Two different articles in the Wall Street Journal recently expounded on the same findings of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and Harvard Business School about people who tell jokes at work. Apparently, if you give people a laugh by telling a joke it will enhance their opinion of you. You will be seen as self-confident, competent and higher in status. And even more, a person with good personal traits, intelligence and sensitivity. But one caveat is that the joke can’t be inappropriate or depreciative. That drops your status to jerk. It’s refreshing to hear recommendations urging the use of humor in today’s world of political correctness.
With political correctness everything is serious, nothing is funny. It has become a disease that transforms sensible, appropriate or real to insulting, insensitive or embarrassing. It’s worse feature is that it substitutes feelings and opinions for truth and reality. It is, for example, what has transformed the reality of college education into classrooms for cry-babies who need trigger warnings. Raised to its idiotic level for example, it is a crime to use “He” or “She” separately because it is discrimination by one gender against another. Do we really have to use “Shim” instead of “She” or “Him”? Is it really cruel to use words like “fat” for a person who is -uh- “ample.” Do we have to use “obese” even though both words describe the same “ampleness?” What do we do with “big,” “plentiful,” or “stout?” Are they criminal too? But job descriptions are the real bugaboo.
I asked my “garbage man” a question on this issue because his job description is now inappropriate. He has become a “Disposal Technician,” DT. He’s a good friend and says with a great sense of inappropriate humor, “Just don’t call me “Dirt” or “Late for dinner.” He used to be CEO of a Hedge Fund but decided meeting all the ridiculous regulations imposed by Obama’s administration were too complex to generate a million bucks a year. And he resented people demeaning him by calling him “Rich.” So he said, “What the hell, ‘Disposal Technician’ improves my image as middle class, I work in the fresh air, eat all I want and get more respect.” Obviously he works hard being politically incorrect and still enjoys challenging Obama. Lately, on the job he imitates Ed McMahan of the old Johnny Carson show as he dumps cans of garbage. Remember how McMahan introduced Johnny? “Heeerrrrrrrrres Johnny!” So “Dirt” (sorry) loves to pick up a can of garbage and as he dumps it in the truck, says, “Heeeerrrrrrres Obama.”
He says he has a reason and it’s in response to what Obama and John Kerry did to Israel at the U.N. just before they left office. They refused to vote “no” or even abstain from the Security Council condemnation of Israel. He thinks they treated the Israelis as garbage and dumped them. But he recognizes that the garbage dump at the UN was a legitimate dumping ground.
Obama’s actions against Israel became the equivalent of a bad joke at the office, but more insidious. He himself became a”Disposal Technician” who failed even the basic smell test of what’s garbage and dumped the wrong party. He contributed to the “out-house” at the UN. It was an inappropriate sick joke that will backfire because the product of out-houses ultimately have the positive effect of fertilization. While set-back-temporarily, a tree of civilization like Israel will find itself strengthened in resolve in spite of the out-house. It will persist against all odds, spreading the branches of civilization in the face of hostility and discrimination, in spite of an incompetent “Disposal Technician.”