Know Your Audience

I seriously sit back and wonder sometimes about myself.  Why you ask?  Because I can almost always find the humor in things.  Meetings, weddings, funerals, shoot, even traffic jams, I can usually find something to tickle my funny bone.

Then there is a post I found on Facebook that goes something like this:

You find it offensive?  Well I find it funny, that’s why I am a happier person than you are!

Don’t get me wrong.  I do NOT go out of my way to offend people.  I know my audience.  Not everyone’s mind is in the gutter like mine.  So something I find funny would very likely NOT tickle those I work with.  At the Holy P. Monica and I had to work hard on NOT making eye contact in a meeting if someone said something that was remotely dirty.  We knew if we did, we’d lose it and never be able to explain ourselves.

Today, I was in an elevator with a couple of lady co-workers (one was my boss).  I really don’t know how we got to this line, but I looked at them and said “Well you know, guys have a MUCH higher tolerance than women.OK so any guy reading this is thinking “Dude, what the hell did you do?”  Any lady, “How did you get out of the elevator alive???”

OK, first off, I am good friends with both of these ladies.  Second, I fully expected them to threaten my life (and they did) and thirdly, they know I was kidding.  So much so, they told every woman we ran into (including Michelle) what I said.  They were drumming up torches and pitchforks!  But we were laughing the whole time.

One co-worker is the sweetest person ever.  if there ever was a person that would have bluebirds fluting around her like a Disney character its her.  BUT, she has this way of catching things that make her laugh and embarrass her at the same time.  For example, she designs training programs.  In one, she did a diagram of a tree bush thing.  Each leaf was clickable to take you to a different part of the lesson.

She called me over and showed it to me and asked “Is my bush full enough?”  I’m telling you I did NOT react in the least….  But then she realized what she said, blushed beet red, and started laughing.  I lost it.  I just sat not he floor and cried I was laughing so hard.  But NOPE, we did NOT explain to anyone else!  Other times, I will hear her snort at her desk and I will know someone said something that took even her to the gutter…

At the Holy P, Teri Ann was the most prim and proper woman I had ever met.  When she taught, I thought of a school marm with a ruler Yes Miss Terri Ann, no Miss Terri Ann, of course Miss Terri Ann.. But more than once, we’d be talking and she’d let fly with the F-bomb!  Each time, I’d look at in mock offense and say “TERRI-ANN!!!” She’d realize what she did and blurt out “Oh Shit sorry!  I mean Damn!!” The more I’d laugh, the more she’d get flustered.  And I’d always end it with “I need to call HR I am offended!”

Then there would be the times they would ask me to lunch, and I’d say “No”.  Well why?  “I just don’t like you all enough to have lunch with you :)”  They’d go off in mock indigence and when back call me every name in the book.  We all laugh.

Why do I do this?  Because its important to laugh at work.  Once, long ago the spitfire Jill and I were talking.  How we got on the subject I do not know.  But she said “No one has tried to pick me up in years!”  So I scooped her up and lifted her clear off the floor at work.  She squealed loud enough to be heard all over the 7th floor.  i put her down and to this day, we still laugh about it.

I am very careful who I do this with.  When I start a new job, or a new person, male or female, joints the group, I keep a low profile (No really I do).  At the Holy P, I was prim and proper, and very professional, quietly working in my office, until they started picking on me.

Once that starts, I am allowed to do the same.  And its easy to see who can dish it out but can’t take it.  Those who can’t, I avoid if I can, or if I can’t, have very little interaction that is not business related.

But those who can, and have fun back, can become friends.  It makes work fun.  But there is one more reason it works.  And this the most important.  I will tease people, pick on them and laugh whenever possible.  There are some I am even comfortable enough to call a “bitch” (In the most affectionate way).  These people all know, no matter what that i respect them, their abilities and I genuinely like them.

AND, they know I can take it even more than I can dish it out.  I am perfectly happy to be the butt of the  joke or the one making it.  Why?  Because its much more fun to laugh at work than to be bored stiff.

But for the luva gawd, know your audience first….

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