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Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg mailto:laugh@taxmama.com

Assisted By : Gunjan Saraf mailto:laugh@taxmama.com

April 4th, 2001 # 001
I can't afford to die !! I'd lose too much money !
~George Burns


Introduction of Moderator
~ Gunjan Saraf

~Eva Rosenberg

April Fool's Backfire
~ Eva Rosenberg

Humor Worked for me!

Breaking Through Tough Skin
~ Your Outrageous Flirt

You've Got Your Troubles, I've Got Mine
~ Your Favorite Punster

Useful Humor Tips
~ Making Introductions


Hi Friends,

Breaking from the tradition of letting the moderator have the first word ... I'm jumping in. Way out place I know ! But I've noticed that moderators out of modesty can't really do justice to themselves while introducing themselves. Those of you who are Helpdeskers or subscribed to asktaxmama know Eva and can jump right on to her welcome...

For others let me introduce (trying my best to be brief) Eva. Eva is the jolliest Tax consultant you'll ever meet ... Tax Consultancy with a mother's touch she calls it. In other words with Humor, Patience, Concern & Caring.
{Old Jewish Proverb - God could not be everywhere, and so He made mothers.}

She runs I-HelpDesk ... the most Helpful Discussion List on the internet the same way. While most moderators will just throw away any posts which are not ok for print ... Eva takes the trouble to help you ... guide you... if she
feels you have a genuine question, comment or suggestion which is not printable for some small technicality.

Personally, I'd posted to about a dozen Moderated Discussion groups. I hadn't seen my posts in any of them and was about to abandon all discussion Forums. Then, I discovered I-HelpDesk (and Eva). Not only were my posts accepted, but she sent me small little suggestions, a grin ... even an occasional frown giving me the confidence to post this ... my longest ever post. I hope to learn a lot working with her on this list and I'm confident that you will too !!

Your Comic Guide,


Love Pun-gent humor ? -> http://jestforpun.com
Not a site seer ? -> pun-subscribe@topica.com
Weakly trash in your mail


Dear Friends,

Too many people spend their lives at work with tunnel vision, doing the task at hand, without joy or sunshine.

Even hard work becomes a delight when you can inject friendly humor into a situation. The right kind of laughter, teasing, cajoling, even begging prettily,
can turn around a weighty, tense situation or relationship.

I did say, 'the right kind.' There's a fine line between teasing and ridicule; laughing with or at someone; begging cutely and pestering...Gunjan and I are here to help you stay on the right side of that line.

Twenty years ago, working with some friends who were corporate trainers, I watched a man, whom they had paid about $5,000 (in 1980's dollars!), teaching their Pacific Bell audience how to inject humor into their jobs and customer interactions. So, believe us, this is not a new concept.

Gunjan has a great many years in high-level corporate advertising - one of the toughest, most tense industries there are. Yet, he retains that spark or fun and playfulness that makes business a treat.

We're here, not to feed you a bunch of jokes and one-liners, but to guide you and help you defuse tough situations; persuade someone to give you what you want; to help you close that sale; perfect that contract; manage your staff... and, in general, make running your business a joy once again.

We're going to start off with a few stories to help you see how to use humor. Please, send us yours!

With this issue coming out right after April Fool's Day, which this year, coincides with Daylight Savings Day, it brings to mind an embarrassing tale.

No doubt, with the time change only happening twice a year, many of you have odd experiences that could only happen on such a day. I have such a story, which you'll find below. You're welcome to share yours, too.

Your questions, problems, and contributions are definitely welcome. After all, it wouldn't be any fun without you!

So, come, join us in laughing together.

Your Comic Guide,

Eva Rosenberg.


======April Fool's Backfire =====

Once upon a time, back in the dark ages, when tax season really did finish on April 15th, I took a break the following weekend. My assistant and her
husband had a camper and invited me along on a trip to Northern California.

We had a wonderful time. And I got along great with her husband. He was like my brothers. He communicated with insulting humor, which is what I grew up with. But, by the very nature of his conversation, you just never quite knew if he was kidding or serious.

The final morning, we got up early, so they could take me to the airport in Reno. I had to catch a flight to Oakland and meet my boyfriend.

Well, Steve kept teasing me about hurrying because we running late. Looking at my watch, there was plenty of time. Getting to the airport, I checked in for the flight early. I told the check-in clerk that, since it was so early, we'd take off to the Hilton for a while and come back before the flight. She shrugged and didn't say anything.

Playing at the poker machines at the Hilton, I won some money. We grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the airport. The flight was gone.

It turned out, Steve hadn't been kidding. The clock had changed that morning and I was so tuned out that I didn't realize it.

That'll teach me to pay attention to pranksters - sometimes they do tell the truth.

[In case you're wondering, I managed to get a flight to San Francisco and walk all over the city to get to the place where my boyfriend was redirected to meet me. That was before ATMs. I had no cash for a cab or BART and was wearing high heeled shoes, struggling down Market Street. Was - yes, they're not designed for walking a mile or two. Regardless, we were able to
laugh about it that weekend. A wonderful trip! Eva]

===== Humor Worked for me ! =====

To really understand these tales, you must start with the knowledge that I do tax representation. I work with the IRS and with other tax professionals in a tension and fear filled industry.

===> Breaking Through Tough Skin

Once upon a time, I went to work for a tax firm, wherein there was a great, big ogre of a man, who we will call Ivan. Ivan had a deep, gruff voice, towered over me, and generally seemed intimidating and angry all the time. Ivan worked with clients who owed the IRS lots of money, and often, had not filed tax returns for many years. I prepared tax returns. (He did not.)

His temper was tempered by the fact that I had just come into the firm, after he'd been there for three years, with a starting pay higher than any employee, including his. So, being a bit jealous and certain that I would not
deign to follow his instructions, he would scowl and grumble at me whenever he saw me.

There came a time, when Ivan needed to start turning over his client's files to me to get their returns done, before he could open negotiations with IRS.
One Tuesday, Ivan stamped over to my desk with two files and roared, "I need 3 years worth of tax returns for these clients BY FRIDAY."

Then, he stared at me belligerently, expecting me to argue with him. I took a quick look at the files and replied, sweetly, with a smile, "OK, is tomorrow
soon enough?"

This silenced the ogre. Then.

He got the files the next day.

A few days later, Ivan repeated the stomping and roaring performance. Again, I replied sweetly and gave him his tax returns immediately.

After the second time, Ivan walked quietly over to my desk. Thanked me - and actually opened up a conversation with me.

Knowing that I'd negotiated a better deal than his, he expected that I'd be a prima donna, insisting on doing things my way, in my own time. It really
shocked him that I would be not only willing, but accommodating when he asked for help. (I kind of had a hunch - and really, I was playing him, knowing that this would totally unsettle him.)

Forever after, Ivan was kind and gentle and respectful, asking if I could help him, rather than roaring orders at me.

[Eva: BTW, you'll find a lot more stories in future issues about defusing people's anger by being sweet. And yes, it does work for men, too.]


====> You've Got Your Troubles, I've Got Mine


Let me tell you about one of the people I have very high regards for. Dr Vasant Shetty is a pediatrician.

The first time I took my son to see him, my son (then aged 5) was most reluctant to see any doctor. We literally dragged him there. Once inside the clinic before we were even seated my wife started to rattle off about our son's cough, fever etc...

Dr Shetty sweetly interrupted her, without being rude. He suggested that he'd like to find out for himself, and turned to the little boy. Speaking to my son he
asked, "OK young man tell me all your troubles"

Not getting a reply, he added "and then I'll tell you mine" Still not getting a reply, he went on ... "OK, I'll go first. My trouble is that I want a lot of money,
but I don't want to work.. Now tell me your troubles...!"

I bet you can guess how fast my son opened out to him. Soon they were chatting away like the best of friends. They had a 'breathing contest' while Dr Shetty examined him with the stethoscope. To this day.... since then, my
son, has never feared or refused to go the doctors (even when he knows he'll be given a shot) and I must have referred scores of patients to Dr Shetty. I think he's a super doctor, not just because of what he learnt in Medschool or Universities (though that must have helped too :-). His sense of humor, relaxed style, willingness to act like a child, with children...all add to make him such a special doctor.

Thank You,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~Useful Humor Tips~~~~~~~~~~~

If you need to introduce two eminent guests, here's a great way to start. While I don't remember to whom this was originally attributed, I do
find it quite useful.

"I have the pleasure of introducing today 2 highly eminent (adjectives galore) They are both such eminent people that I'm not sure in which order to
introduce them. I hope Mr. A will forgive me... for mentioning Mr. B first !!

[Did you notice? You actually mentioned A first, but talked about B. Hopefully both should be happy with you.]

If Bill Gates had a dime for every time
Windows crashed. Oh, Wait!! He Does!

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