Comedy at Work

Is work too serious for joking?

Mary Poppins should appear in every company training day once in a while.
Particularly, the story of the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.
George Banks, an employee there, takes his children, Jane and Michael, to see him at work for the day.
But when Michael withholds his tuppence from the clutching grasp of old Mr Dawes – he wanted it to feed the birds – circumstances conspire to cause a run on the bank.
The bank would appear to be doing well. Here is a business with fingers in many profitable pies:
As the famous song explains:
Railways through Africa
Dams across the Nile
Fleets of ocean greyhounds
Majestic, self-amortizing canals
Plantations of ripening tea!
The trouble is, they’re taking everything too seriously, mentally enslaved in the small confines of their (oh-so-very-important) financial operation.
Mr Banks is the walking dead at home, caught up in the oppressive seriousness and order of his work place.
So he doesn’t get his children’s jokes about a man with a wooden leg called Mr Smith. To which the reply comes: ‘So what’s the other one called?’
Jokes, for the work-obsessed Mr Banks, are a complete waste of time. What’s the point of a joke?
As you may know, it’s a happy ending. Old Mr Dawes dies happy – laughing at the joke above – and his son and the rest of the enslaved management team break free…freed by a joke.
They’re still keen on business – but they also have time to fly kites in a London park.
Comedy is an important lubricant in the work place, whether a school, a recruitment company, a police station or the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank…particularly comedy of the absurd, keeping things in perspective…
…which can be helpful on a dull or stressful Friday afternoon.
Comedy is also a relational gold mine, as advertisers well know. ‘If Carlsberg did supermarkets…’ etc.
They’re selling their product not on its quality – but on the basis of a shared joke.
Not all jokes from our work colleagues will be funny, of course. To which we say,
‘There’s nothing like a good joke – and that was nothing like a good joke.’