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Moderated by : Eva Rosenberg  mailto:eva@workinghumor.com

Assisted By : Gunjan Saraf   mailto:gunjan@workinghumor.com

         15th  August  2001    #     020
                 Happy Independence Day in India


Moderator's Comment -
                          ~ Gunjan


A Mistake
                              ~ Arik Schenkler

A Change of Perspective
                             ~ A very dear friend

Can't Start an Argument
                    ~  Eva Rosenberg


Moron Wrong Numbers
                             ~ Scott Simmerman
                             ~ Paul Meyers
                             ~ Moderators Comment

The Long Promised Telemarketing Goofed up Article
                             ~ Gunjan
Useful? Humor Tips

                        ~ Gunjan

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Moderator's Message

Dear LaughMates,

Time for another issue of I-Laugh. It's Wednesday again. Does it really occur just once a week?

It's not that I hate Wednesdays. As Einstein said everything is relative -

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute."

The last 2 Wednesdays and I-Laugh issues were such a breeze, with so many posts and so much discussion, but there seems to be a sudden drought, in spite of what I thought was a nice issue last week, with so many issues being brought up.

Since those topics didn't seem to generate much heat, let's try discussing a Topic which did. Let's go on to pet peeves. I've just told you my pet peeve as a moderator. Now you tell me what irritates you most at work. Let's hear your pet peeves and then see if we can find humorous solutions to them.

Here's to a discussion filled week.

BTW - I made use of the opportunity to dump in that AIM article which I had mentioned and why I thought it stank. Here's a [snip]ped version.

Your Comic Guide

P.S - Please, do remember to invite your friends to subscribe.

Please, send any comments to:

=====  New Discussions  =====

====> A Mistake

 >From Arik Schenkler <shenkler@netvision.net.il>

Gunjan shalom,

You wrote: "May you never run out of ink".

It should be: "May you ever run out of ink" ... -:)


Moderator's Comment -

Arik, I see your point of view. Stating the wish as you say (especially if it came true) would probably bring a lot more business to our sponsor, which (as Clara and Phil are aware) I genuinely wish for. However I was always taught from an early age that wishes should always be positive.

Of course, sometimes this causes a lot of difficulty. For example just this week I had to correspond with someone who sells bulk email addresses. Now while this happens to be a legit business it's not something I approve of. So how should I sign off my letter? I couldn't use 'with regards' cause I didn't feel any. Didn't feel like using 'best wishes' so finally after a lot of thought I signed of with 'May some other enterprise of yours do so well that you don't have any time left for this one'.

Similarly, in a positive vein, I wish that all my dear LaughMates, visit our sponsor before their ink runs out. Running out of ink, at best, is an irritation, at worst can lose you important clients. So I reiterate, "May you never run out of ink!"
~ Gunjan

Comments :

====> A Fresh Perspective

Not too long ago, I had "one of those days".  I was feeling pressure from a writing deadline. I had company arriving in a couple of days and the toilet was clogged.

I went to the bank, and the trainee teller processing my deposit had to start over three times. I swung by the supermarket to pick up a few things and the lines were serpentine.

By the time I got home, I was frazzled and sweaty and in a hurry to get something on the table for dinner.

Deciding on Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, I grabbed a can opener, cranked open the can, then remembered I had forgotten to buy milk at the store. Nix the soup idea.  Setting the can aside, I went to plan B, which was leftover baked beans. I grabbed a Tupperware from the fridge, popped the seal, took a look and groaned.

My husband isn't a picky eater, but even HE won't eat baked beans that look like caterpillars. Really frustrated now, I decided on a menu that promised to be as foolproof as it is nutrition free, hot dogs and potato chips. Retrieving a brand new bag of chips from the cupboard, I grabbed the cellophane and gave a hearty pull. The bag didn't open. I tried again.

Nothing happened. I took a breath, doubled my muscle and gave the bag a hearty wrestle. With a loud pop, the cellophane suddenly gave way, ripping wide from top to bottom. Chips flew sky high. I was left holding the bag and it was empty.

It was the final straw. I let out a blood curdling scream - "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!"

My husband heard my unorthodox cry for help. Within minutes he was standing at the doorway to the kitchen, where he surveyed the damage - An opened can of soup, melting groceries, mouldy baked beans and one quivering wife standing ankle deep in potato chips.

My husband did the most helpful thing he could think of at the moment. He took a flying leap, landing flat-footed in the pile of chips. And then he began to stomp and dance and twirl, grinding those chips into my linoleum in the process! I stared. I fumed. Pretty soon I was working to stifle a smile.

Eventually, I had to laugh. And, finally, I decided to join him. I, too, took a leap onto the chips and then I danced.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that my husband's response wasn't the one I was looking for. But, the truth is, it was exactly what I needed. I didn't need a cleanup crew as much as I needed an attitude adjustment and the laughter from that rather funky moment provided just that.

Comments :

====> Can't Start an Argument

This story reminds me of the kind of thing I run into sometimes. I'm sure it's not unique.

Something has happened - and you're angry. You know you're going to have to have a confrontation with someone. Have you ever had that experience? You keep running the expected conversation around and around in your head. Things just get worse and worse. In your mind, your adversary is rude, abrupt, dismissive of your concerns - and the whole thing flares up - badly.

Enter reality -

First of all, you start out with a mild, calm tone of voice. You explain the situation/problem. (You know how they're going to react, right? But, at least, YOU are going to be civilized.)

OK. It's their turn to respond. (And you have all your arguments ready.) They....

Agree with you - and apologize and start talking about how to fix the problem. (Or they do something really annoying, like hug you --- or worse, just laugh and say, "You've got me! Sorry.")


Now what the heck are you supposed to do with all that anger and adrenaline?! (My husband will usually do that to me. Hmphff)

What I usually find is that WE build up our own the worst case scenario in our minds - and reality usually turns out so much better than we expect.

I guess that's why, whenever I come across a fight, I try to face the  situation sooner rather than later. And I make a point of starting out politely.

I  build up so much less stress and feel better about the whole thing that much faster.

Although it's a bit disconcerting to have someone take the wind out your fight, it's really quite funny.

You can do that to someone who's angry with you. Agree with them and apologize. See what happens <g>

Your Comic Guide,

Eva Rosenberg
http://taxmama.com Where you can laugh at your taxes
http://www.adventive.com/lists/ihelpdesk/ - over 900 issues

=====  Replies =====

====> Moron Telephone Calls - an update

 >From Scott Simmerman <scottsimmerman@home.com>

Well, the calls continue.  We've become a semi-official answering service for Avis -- and all the calls are originating from Canada. One option is to simply block our 800 service from getting Canadian toll free calls, which may be my best solutions since it is only this Canadian marketing program that is using 888 and my number.

But the official letter went to the Pres and CEO of Avis yesterday. Reasonably nice letter.

I think my other alternative is to set up a 900 number, advise the callers that the correct number is NINE HUNDRED..., charge a toll of $5 or so for the first minute and then refer all these calls over to that.

Call myself "Evis" - in my best Southern Accent, of course, which comes out like "Aaaa-visss."

Then, I can "take" the reservation, capture the credit card information, blah blah and turn the whole thing into a profit center and/ or an embarrassment for them. Or maybe read their fortune.

And I do like 800-FATGIRLS like Draco suggested.

Hey, can't we start up a "Dirty Tricks List?"

Well, I think I will wait for a response by the powers that be there at Corporate Headquarters before actually doing more than being nice and all that. But those suggestions were good ones -- I just did not like to hear all the negative history surrounding these kinds of things.

Performance Management Company

====> More on Moron Wrong Numbers

 >From Paul Myers <paul@talkbiz.com>

In one town in which I used to live, I had a small problem with wrong numbers. Normally I try to turn them into fun, but these would all come in between 4 and 5 AM.

At that point, I was working for a Real Company, so I wasn't at my funniest at that hour of the day. The most annoying thing was that the callers would invariably hang up when I answered. (Who'd I tick off this time???)

Then one day a drunk failed to realise he had a wrong number. He asked "Is this Adam and Eve's?"


"Adam and Eve's" was a notorious local "escort service."

Their current number was nearly the same as mine, but with the last two digits transposed. Well... That was inconvenient.

At it happened, one of the guys on my dart team was a good friend of the "owner" of the "business." When I told him about the calls, he thought it was funny. Until I told him how I was going to answer any that came in after 1 AM in the future. I put on my deepest voice (Can you say "Darth Vader"?) and said:

    "Adam and Steve's. Studs, geeks and leather freaks.
     What's your pleasure, big boy?"

They had new business cards and a new phone number within the week.


Moderator's Comment : The Dirty Tricks List sounds a like a great idea. Only could we call it something less 'Dirty' ? And would Paul (in his Dart Vader accent) chair it?? <g>

Comment -

====> Goofy Trainers

First the Article...

A C T I V E   I N T E R N E T   M A R K E T I N G  April 04, 01

  Salesman Beware! Don't Let Your Prospects Deceive You!
       2001 by Robert B. Binnion, MakeItRainMoney.com

How good are you at understanding the sales process? For example, can  you tell what's wrong with the following telemarketing script?


  "Hello, Jason Average from Jungle Group Botswana,
   How  are you, Sandra?

          "I appreciate that your time is valuable, so I'll be
          very brief. I'm just calling to introduce myself and
          the service we provide... I was looking at your
          advertisement in ____________ and I noticed that you
          don't give your Website address. Is there a particular
          reason for that, and if so, may I ask what it is?"

          ["I don't need a Website, and %X***xx%0*!"]

          "Well, Sandra, you know the reason Websites work so
          well is because buyers like to see things for
          themselves. This is not the Dark Ages anymore! Think
          about it -- when was the last time you were able to
          sell something over the phone?"

          ["%X**xxx%0*0*!!!! Not interested %>***x%0Xx@X*!*!!!

  Did you pick up on the main mistake Jason made?

  It was in trying too hard to sell and not using any empathy
  in the process!

  A possible improvement to the script might be something like this:

          "Sandra, I noticed that you don't give your Website
          address. Is there a particular reason for that, and if
          so, may I ask what it is?"


          "Fair enough! Well, before I go, perhaps you could tell
          me -- if you were going to get a Website, what sort of
          money would you look to spend on it?


          Yes, I can see you have a good reason for NOT looking
          at doing anything right now, but if you WERE -- what do
          you THINK would be a fair price to pay to get a Website
          fully set up for you?



  The difference in the second example was that the
  salesperson took the time to agree with the prospect, and
  put himself in the prospect's shoes. After letting the
  prospect express herself, the salesperson didn't continue to
  argue the point. By agreeing, he was able to sidestep the
  'false' objections, and get on with the rest of the sales
  process of getting his prospect involved with the product.


  People are NOT stupid! So, if possible, agree with your
  prospect's objections -- up to a point. Handle the big ones,
  learn to flow over the small ones, and make that sale!

  Robert Binnion, mailto:robertbinnion@hotmail.com, is
  Webmaster of the online success Website
  http://www.MakeItRainMoney.com... Are you struggling to
  market effectively on the Internet? Do you need an easy fix?
  Could you improve your number of Web hits? Would you like to
  Make it Rain Money? Go to http://www.MakeItRainMoney.com

And now my Letter to Dr. Kevin who runs AIM

Hi Kevin,

I'm a subscriber ... [snip]

I'm sorry, but I feel I must tell you that I found the above mentioned article very poor compared to your normal high standards.

First let's start with the Title - "Salesman Beware! Don't Let Your Prospects Deceive You!"
How is the prospect in the article 'deceiving' the salesman? By not wanting to buy? That is deceiving? WOW!
The ideal Salesman's world - Not buying from a Salesman is immoral, illegal and fattening! :-)

Anyway, moving on...

As I've been in sales, marketing, advertising for over 15 years. I went through Case Study 1 thoroughly. Found not just the mistakes but made a mental note of what I'd have done in a situation like that.
( I love doing these mental exercises.)

I then moved on to his Case Study 2 with enthusiasm to try and compare his techniques with mine. Add a little point to my repertoire if he had a better solution. Imagine my disappointment when his solution was no solution. The article was written so badly that the first answer he gets is different from Case Study 1, so it's a different situation and not a comparison of good and bad technique in the same situation. (Little words make all the difference.)

Just so my exercise is not a total waste. I'm sending you what I'd do in Case Study 1 and Case Study 2 which is a different scenario from the first and not a successful(?) twist to situation 1.

 > "Hello, Jason Average from Jungle Group Botswana, How
 >  are you, Sandra?

 >"I appreciate that your time is valuable, so I'll be
 > very brief. I'm just calling to introduce myself and
 >  the service we provide... I was looking at your
 >  advertisement in ____________ and I noticed that you
 >  don't give your Website address. Is there a particular
 >  reason for that, and if so, may I ask what it is?"

  >  ["I don't need a Website, and %X***xx%0*!"]

For me the important word here would be NEED.

My reply would be something like this (it would vary according to the tone of voice and the unmentioned expletives)

"Of course you don't need a web site. Nobody NEEDS a web site. Humans managed to exist over 5000 years without websites didn't they? (light chuckle). And to be honest with you I design websites, but didn't have my own for over two years after I started designing them!"

Unlike Robert, I won't take the liberty of fabricating a complete conversation based on what I would like the reply to be. There are too many permutations and combinations possible. (yes, Good Salesmanship IS a game of chess)

But assuming that her reply was not as negative as the first, I'd probably go on with something like ....

"Sandra, would you give me 10 minutes of your time. I'll come over and we'll talk. I remember you have a busy schedule. I know you don't NEED a website. I'd like to discuss some of the ways a website may or may not
be of benefit to you."

"At best if you like my ideas, we could work on a website. At worst if you don't like my ideas, you'd have wasted 10 minutes and a cup of coffee. I assume you WILL offer me a cup of coffee (another light chuckle). Maybe we can even have a little 'who rubbishes websites' better contest!"

(The exact wordings would vary, depending on whether she shared my first chuckle... etc!)

Case Study 2

 > "Sandra, I noticed that you don't give your Website
 > address. Is there a particular reason for that, and if
 > so, may I ask what it is?"

 >   ["%X***xxx%0*0*!!!!!"]

Notice the difference in this answer from case study 1. There is no communication at all. Just expletives. A very different and more difficult prospect.

If I was stupid enough to try the example given in study 2

 >"Fair enough! Well, before I go, perhaps you could tell
 > me -- if you were going to get a Website, what sort of
 > money would you look to spend on it?

I'd probably get a nastier reply asking if I understood @#$%^& English and why the #$%^ should she waste her time trying to think how much she would be willing to spend on something she didn't want. Or talking to morons for that matter.

Normally, the only chance, I've found with Case 2 type of replies is if the expletives are delivered in style or humor and you can pick up a thread and
start a conversation. However normally for a reply like this it's better to put a light scratch through this name in your diary and move on to the next call.
(I assume/hope you weren't betting your life on one call! :-)

I don't normally like to critique or ridicule other peoples articles. I'm sorry but I felt I just had to comment on this one.


The author of this article (or reply) is Gunjan Saraf. who CAN NOT make it rain money.... (Its out of fashion! even the Lord hasn't done it in a long time.) What Gunjan does do is to run a little website called www.workinghumor.com along with renowned tax consultant Eva Rosenberg.

With regards,

Gunjan Saraf

===========  Helpful ? Humor Tips    ==========

===> Shhhhhhhhh!

(When you don't have something smart to say, it's better to keep shut, than to say stupid things and make a fool of yourself. I'm practicing my tip this week.)


Comments or Have a Humorous Tip to share?

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