There are certain things that are just natural. If someone asks me,
Did you put the cat out?
I automatically reply,
No. Was it on fire?
One simply leads to the other. However, I have learned that it is not always such a good idea to say everything that occurs to me, especially at work. I try to be good, but I occasionally relax a little too much and forget to hold my tongue. I was in a meeting today and was asked if I could pick up any left-over materials after a training tomorrow. I thought for a moment and said,
Well okay… but I’ll have to move the body out of my trunk.
This was, in my opinion, a perfectly natural response to such a question. Nobody said a word for a few moments, and then the meeting just moved on to the next topic of concern.
Considering that I may need to re-evaluate my tendencies for having fun and playing with the minds of my fellow cubicle slaves, I found this resource for The Power of Play at Work at To-Done! Here are some highlights:
- Have toys at your desk. They can be a handy distraction and a way to spark creativity. You might not want to go as far as I do (I’ve got toys everywhere) but one or two can give you a much needed diversion. Yo-yos are great.
- Do things backwards. For example, when I’m going through my e-mail, I’ll go bottom up. Sounds simple, but even a little change can be kind of fun.
- Wear a funny hat or outfit. Better yet, have a “funny hat day”.
- Reward with fun. Help your coworkers play by rewarding them in fun ways. Sometimes things like little toys and fun games can be even better than free food. Plus it’s better for you.
- Laugh and joke. Get a joke of the day sent to your e-mail. Share it with your coworkers. I used to pass around my daily Dilbert calendar. Sharing a laugh can go a long way towards having more fun at work.
Now all of these seem perfectly acceptable in today’s uptight workspace. Perhaps I go too far. Perhaps when I answer the phone and say,
THIS IS ZARG THE UNSTOPPABLE! HOW CAN I ASSIST YOU PUNY HUMAN?
, I go too far into the realm of silliness. If so, well, too bad. People need to relax and enjoy the game of life. I’ve actually spoken to people that were stressed out about having time for their yoga class! Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of yoga? Ah well…