Absolutely True Work-Related Humor
A survey of top personnel executives of 100 major American corporations asked for stories of unusual behavior by job applicants. The lowlights:
1. Said he
was so well-qualified [that] if he didn't get the job, it would prove
that the company's management was incompetent.
To continue in the same manner:
of personnel executives at 200 of the Fortune 1,000 companies provided
the following unbelievable but true examples of job applicant behavior.
applicant for a job with the federal government was filling out the application
form. He came to this question: "Do you favor the overthrow of the
United States government by force, subversion, or violence?"
An executive was interviewing a young woman for a position in his company. He wanted to find out something about her personality so he asked, "If you could have a conversation with someone, living or dead, who would it be?"
responded confidently, "The living one!"
Quotes taken from actual performance evaluations:
actual lines out of OER (Officer Efficiency Report
McDonnell Douglas Questionnaire
Supposedly, this was actually posted very briefly on the McDonnell Douglas website by an employee there who obviously has a sense of humor. The company, of course, does not - and made the web department take it down immediately. (In case you don't know: McDonnell Douglas is one of the world's chief suppliers of military aircraft).
Thank you for purchasing a McDonnell Douglas military aircraft. In order to protect your new investment, please take a few moments to fill out the warranty registration card below. Answering the survey questions is not required, but the information will help us to develop new products that best meet your needs and desires.
1. [_] Mr. [_] Mrs. [_] Ms. [_] Miss [_] Lt. [_] Gen. [_] Comrade [_] Classified [_] Other
First Name: ..............................................
Last Name: ..............................................
Password: ................................. (max 8 char)
Code Name: ..............................................
Latitude-Longitude-Altitude: ........ ........... ..........
2. Which model aircraft did you purchase?
[_] F-14 Tomcat [_] F-15 Eagle [_] F-16 Falcon
[_] F-117A Stealth [_] Classified
3. Date of purchase (Year/Month/Day):
19....... / ....... /.......
4. Serial Number: .........................................
5. Please check where this product was purchased:
[_] Received as gift
/ aid package
6. Please check how you became aware of the McDonnell Douglas product you have just purchased:
[_] Heard loud noise,
7. Please check the three (3) factors that most influenced your decision to purchase this McDonnell Douglas product:
[_] Style / appearance
8. Please check the location(s) where this product will be used:
[_] North America
9. Please check the products that you currently own or intend to purchase in the near future:
[_] Color TV
10. How would you describe yourself or your organization? (Check all that apply:)
[_] Communist / Socialist
11. How did you pay for your McDonnell Douglas product?
[_] Deficit spending
12. Your occupation:
13. To help us understand our customers' lifestyles, please indicate the interests and activities in which you and your spouse enjoy participating on a regular basis:
Thank you for taking the time to fill out this questionnaire. Your answers will be used in market studies that will help McDonnell Douglas serve you better in the future - as well as allowing you to receive mailings and special offers from other companies, governments, extremist groups, and mysterious consortia. Comments or suggestions about our fighter planes? Please write to:
When you have had one of those "TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT" days, try this.
On your way home after work, stop at your pharmacy and go to the section where they have thermometers. You will need to purchase a rectal thermometer made by "Q-Tip." Be very sure that you get this brand.
When you get home, lock your doors, draw the drapes, and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed during your therapy. Change to very comfortable clothing, such as a sweat suit and lie down on your bed.
Open the package containing the thermometer and remove the thermometer and carefully place it on the bed side table so that it will not become chipped or broken. Take the written material that accompanies the thermometer and as you read it you will notice in small print the statement that *every rectal thermometer made by Q-Tip is PERSONALLY tested.
Now close your eyes
and say out loud five times, "I am so glad that I do not work in
quality control at the Q-Tip Company."
This is the job application a 17 year old boy submitted at a McDonald's:
NAME: Greg Bulmash
SEX: Not yet. Still looking.
DESIRED POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place, would I?
DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options. If that's not possible, make an offer (any offer) and we can haggle.
LAST POSITION HELD: A target for middle management hostility.
EDUCATION: Yes, but it doesn't seem to be paying off.
LAST SALARY: Way less than I'm worth.
MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.
REASON FOR LEAVING LAST POSITION: It sucked.
HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.
PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, with a half-hour break around 2:00 p.m.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment and I don't like to get caught doing them at work.
MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?
DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS?: Of what?
DO YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"
HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes.
DO YOU SMOKE?: On the job, no; on my breaks, yes; substance - I rather not say.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy, dumb, sexy blonde super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Who am I kidding, I'd like to be doing that right now.
DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: Yes. Absolutely.
SIGN HERE: Aries.
The job application joke above is © 1997 by Greg Bulmash.
Finding a Job by the Handwriting on the Wall
You may be able to
find a new job by looking at the hand-writing on the wall - the bathroom
wall. The Chicago-based international outplacement firm Challenger, Gray
& Christmas reports that the Swedish-based furniture retailer IKEA
received 60 employment applications after leaving handwritten want-ads
on the walls of men's and women's restrooms in upscale restaurants. That's
four or five times the usual response from a help-wanted ad in a newspaper.
A Very Tactful Way to Fire Someone
Some of the most tactful people on Earth are British. One office supervisor called a secretary in to give her the bad news that she was being fired.
He started the conversation
with: "Miss Symthe, I really don't know how we're going to get along
without you, but starting Monday, we're going to try.
"Resumania" is a term coined by Mr. Robert Half, founder of RHI Consulting's parent company, to describe the unintentional bloopers that often appear on job candidates' resumes, job applications and cover letters. Here's some examples:
"I perform my job with effortless efficiency, effectiveness, efficacy, and expertise."
"Insufficient writing skills, thought processes have slowed down some. If I am not one of the best, I will look for another opportunity."
"Seek challenges that test my mind and body, since the two are usually inseparable."
"My compensation should be at least equal to my age."
"I am very detail-oreinted."
"I can play well with others."
"Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel."
"Objection: To utilize my skills in sales."
"My salary requirement is $34 per year."
"Served as assistant sore manager."
"Previous experience: Self-employed - a fiasco."
"I vow to fulfill the goals of the company as long as I live."
"Reason for leaving last job: Pushed aside so the vice president's girlfriend could steal my job."
"Was met with
a string of broken promises and lies, as well as cockroaches."
The following was
attached as a "cover letter" to a resume that was faxed to an
office in San Francisco. It was printed in landscape.
"My intensity and focus are at inordinately high levels, and my ability to complete projects on time is unspeakable."
"Education: Curses in liberal arts, computer science, and curses in accounting."
"Personal: Married, 1992 Chevrolet."
"I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse."
"I am a rabid typist."
"Created a new market for pigs by processing, advertising and selling a gourmet pig mail order service on the side."
"Exposure to German for two years, but many words are not appropriate for business."
"Proven ability to track down and correct erors."
"I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely nothing and absolutely no one."
"References: None, I've left a path of destruction behind me."
"Strengths: Ability to meet deadlines while maintaining composer."
"Don't take the comments of my former employer too seriously, they were unappreciative beggars and slave drivers."
"I am loyal to my employer at all costs ..Please feel free to resond to my resume on my office voicemail."
"Qualifications: No education or experience."
"Disposed of $2.5 billion in assets."
"Accomplishments: Oversight of entire department."
"Extensive background in accounting. I can also stand on my head!"
"Thank you for your consideration. Hope to hear from you shorty!"
Employee Dead Six Days Before Anyone Notices
Birmingham, Al -
In the Birmingham Sunday Mercury (Jan, 7) George Turklebaum, 51, who had
been employed at a New York firm for 30 years, had a heart attack in the
office he shared with 23 other workers. He passed away on Monday, but
nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why
he was still working on the weekend.
Since I was the first
to arrive at our high-tech company one morning, I answered the telephone.
When the caller asked for field engineering, I explained that it was before
normal business hours, but that I would help if I could. "What's
your job there?" the caller asked me.
Recently, a magazine
ran a contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their
real-life managers. Here are some of the submissions:
Japanese Response to IBMs Specifications
This speaks a lot
about the quality of Japanese products and their standards:
was once employed in the printing division of a large manufacturing firm.
One morning, word came from the top that some visiting VIPs would be touring
the plant in just a few minutes. All production was immediately shut down
as employees scrambled to quickly tidy up the work place. When the appointed
lookout yelled, "Here they come!" fifty fingers that were poised
over fifty machine start-up buttons pressed down in unison and blew every
fuse in the building.
For the first few months of her co-op job for the state of Georgia, my sister had nothing to do, so she surfed the Web or did crossword puzzles. One day she expressed her boredom to a co-worker.
she complained. "Everyone thinks state workers have it easy. But
there's only so much you can pretend you're doing."
Soon after our high-tech company moved into a new building, we had trouble with the elevators. A manager got stuck between floors and, after some door banging, finally attracted attention. His name was taken and rescue promised.
It took two
hours before the elevator mechanic arrived and got the manager out. When
he returned to his desk, he found this note from his efficient secretary:
"The elevator people called and will be here in two hours."
Catherine, a RN, was unhappy with her job, so she submitted her resignation. She was sure she'd have no trouble finding a new position, because of the nursing shortage in her area. She e-mailed cover letters to dozens of potential employers and attached her resume to each one. Two weeks later, Catherine was dismayed and bewildered that she had not received even one request for an interview.
received a message from a prospective employer that explained the reason
she hadn't heard from anyone else. It read: "Your resume was not
attached as stated. I do, however, want to thank you for the vegetable
"No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them."
to a R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.)
Getting More Efficiency Out of Women
11 TIPS ON GETTING MORE EFFICIENCY OUT OF WOMEN EMPLOYEES:
There's no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage. Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties:
1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they are less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn't be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.
2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It's always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.
3. General experience indicates that "husky" girls - those who are just a little on the heavy side - are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.
4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination - one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.
5. Stress at the outset the importance of time - the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.
6. Give the female employees a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they'll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.
7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.
8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.
9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can't shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman - it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.
10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl's husband or father may swear vociferously, she'll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.
11. Get enough size variety in operator's uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can't be stressed too much in keeping women happy.
This is an
excerpt from the July 1943 issue of Mass Transportation. This was serious
and written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World
A voice on the office loudspeaker announced: "We will be testing the speaker system to make sure it will work properly in case of emergency."
in this safety precaution faded when the voice added: "If you are
unable to hear this announcement, please contact us."
When I was a magazine editor, a young man approached me about a staff-writer position. He had studied dramatic arts in college, had been a professional actor, and also sang and played the guitar at local restaurants. "How come," I asked, "with all that talent and experience, you want to switch to a nine-to-five writer's job?"
He started explaining that he enjoyed the arts, and writing was an art he'd always wanted to try, and so on. Suddenly he stopped his spiel, looked me in the eye and grinned. "Let's face it," he said. "I'm starving, and I'm trying desperately to get into a rut."
I hired him.
Don't Forget to Hide the Descramblers
In my husband's work for a cable-television company, he encounters illegal hookups that drive up costs for other customers. One day he arrived at a repair job just as the homeowner was pulling into the driveway. She pointed the way to the den, where the TV was located, and then walked out to get the mail.
As my husband approached the TV, he saw a note taped to the screen. It read: "Don't forget to hide the descramblers before the cable guy comes. Love, Tom."
from Reader's Digest.]
In a software design meeting, we were using typical technical jargon to discuss a data exchange interface with a vendor. One co-worker said the programming we had ordered was delayed because the vendor was suffering from a "severe non-linear waterfowl issue."
Curious, the team leader raised his eyebrows and asked, "What exactly is that?"
replied, "They don't have all their ducks in a row."
My cousin worked on the Alaska pipeline as a welder. He said helicopters were a big help in covering the rugged ground.
I've never forgotten a story he told about being in the communications room of one of the base camps when a call came in. A panicked voice called to request another helicopter be sent up to the forward work camp.
A supervisor happened to drop in and heard the conversation between the dispatcher and the mechanic. He got on the radio to ask the mechanic on the other end why they need another helicopter.
The obviously harried mechanic paused before transmitting his reply, then said vaguely, "Well, the one we have won't fly."
The frustrated supervisor pressed the question, "Why won't it fly."
After a long
pause came another reluctant response, "Well, I say it won't fly
because it's upside down. The pilot says it won't fly because it's under
twenty feet of water."
On her first morning delivering newspapers, my daughter was riding with her supervisor who was showing her some tricks of the trade. He proceeded to demonstrate how to throw a newspaper accurately. "Now remember," he warned, "it's 5:30 in the morning, so you don't want to make a big ruckus. This customer likes his paper right on his front porch."
then hurled the paper toward the house. It landed on the customer's car
and set off the alarm.