Anyone who’s spent any significant amount of time working in an office environment knows that a sense of humor is crucial to survival. However, what passes for funny inside those grey walls is not often funny at all. Oh it seems hilarious at the time, but that’s only because you’re essentially a prisoner. You know what prisoners find funny? Anything that makes them forget they’re in prison. Same goes for office humor.
1. Desk Pranks
You go on vacation and you come back expecting to find an inbox full of unread emails and a desk full of unopened letters. You eventually find that, but only after you a) find your mouse and keyboard b) remove the layer of post-its covering your entire space, c) screw the mouthpiece back on your phone.
Those types of pranks are only funny if you do them to someone who can fire you, or if someone gets injured because of it. Take more risks next time. Laughter sounds best when it’s covering up tears.
2. Water Cooler Anecdotes
No, I don’t watch (insert popular sitcom). Oh, you’re going to go ahead and quote the entire episode to me anyway? Thanks.
You saw a comedian last night and you want to attempt to re-tell one of his jokes to me, but you’ll inevitably butcher beyond understanding? Thanks.
You’re in-laws came to visit for the weekend and you wanna tell me, in gross detail, about how your mother-in-law accidentally walked in on you toweling off? Thanks.
No more irrelevant stories please. Silence is ok. Acknowledging another person’s existence is polite, but engaging them in the minutia of your home life without them provoking it is unnecessary. A good way to combat such attacks is to respond to the storyteller’s every pause by saying “And then what happened?”
3. Casual Friday
What a dangling carrot of morale boosting this corporate tradition is. Prisoners don’t get casual Friday, that’s what makes it so rewarding. We all know how important it is to look professional while answering phone calls and make photocopies. But this isn’t a stuffy, uptight office. We here at (insert your company’s name) like to kick back once a week and allow you to wear jeans. Just make sure they’re not old or comfortable.
Stop it. Just stop it. Unless you’re forwarding this particular article, nobody wants your forwards. That’s what facebook is for. Don’t clutter my inbox with prayers and glittery angel gifs, or pictures of Batman blowing Robin.
6. Humorous Powerpoint Slides/Presentations
How do you break up a boring meeting? With humor, of course. Open with a joke, right? Wrong. Humor should be left to the professionals. And don’t try slipping a joke slide in halfway through your powerpoint presentation. Nobody wants to sit in this conference room for another minute. And we certainly don’t want you to prolong your presentation by popping up an image of you, drunk with the boss, while you retell some awful story about your “work” weekend in St. Thomas.
7. Wacky Ties
Yuck. If you’re thinking about buying a wacky tie to show your individuality, try developing a personality instead.
8. Wacky Office Group Photos/Videos
The internet is too public and too permanent for this kind of thing.
9 .Office Olympics
These events generally take an entire work day. How about this: just skip the office events and give everyone a day off. Go ahead, put it to a vote.
10. “Clever” Posters
Take them down, please. Family photos only. Authorities say that office rampages are caused by unjust firings or unfair treatment, but I’d bet if you spoke to those who have truly lost their shit in an office, you’d discover that it was because they’d seen one too many photocopied pictures of scowling Calvin with the quote “Every day of my life i’m forced to add another name to my list of people who piss me off”.