree wholeheartedly to this sentiment! Working with technology is some pretty intense and stressful business; working with the people around the technology makes the job fun, especially when you can laugh it off when a noncritical error occurs.
Even more importantly, having a sense of humor keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously, which is always something that needs to be kept in check.
Thanks for another great blog post, Joanna!
I don’t know what I would do without humor in the workplace. Who wants to spend 8-10 hours a day in a somber, serious environment? No thank you.