I sometimes wonder if on my way back from the Town Pump some late night I slipped through a wormhole in the space-time continuum and ended up in an alternate universe.
I must have jumped out of the hole in time to not fully live in this Bizarro World, but I still have the ability to see some of the inhabitants of that strange place, mainly by accessing our somewhat shared reality on the Internet.
I was following some links on writing and business blogs (mostly populated by fellow earthlings) when I ran across a woman who touts herself as a “humor consultant”.
That sounds like a pretty sweet gig, so I decided to investigate further.
She had some clips of her delivering her material that the Fortune 500 evidently clamors for. I didn’t find it particularly funny, she seemed like a slightly more relaxed version of a Powerpoint presentation.
She also had a clip of her stand-up routine. (Note to self: If you decide to put a clip of yourself delivering a comedy routine online, do not do it standing in front of a vinyl banner that says “$2.50 Pabst All day” – and make sure more than 3 people are in the audience to help beef-up the laugh track a little more)
Now consultants are probably a good thing for companies to hire, if they lack certain skills and abilities. I would wonder about any company that was so humorless that they had to bring in somebody to try and get a rise out of the employees. Management FAIL!
Do companies really hire people like this? How do you explain THAT particular invoice in today’s environment? How do you get these gigs, be the CEO’s sister-in-law?
Seriously, though, more power to this lady if she is actually pulling this off. I would expect the only laughter I would get if I tried something like this would be from the business types I tried to pitch this to.
Because I’ve been knocking around the business world for quite some time now, and there’s not much humor in it, in my experience. And that’s not an accident.
Even in the warm-and-fuzzy pre-Depression world, humor was in short supply. Mainly because in humor, somebody has to be the butt of the joke. And making even polite fun of a situation or the participants in it seems to be a quick way to lose those dreaded “team player” points.
So the alternative is to poke fun of yourself, something that most people seem to be genetically unable to do. Plus, come performance review time, you may find that you’ve written yourself into the part of the clown and out of the part of the prince.
I miss the few offices I’ve worked in where people genuinely got to be themselves, warts and all. Because today’s environment seems to favor the “hive mind” mentality. Leave your personality in the parking lot and plug into the “beige-ness” of the office and environment during your sentence there.
This also strikes me as the modern version of the King and Court Jester, tailored to the conference room set.
But who made these people King?