Monday, April 11, 2011

Parental Rule #45

If you see a foreign substance and you’re not quite sure if it was produced by your child’s nose, mouth, or rear end…do not under any circumstances give it the taste test to try to figure out what it might be. Always assume it is something from your child, even if it does look like rich fudge topping.  It’s much better to be safe than sorry. Trust me on this one.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Etiquette of Laughing

Are you confused about what to do when somebody at the office cracks a joke? Do you laugh or report them to HR? Never fear, Mr. Office Etiquette has come to your rescue with: the etiquette of laughing at jokes in the office.

If the person delivering a joke is your boss, laugh. Laugh long and laugh hard. As a general rule, regardless of what your boss just said, laugh. The exception to this rule is if the last thing out of your boss sounded like, “Urp!” In this situation, laughing out loud is discouraged.

If the person is attractive to you, you should laugh but not as hard as if the person was your boss. Make up for the smaller laugh by ending the laughter with a smile and eye contact. A long smile, mixed with friendly eye contact, says, “Please find me as attractive as I find you.” It never works, it just makes your cheeks hurt and your eyes water but all the dating magazines recommend it.

If the person is a temporary employee, don’t laugh. In fact, pretend you didn’t hear the joke. With temps, you can get away with walking out on them mid-joke. Who cares? What can the person do?

If the person is a consultant, don’t laugh. They are not paid huge sums of money to crack jokes. They are, in fact, paid huge sums of money to do nothing. Make them earn it.

If the person delivering a joke is your friend and the joke is not funny you are obligated to laugh. This shows your support. Imagine you were cheering for that person at a baseball game and the person had just struck out. Laughing at the joke says, “Nice try, you’ll get ‘em next time.” Not laughing at the joke says, “You just lost us the championship game, you idiot. No Christmas card for you, Grinch.”

If somebody just made an off-color, rude, racist, or sexist joke, tell them you are offended and didn’t appreciate that joke. If you really don’t like the person, report them to HR immediately. This will earn you respect. Be sure to remember the joke and crack it with your friends when you’re off the clock – and then feel free to laugh as hard as you want.

If somebody is telling a long joke I can guarantee that they will forget the punch line. You will laugh harder at them for trying to remember the punch line than you will three days later when they finally remember and deliver the ending…at which point you can’t remember the joke anyway. Do not include them on your Christmas card list. This is your revenge for allowing them to waste your time.

No matter how funny your joke is, nobody in the company who ranks above you will laugh. This means, your boss, her boss, etc. The ironic thing is that you will hear them recycle your joke at the next meeting and you will be required to laugh heartily at it. Don’t expect any credit for it…not that you do since you are used to the fact that they get the bonuses because YOU work the unpaid overtime.

The funniest joke at the office ranks a 3.5 out of 10 in normal circumstances. This is because 1) at the office you and your coworkers are generally sober, and 2) most of the office employees (ok, ALL of the office employees) are nerds. Nerds laugh at jokes that rank 3.5 out of 10. Outside the office, you only laugh at jokes that rank 6 out of 10. Think about it.

(Tag line: Mark Palenske has spent a career figuring out when to laugh at jokes in the office, which might explain why he has so often been demoted.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Etiquette of Door Holding

In today’s society, the proper social etiquette surrounding door holding is as misunderstood by men as decent music is by Justin Bieber. Therefore, today’s article is dedicated to door holding etiquette.

A man should always hold the door open for a lady. Because Lady Gaga and the rest of society today has nearly led to the extinction of the “lady species”, men should give the benefit of the doubt and hold the door for anybody with any qualities that might be female.

If somebody holds a door open for you, you are required to perform an awkward half-run or fast-shuffle to get to the door as quickly as possible. This effort on your part is required to express appreciation for the person holding the door for you.

The maximum Door Holding Length is 10 feet. This means that a man should hold the door for any woman within 10 feet. If you hold the door for women more than 10 feet behind you, all sorts of problems arise. For example, the party you were with has long since forgotten you, disappeared into the restaurant and ordered their food while the woman for whom you are holding the door is forced to perform a half-run, arriving to the door in a sweat, in order to express her appreciation to you. The only exception to the Door Holding Length of 10 feet is if the person who is approaching the door is extremely attractive. In this situation, the Door Holding Length can be extended to 1 mile.

Bathroom stall doors should never be held open. This is because the only people you should see in the restroom SHOULD be the same gender as you. If this isn’t the case, one of you is in serious trouble, and neither of you should worry about holding the door as you race out to check and confirm you are indeed in the proper-gender restroom.

Elevator doors should be held open only if 1) eye contact was made with a person outside the elevator, or 2) the person is attractive to you. Shouts of, “Please hold that elevator, it’s an emergency!” can be ignored if neither of the two rules was met. Pretend you find something on the floor intensely interesting and avoid eye contact as the elevator doors slowly close in the person’s face. Etiquette does demand, however, that you wait until the doors close before you smile.

Unfortunately, society has degraded to the point that holding a car door open for a lady is no longer expected. In many situations, it is strongly discouraged, as the woman might assume you have alternative motives for approaching her and might hit you upside the head before spraying your eyes with pepper spray and kicking your shin.

You should ALWAYS hold the door open for any mother, especially your own. She can use the pepper spray on you as she sees fit. She has earned that right.

There are two door holding jokes, neither of which is funny. The first involves two men who simultaneously meet at the door. One will hold the door and with over exaggerated hand motions, wave the other through the door and say, “Age before beauty.” If somebody cracks this joke around you, proper etiquette allows you to spill your drink on their pants while walking past them.

The second joke, while funnier, is considered to be in poor taste in higher society. As you hold the door open for somebody and they walk through, stick out your foot and trip them. This joke has never gotten old.

I hope that these rules can be posted on doors throughout our nation to help men understand their obligation regarding door holding. Plus, it’s easier to trip somebody when they’re reading a sign on the door.

(Tag line: Mark Palenske was only kidding about tripping people…his humor has never progressed beyond the old, “Age before beauty” joke.)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sketch & Doodle

(Click on comic strip to enlarge)

Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously