April fool’s day is a favorite day for some, because there are many funny jokes that can be played. But when you are working for ‘The Man’ humor can be unacceptable. The workplace has become a controversial place for funny jokes, because what is funny to one person can be considered an attack by another. Finding humor at another person’s expense can cause many stressful days at work or even many lawsuits.
Many companies hold informational meeting on not practicing office humor, because they don’t want any of there workers to be offended. However, at time companies can cross the line on what is acceptable and not acceptable. Part of the problem with telling a person that funny jokes or humor is not acceptable is that if a person can not enjoy themselves at work the workplace will become uninviting and the workers unhappy.
‘Night Court’ was a sitcom that came out quite a few years ago. The judge on the show was always having fun, but playing practical jokes occasionally got him in trouble. However, most of the time the judge’s antics allowed him to see a larger scope of the people he met and he was able to help them to better their lives. A saying that many companies need to learn is the ‘a little levity never hurt’. Allowing personnel the opportunity to send jokes through email and find humor in some of the bad things that may happen in the office can help to handle stress and bring a better camaraderie between the workers.
Where the line needs to be drawn on funny jokes and humor is if the joke shows a racial or gender bias or if the joke is intended to harm another or cause a person to be made to look bad (especially in the eyes of their superiors). Harmful jokes or humor should never be acceptable in the workplace. Every individual should be responsible for their actions and take steps to know what is acceptable and will be found as a funny joke. If a joke is questionable the individual should recognize that that type of humor should be refrained from.
A company does have the responsibility to uphold its reputation and should educate its employees on acceptable humor and what would be considered a not so funny joke. However, companies should also take steps to allow their employees a fun work place. Part of this may include allowing a worker to use email to send jokes to people they know. One suggestion for the workplace may be to have a ‘no joke’ list and if people do not want to receive jokes through email they can place themselves on the list.
Humor and jokes should be allowed in the work place to allow a happier and more jovial work environment. A funny joke can cheer up a person’s day and a little humor can relieve stress. If an individual is responsible to not offend a person and the company encourages their work force to be happy working for ‘The Man’ wouldn’t be so bad.