Your Working Humor Discussion List
I-Laugh - Your 'Working' Humor Discussion List
Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg mailto:email@example.com
Assisted By : Gunjan Saraf mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
25th July 2001
Happy 45th Anniversary of
the Sinking of the Andrea Doria
IN THIS DIGEST :
Moderator's Comment - Wrong Number
~ Eva Rosenberg
Humor in the most serious places
Thinking at work
~ Joel Shellman
How do we Discuss?
~ Paul Myers
Useful? Humor Tips
Never Miss a Chance
~ Gunjan Saraf
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This past week, Paul Myers and I had an interesting
exchange about his George Bernard Shaw story below.
And it ended up with Paul helping me re-write a
related tale of my own. Oh, you wanted to see it?
Well, you'll simply have to wait until next week.
We have no more room in this week's issue.
For this week though, my question to you is this:
Someone comes to your site from a search engine because
you are listed under a keyword that doesn't directly
relate to your subject. Let's say they're looking for 'sex'
and you sell 'socks.' They get angry and send you an
abusive e-mail. How do you respond to turn him/her
into a customer?
After all, even people looking for sex often need socks.
(This is the old wrong number syndrome on the phone -
some people have the talent of converting wrong
numbers into customers or contacts.)
Your Comic Guide,
P.S. Please remember to invite your friends to subscribe.
Please, send any comments to:
===== New Discussion =====
====> Humor in the most serious places
I remember watching a short filler on TV (if
I remember right it had Zappa) and the question
addressed was - Does Humor have a place in Music?
And that question in its variations is always around
me. Does Humor have a place in a resume? In a business
presentation where you are explaining your company's
bad quarter? In a thesis for a Doctorate?
I keenly await your thoughts on these. As to my thoughts,
you'll get an idea by the examples I enjoy. Here's how
Dr Santosh, PhD in ecology started his thesis
on the Behavioral Ecology of Asian Elephants.
"When I chose to study the behavior of elephants for a degree,
life was simple. During the one year prior to my brilliant idea,
I was either driving around traversing parts of southern India
working on the distribution of the species, or sitting snug with my
compiler working on some ideas to count elephants without
actually seeing them.
But following elephants, as I learnt on the very first day of field-
work, was very different from simulating dung decay rates using
Turbo Pascal. On this day of enlightenment, Sukumar, my thesis
advisor, kindly offered to expose me to the realities of elephant-
watching; and he could have done it in no better way.
"Come, I'll show you elephants", said he. We did watch elephants
that day, but more strongly etched in my memory is a two-minute
sprint and the amount of time we spent hiding in a deep, overgrown
culvert that we'd jumped into to escape the undesirable consequences
of a full-blooded charge by an adult female elephant.
As we gathered our breaths, I wondered what the next few years
of data-collection would be like. Sukumar pushed back one lock
of dislodged hair (a rare event, I know in retrospect) and asked me
if I had noted that the folding on the female's upper earlobe
suggested her age to be about 30 years?
The only bit of information I had collected during the event,
however, was that the pursuer was an elephant (by virtue of
possessing a grey trunk which I had so clearly observed behind
me with distinct discomfort). I knew, at that point, that I was
going to need help in doing this thing!
Luckily for me, there were numerous people that helped me
out at various stages of this work. And I have survived, as the
cliché goes, to tell the tale."
Punny Rhymes and other Crimes
WZ-ard of Humorous Poetry
===== Replies =====
=====> Thinking at work
Here's an old but great example of 'thinking' at work...
A zookeeper wanted to get some extra animals for his zoo,
so he decided to compose a letter, the only problem, was
that he didn't know the plural of 'Mongoose'.
He started the letter: "To whom it may concern,
I need two Mongeese."
No, that won't work, he tried again: "To whom it
may concern, I need two Mongooses." Is that right?
Finally, after some thinking he wrote : "To whom it may
concern, I need a Mongoose, and while you're at it,
send me another one."
It also reminds me of my little nephew's English lessons.
We were testing him for basic English words. When asked
to call his brother over he shouted confidently - "Come Here".
But when asked to make his brother stand in the corner he
wasn't so sure .... for a few seconds. Then after some thought
he confidently walks to the corner and orders - "Come Here".
Wouldn't Descartes just love these guys? :-)
www.workinghumor.com - Let your
Humor Work for you !
=====> Marketing Ploy
>From Joel Shellman <email@example.com>
> So what do you think of this as a marketing ploy? Attract
> people with something they really want - sell them something
> they care nothing about? Ethical? Unethical? Bad for long-term
> business relationships - or so you would think?
Most certainly unethical. That specific situation isn't that bad as
the buyer was being deceptive himself in hoping to get what he
wasn't purchasing so it's not quite all that bad. However, as the
store keeper obviously knew (or he was just completely foolish)
what was going on, he still retains the guilt of deception.
This kind of thing is similar to bait-and-switch tactics where you
offer one thing but then sell something else. I actually was just
caught in this kind of a situation recently. I was promised one thing,
but the contract mentioned nothing about the promises I had been
given. I made the mistake of signing anyway considering that they
would uphold their promises (which may be legally binding anyway).
Unfortunately, now they are sticking to the contract and ignoring the
promises they made calling it a "miscommunication" (which is
as I made it VERY clear during the sales process). Anyway, I'll be
reporting them to the appropriate agencies for their unethical behavior.
Full Service Internet Solutions -- Contact us today for a free
[ Design | Flash | eCommerce | Backend | Database | Hosting | Marketing ]
Glance through these cartoons, I chose them
out of a collection of over 100, just for you...
>From Gunjan firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing Ploy? That horrible art collector tried to
rob the poor proprietor of his lucky dish. It's like
the prisoner who was telling other prisoners that he
was sentenced to 5 years for stealing a piece of rope.
When they just wouldn't believe him, he added - "Well
there was a buffalo at one end of it, but I swear guys I
was just stealing the rope."
In this case even if the proprietor was aware that the
dish was a treasure I wouldn't say he did anything unethical.
He didn't try to sell the cat. Didn't make any offers for either
cat or saucer. If people were tempted to try and con him and
in the process got ripped off, I don't feel he did anything wrong.
As the corollary to P.T. Barnum's Law states - "It is morally
wrong to let suckers keep their money". Especially 'wise guy'
Also, reminds me of the blonde who bet the brunette a 100$,
as they watched the 7 pm news, that the guy at the edge of
the Niagara, wouldn't jump off. Well he did, the blonde paid up
the 100$. The brunette feels a bit of remorse and starts returning
the money, saying the bet wasn't fair as she had seen the 6pm
And the blonde replies - Oh that's ok! I saw the 6pm news too.
Just didn't think he'd have the guts to do it again.
Would you keep the money? I think I would!
Coming back to our deli proprietor, if he, had any advertisement
or communication for wanting to sell the cat, with or without
saucer, then maybe the whole situation would have to reviewed
again in the light of his communication. But in the existing
circumstances I see nothing wrong.
Just my 2 cents (keep it carefully,
remember it's from a Marwari :-)
>From Master Quotes to Mis Quotes!
=====> How do we discuss?
>From Paul mailto:email@example.com
> So it's starting to haunt me that I'm doing so much of the
talking out here.
Just remember... You asked for it.
> Go ahead, send us your views, problems, and comments.
I'm opposed to stupidity and in favor of a gold standard. I
have more than the usual number of opinions, and less than
the usual good sense about expressing them.
> And you must have your own methods of dealing with
Yep. Mostly I turn purple and sputter. The resulting state
closely resembles catatonia, and usually relieves the stress.
Of course, the sedatives administered by the good people at
your ER of choice will help.
This tactic should, however, only be attempted by trained
professionals. (Accountants, lawyers, Little League
coaches...) For the mortals among the crowd, I recommend
humor. I myself prefer humor with a point.
> I took inspiration from Bernard Shaw [snip].
A Grand Master of pointed humor, also know as the 'barb mot.'
One of my favorites that's attributed to him:
Mr. Shaw (hereinafter referred to as "King George") was invited
to a dinner party . Upon arrival, he joined in a conversation
which included his hostess. After a few minutes, he asked her,
"Madam, if I gave you one million dollars, would you sleep
To which she replied, laughing, "Of course, George. Why do
His Highness merely nodded and walked away. No one paid it
much attention, as King George, like his namesake, was known
to be a bit... eccentric. Later he came back and asked her,
"Madam, if I gave you one hundred thousand dollars, would you
sleep with me?" She, looking annoyed, said, "Yes, George"
went back to her conversation.
Roughly a half hour went by. George came back, handed the
woman a $20 bill, and said, "Come on, Toots." The outraged
matron asked "George! What kind of woman do you think I am?"
Shaw replied, "I know what kind of woman you are, madam.
I am simply attempting to determine the price."
If you are dealing with someone who suggests something that's,
in their words, "not a big deal," but which you both know
isn't right, use this story. They'll laugh, and then they'll
get the point.
=========== Helpful ? Humor Tips ==========
===> What to Wear to income-tax....
A man who was called to testify at the income-tax, asked
his accountant for advice on what to wear. "Wear your
shabbiest clothing. Let them think you are a pauper," the
Then he asked his lawyer the same question, but got the
opposite advice. "Do not let them intimidate you. Wear your
most elegant suit and tie."
Confused, the man went to his Rabbi, told him of the
conflicting advice, and requested some resolution of the dilemma.
"Let me tell you a story," replied the Rabbi. "A woman,
to be married, asked her mother what to wear on her wedding night.
'Wear a heavy, long, flannel nightgown that goes right up to your neck.'
But when she asked her best friend, she got conflicting advice.
Wear your most sexy negligee, with a v-neck right down to your
The man protested: "What does all this have to do with my
problem with the Income-tax?"
The Rabbi replied, "No matter what you wear, you are going
to get screwed."
(Your only hope may be http://www.taxmama.com
Are you wondering where these week's humorous tip is?
and what the above had to do with 'Never Miss a Chance'?
Well after all those theory tips, I thought a practical example
would be nice. Never miss a chance, especially one which
is well set up, to gently plug yourself or your product
(with humor). At worst, you'll raise another laugh. At best
you maybe laughing all the way to the bank.
Salesmen can be fun, not just as jokes!
Talk to me for sales tips, anytime.
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