Your boss might seem like a grouch who'd rather give orders than bond with his staff, but impressions can be deceiving. Many bosses are either too busy or don't know how to reach out and relate to staffers. A little levity might help fix that. Humor can soften misunderstandings and diffuse tension in the workplace. It also helps colleagues and bosses bond by adding a comfortable, casual tone to their working relationship. Jokes are a good way to lighten things up, as long as they are clean, appropriate, and not offensive to any particular group. To be on the safe side, tell jokes that the boss can relate to.
The Best Boss in the World
Jokes that turn the boss' orders around in favor of the employee always draw a chuckle. An example is this one:
Smith walks into his supervisor's office with a worried look on his face.
"Boss," he says, "we're doing some heavy house cleaning at my house tomorrow and my wife needs me to help with the attic and the garage. We'll be moving and hauling stuff around."
"We're short-handed, Smith," the boss replies. "I can't give you the day off."
"Thanks, boss," Smith says with a grin. "I knew I could count on you."
All's Fair In Business
Jokes that highlight managerial wit are also prone to draw a laugh. Here's an example:
A shopkeeper started to worry when a rival business moved in next door, to the left of his shop, and placed a large sign on its shop window that read, "Best Deals."
The shopkeeper was horrified when another competitor moved in to the right of his shop and placed an even larger sign on its shop window that read, "Lowest Prices."
The shopkeeper panicked. Then, he had an epiphany. He put the largest sign of all over his own shop. It read: "Main Entrance."
The Requirements of This Job
Zingers that deliver the most effective punchlines can usually make anyone laugh, even the boss. Here's a zinger involving a job candidate interview -- a task your boss probably has to carry out often:
Employer: "This job calls for someone who is responsible."
Applicant: "I'm the one you want. On my last job, every time anything went wrong, they always said I was responsible."
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody
Sometimes the best jokes state the obvious workplace situations in not-so-obvious ways, like this gem:
This is the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Anybody could have done this job, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could get the job done, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. In the end, Nobody told Anybody so Everybody blamed Somebody.
Aimee C. Juarez began her writing career with Knight-Ridder Newspapers in 2001. She holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Florida International University and a Master of Business Administration from Barry University. Juarez is currently working toward a Ph.D. in organizational systems and sustainable practices through Saybrook University.