Your Working Humor Discussion List
I-Laugh - Your 'Working' Humor Discussion List
Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Assisted By : Gunjan Saraf mailto:email@example.com
1st August 2001 # 018
Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense
to know how to lie well.
~ Samuel Butler
1612-1680, British Poet, Satirist
IN THIS DIGEST :
Moderator's Comment -
~ Eva Rosenberg
REQUEST FOR HELP
Moron Wrong Numbers -
~ Scott Simmerman
Sex to Socks
Humor in Serious Places
~ Arik Schenkler
~ Gunjan Saraf
How do we Discuss?
~ Eva Rosenberg
Useful? Humor Tips
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Scott brings up an interesting question below.
His situation can be enormously annoying.
And you could respond to his problem with
total hostility, complete dismissal (hang up),
wicked humor,...or...you could make the situation pay.
I'm going to send Scott my suggestions...and wait to see
what you dream up before I post my own.
So, what clever ideas can you suggest to make this
funny and profitable?
Incidentally, if you were waiting for my response to
Paul Myers' George Bernard Shaw story,....keep
Your Comic Guide,
P.S. Please, do remember to invite your friends to subscribe.
Please, send any comments to:
===== Request for Help =====
====> Moron Wrong Numbers
>From Scott Simmerman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi. I'm a pretty serious guy who uses humor a good bit
but I am stumped on a humorous approach to this situation.
Eva's thoughts on converting wrong telephone numbers
(sex to socks) got me thinking. Maybe someone can offer
a suggestion? (And I think my situation is not all that unusual).
I've had an 800 number for my consulting and training business
for 15 years or so. It is on stationary, business cards, websites, etc.
so changing it is certainly not the solution.
A short while ago, Avis Car Rental started using an 888 number for
their "Weekender" promotion. Seems like 5 or more people a day
call my home office (and often very late in the evening). Before, they
seemed to only have misdialed. We're generally pretty nice if they are
nice, but it is amazing how they sometimes ARGUE with you about
what the number is. I had one person persist in redialing the same
number 3 times and being shocked that they could have possibly made
a mistake even when we told them that the correct number was 888.
And it is possible that Avis is misprinting the correct number on
occasion, since some say they are looking at the 800 number
on the brochure...
Okay, I admit that I am not always "most charming" in my response,
especially when the call gets me out of bed. Sure, I could let the
machine handle it, but I sometimes DO get calls from Asia or Europe in
the middle of the night. Once, I simply told the person we were out of
cars. Another time, I offered to rent them my van which is sitting in
the driveway if they wanted to come down to SC and get it.
HOW would you handle this, given the extreme unlikeliness that
they will be customers?
For the FUN of It!
Performance Management Company
===== Replies =====
====> From Sex to Socks
Eva's mention of sex to sock reminded me of an old
salesman's joke. One I love. Those of you who may
have heard it already, my apologies. Others I'm sorry,
but I really thought you would like it. :-)
A keen country lad applied for a salesman's job at a
city department store. At the end of his first day on the job
his boss fronted up and asked,
"How many sales did you make today?"
"One," said the young salesman.
"Only one," smarted the boss, "Most of my staff
make 20 or 30 sales a day."
He growled on - "How much was the sale worth?"
"100,000 dollars," said the young man quietly.
That knocked the wind out of the bosses sail. "How did you
manage that?" he asked, flabbergasted.
"Well," said the salesman "this man came in and I sold him
a small fish hook, then a medium hook and finally a really
large hook. Then I sold him a small fishing line, a medium one
and a huge big one. I asked him where he was going fishing
and he said down the coast. I said he would probably need
a boat, so I took him down to the boat department and sold
him that twenty foot schooner with the twin engines. Then he
said his Volkswagen probably wouldn't be able to pull it,
so I took him to the car department and sold him the new
The boss asked in astonishment, "You sold all that to a guy
who came in for a fish hook?"
"Not really," answered the salesman still with the same
modest tone, "He came in to buy a box of Tampons for
his wife and I said to him, 'Your weekend's shot, you may
as well go fishing.' "
Now that's a really clever salesman!
====> Humor in the most serious places
>From Arik Schenkler <email@example.com>
Check out this News Report :
"Tragedy in Eastern Canada
Canada's worst Air Disaster occurred earlier today when
a Cessna 152, a small two-seater plane, crashed into a
cemetery early this morning in central Newfoundland.
Newfoundland search and rescue workers have recovered
826 bodies so far, and expect that number to climb as
digging continues into the evening."
====> Humor in the most serious places
Got this one from a dear friend in S. Africa.
Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources
person asked the young MBA fresh out of MIT,
"What starting salary were you looking for?"
The candidate said, "In the neighborhood of $130,000
a year, depending on the benefits package."
The HR Person said, "Well, what would you say to a package
of 6-weeks vacation, 13 paid holidays, full medical and dental,
company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary and a
company car leased every 2 years - say, a red Corvette?"
The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow!!! Are you kidding?"
The HR Person replied, "Certainly, but you started it."
In response to Paul Myers humorous article on
handling Telemarketers I got this post from someone
who would rather remain anonymous....
Very good job with the phone marketer...
He was fishing for info and would have sent you
overpriced fax paper which you did not request or want.
Then they would have hounded you forever with collection
calls until you paid it just to get rid of them.
My method of handling them is simple.
I wait for a short pause in their canned talk (they have
to take a breath sometime) then I announce...
"We never eat oatmeal for breakfast at our house."
They generally have no answer for that, and I am rid
of them for good because they mark my number as an
"idiot" and never call me again.
However, I did have one "nut" who said "I am sorry to
hear that. You know oatmeal is good for you." and then
went on with his script. I had to hang up on him.
Now this brings up a few issues ...
a) Should we carry anonymous posts? Our feeling is
that discussion lists like I-Laugh are aimed at creating
a community feeling, which would be diluted, if we
carry anonymous posts. On the other hand we understand
that people who have no businesses online may not be too
keen on giving out their email addresses and increasing
the number of mails that they receive. We would love
to know how you, dear Laughmates, feel about the issue.
b) Going back to the post itself, I was distressed to find
that even the one 'nut' or 'smart guy' depending on your
point of view, who had a quick witted reply, just carried on
with his sales spiel after that line. In my opinion he blew a
great opportunity. Personally I would have laughed,
dropped the sales pitch and start discussing the effectiveness
of lines like that in stopping telemarketers in their tracks etc
If I got the ear of the person I wanted to communicate to,
that's more important than dumping the message. Sooner
or later you could always get back to the message and
it would be more effective if you had the ear of the listener.
If not you were wasting your breath anyway.
Unfortunately, most sales people are not taught or don't
learn the importance of listening and judging where they
are getting across or not. I read an article in Active
Internet Marketing a few months ago by a Sales Trainer
which had me horrified.
That brings me to my second/third questions. Would you
like to go through the article and my rebuttal on why I thought
If there are any topics like these which we decide to cover
in depth would you prefer a supplement or putting it on our
website and giving you the url ?
www.workinghumor.com - Let your Humor Work for you !
Glance through these cartoons, I chose them
out of a collection of over 100, just for you...
The Jewish (maybe Marwari) Fisherman
=====> How do we discuss?
For those of you that were waiting for my story (the one
which Paul rewrote) since last week, I put it towards the
bottom of this issue just to tease you that bit longer (and
to ensure you read to the bottom of every issue.)
Paul had told us the story of George Bernard Shaw's
comment, "I know what kind of woman you are, madam.
I am simply attempting to determine the price."
Without further ado here is Eva's story ...
It's funny that Paul mentioned this story.
When I was in college, my marketing professor tried this very
thing on me. It was early in the semester, but he had already
proven to be very much the middle-aged version of the typical
overconfident high school quarterback. He led off with asking
me the same set of questions, confident of the trap.
Right in front of the class, he asked me, "Eva, if I gave you one
million dollars, would you sleep with me?"
I reflected only briefly before I replied - "Not a chance!"
After a bit of probing to be certain, he realized that I would
really, truly refuse his one million dollars. Then, he went off
sputtering (probably the same lovely shade of purple that Paul
described) because I had innocently ruined his point AND
embarrassed him. He spent the rest of the semester trying to
get even with me.
The one really neat thing about him?
Despite his pique, he ended up being forced to give me an A in
his marketing class, which earned me a place in "Chicken Soup
for the College Soul." (...and that's a whole other story.)
Just goes to show you.
=========== Helpful ? Humor Tips ==========
===> Go Easy
Last week's Humor Tip resulted in 25,000 hits
Of course you know I'm talking through my hat and this
weeks humor tip is exactly about that ... the art of bluffing.
First a joke. There was this Texan who loved to bluff. The
only problem was he used to get so carried away that his
bluffs were never taken seriously. For example if you told
him you had just met a person who was 7 feet tall, he'd say
that's nothing, his father was 15 feet tall. A friend of his
explained his folly to him.
The Texan said he understood what the friend was saying, but
he was so used to it that he could hardly help it. But if the friend
would tap him on the shoulder next time he was going overboard
he would try to go easy.
That same night a chap from Florida started saying he had
just bought a farm that was 15 or 20 miles long and 32 or
37 miles wide (I'm told Floridians are always a bit confused).
Well that had the Texan in his element. He starts
talking about his farm in Texas which is a hundred thousand
miles long ..... (tap, tap) and 1 inch wide.
These examples are extreme to drive home the point. However,
most people aren't even aware while bluffing whether their bluffs
are digestible or not. If you must bluff, go easy. (Or on the other
extreme make it ridiculous, so the other person knows you don't
expect him to believe that and tries to find the point you were
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