Your Guide to Being Funny at the Office
Your guide to being a successful office jokester.
Making your way in the gnarly world of office politics is tough. From avoiding land mines like fish-based lunches to mastering the art of the email signature, the day in the life of the average American office worker is rife with trivial challenges that could have tremendous repercussions, such as not being invited to Friday drinks — or, who knows, something worse.
Among the trickiest of arts is office humor, a topic today's The Wall Street Journal examines in all its intricacies. Because while we all want a laugh on a Tuesday afternoon, many are hesitant to try a joke that could fall flat with one's colleagues and lead to awkward silences or lawsuits.
"If you are funny and putting yourself out there, making yourself vulnerable, and people don't respond? That hurts," an office jokester told The Journal's Sue Shellenbarger. "[T]he office can be a comedic minefield. Making colleagues laugh takes timing, self-confidence—and the ability to rebound from a blooper," Shellenbarger explains.
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