HR Update: Humor Guidelines
In order to keep our employees abreast of the frequent and often mystifying changes to Thing X, Inc. policies and procedures, updates to the Human Resources Employee Manual will be posted here as necessary.
Thing X, Inc. Employee Handbook Section XIV: Humor Guidelines
Thing X, Inc. strongly believes that humor in the workplace can greatly increase morale and generally make for a more enjoyable office environment. With that in mind, we insist that all Thing X employees adhere strictly to the following guidelines to ensure that all jokes are appropriate, inoffensive, and fully approved by the Thing X Committee On Humor and Juggling (COHAJ). Improper or unsanctioned use of humor within any Thing X property, whether verbal, non-verbal, or implied, is considered a Level 1 offense per Statute R-7 of the Thing X Disciplinary Code, and thus subject to severe action, including, but not limited to, immediate termination.
Joke Submission For Approval
All jokes, jests, puns, or jibes must be submitted for approval PRIOR TO employee utterance via the electronic Proposal For Humorous Interaction form. Please allow 5-7 business days for a response (10-12 business days in the two months leading up to April 1st).
On the rare occasion that an employee requires joke approval to be expedited due to a confluence of circumstances unlikely to occur again in the foreseeable future (e.g., a fellow employee has just dropped his yogurt, and one wishes to say, “Smooth move, Ex-Lax!” or a similar quip pointing out that the employee’s fingers would seem to be covered in a low viscosity substance, such as butter), he or she may apply for an Emergency Humor Permit by dialing extension 49863. After the tone, succinctly state the core elements of alleged once-in-a-lifetime joke opportunity, hang up, and wait for an emailed response.
Jokes may be rejected outright and without explanation, but some of the most common reasons for denial include:
- Offensive to others.
- Not original: all jokes must be the original work of the employee, or exhaustively referenced with materials definitively proving the joke’s provenance, extending back no fewer than 20 years, if applicable.
- Eh: Joke is ok, but Committee On Humor And Juggling is "not really feeling it."
- Joke is in Portuguese: Thing X does not allow the telling of jokes (verbal or non-verbal) in Portuguese, without exception.
- Swear words percentage exceeded: While swear words are permitted, they may not exceed 20 percent of joke’s total words. For example, “My ass-shitting wife was on the toilet again for 15 fucking hours straight and let me tell you, pissing between her legs was no fucking fun,” is acceptable because total swear words (5) make up less than 20 percent of all joke words.
For employee consideration and safety, all jokes must be told within the confines of pre-designated, 3-foot-diameter Humor Circles, clearly marked on the ground in red and labeled with the letter H, located on Thing X floors deemed “joke-appropriate.” Only one employee is permitted in a Humor Circle at a time, and may not exceed the time limit of 60 seconds per use.
The following jokes have been pre-approved by COHAJ and employees are free to step into humor circles and recite these jokes at any time:
- “Remember the Alamo? More like ‘Remember to submit your expense reports by 4 p.m. on Friday!’”
- “Thing X, Shming X!”
- “You don’t have to be crazy to work here—but it is more than advisable!”
- “My ass-shitting wife was on the toilet again for 15 fucking hours straight and let me tell you, pissing between her legs was no fucking fun.”
- “Needs salt!”
Thing X offers joke-training workshops taught twice a week by the Thing X house improvisational comedy team, Humor Resources! [UPDATE: All 11 members of Humor Resources! were beaten to death early last week with pillow cases filled with staplers; management has no plans to investigate at this time.]