Friday, November 09, 2007

It's ok to laugh at work!

When I worked in the NHS the good news is we occasionally had a laugh in the office.

I remember one day I conspired with a colleague and friend of mine to produce a spoof evaluation form that we sent out to a few people who had attended an in-house training event.

We had a real laugh about it and everyone in the office seemed to think it was good fun.

I got involved recently in a discussion on Tom Peters Blog about whether there is a place for humour at work.

I believe there is far too little humour at work. I also think humour does not mean being any less professional. In fact I believe people are far more productive if they are happy – What do you think?

Here is what we said in our spoof letter:

Dear Colleague

As part of the continuing professional development we have introduced a new feedback system following away days/seminars and teaching sessions to ensure that learning has taken place.

As a result a few people are randomly selected at the end of each session to answer a few simple questions to assure the organisers that learning has occurred.

I hope you don’t mind filling in this short questionnaire and your honesty will be appreciated.

Bill Bloggs (name changed to protect the innocent)
Chief Executive


1 Did you find your way to the venue ok?
2 Was the coffee good? (tea if you drink tea)
3 Was the room comfortable or would you have preferred somewhere with Sky Sports TV?
4 Did you think the standard of dress of delegates was good enough to maintain the professional image of the organisation?
5 Did you fall asleep in any of the presentations? – We need you to name names
6 Do you think it would have helped if jokes had been part of the meeting?
7 Were you able to make the dolls house out of balsa wood without copying your friend?
8 How would you sum up the experience?
9 Could you have benefited from a lady of the night?
10 Was it worth missing out on bacon rolls back at the office?
11 Whilst you were looking through the window (we know you did), did you think the groundsman could have made a better job of the hedges with a Black and Decker 3200?


The Dan Ward said...

I was flipping through G.K. Chesterton's very funny book "Orthodoxy," and one line sort of stuck in my head: "Seriousness is not a virtue."

I think that just about sums it up, for me!

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Dan - hope you are well - GK Chesterton must have been a brilliant character to know. If only we could travel back in time to meet these folks aye?

My favourite GK'ism is when he wrote to the letters section in The Times.

This was his letter:

Dear Sirs

In answer to your question what is wring with the world - I am

Yours sincerely
GK Chesterton

It was the shortest letter ever in The Times and has a similar meaning to Ghandi's 'You must be the change you wish to see in the world'

Achieving a powerful message through the use of very few words -genius and of course simplicity!

Annie said...

What is WRING with the world? Ha ha Trevor - I think you got that WRONG!!

Your posts are always delightful - you're one in a million.

Love from your darling wofe x

Ps. Thought I'd better mention it before David Wake does

Pps. Hi Dan

David Wike said...

Thanks Anny, you sived me a tusk.

Trevor Gay said...

That is ko ..... thanks for pointing it out :-)