Posted in Sparks at work

There is no I in Team. But there is one in Silly.

I am very fortunate to work with some fairly nutty folk. When I think about it, I’ve always been pretty lucky to work with people who are smart, but who also have a capacity for silliness and fun, which makes for a very enjoyable workplace.

[Image via @lilfitmiss]
[Image via @lilfitmiss] 
Although, when you’re working in an open plan office, it becomes clear that we humans don’t all have the same sense of what’s funny. Especially when the workspace is shared with many consultants engaged via a subcontinental company. Judging by the bewildered and sometimes frightened looks that I catch from time to time, I suspect they believe my job to be some strange combination of circus clown, town crier, counsellor, and policewoman. Which, as I reflect on it now, is probably a pretty accurate summary, I guess!

I would like to work with these guys. [image from Pixabay]
I would like to work with these guys too.
I am a terrible eavesdropper, which is a challenge in the super-open-plan office that we share. And when I say I am a terrible eavesdropper, I actually mean I am really really good at it. It’s one of my gifts. I can focus on a conversation with Person A (the conversation I am actually IN), but can also tune into the conversations of Persons B, C and D around me. It also helps to fill in details when people-watching in restaurants, airports, funerals and the like.

The openness of the open plan has certainly made the old tradition of office gossip a lot more challenging. Not that I engage in office gossip, obvs, as I am an HR professional. But I have heard that the super-open-plan environment has driven office gossip from the hallways to the email and the instant messaging. (Which, as a reminder, also means it is now recorded and can be monitored. A switch from the olden days of safely whinging about the Boss Man in the privacy of the tea room during a smoke break. Yes, I worked in the 1950s too.)

Anyways, I digress. I wanted to talk about my colleague Louise, who has started an email tradition, delivered to a small (but appreciative) group each Friday. I’m not sure how it began, and there was quite a long break in transmission there, but it is now back in action and it is making the world a better place. The distribution list is growing as word spreads of this underground movement that’s shaking things up, pushing the envelope and challenging the status quo.

LOLKeeping the emails short, but inspirational, the author knows the target market and stays true. Other Harvard Business Review fads may come and go, but this content has been fine-tuned over generations (and years of Christmas crackers). The email title?  Just three little words that warm the heart and the workplace: Friday Dad Joke.

Here’s a sample of some of our community’s recent treasures:

What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

  • You see one later and one in a while

What do you call cheese by itself?

  • Provolone

What do you call a girl with a frog on her head? 

  • Lily

You’re welcome. Happy Friday!

Posted in Sparks at work, TV sparks, WWWhat?

A psychic HR solution, to be sure

So there I was, watching an episode of 90210 that TiVo had kindly recorded for me (the later version of 90210, not the original – it’s still on at peculiar hours in Sydney from time to time). And before I could speed through one of the ad breaks, I saw this bizarro ad.

It’s for an Australian company offering ‘psychic solutions’ over the phone, for the lofty price of $2.97 per minute (even more if you call from a mobile phone). The business was started by Liz, but it’s called Aliz’s. I am guessing the ‘A’ was added to boost Liz’s psychic ranking. Alphabetically, at least.

Anyways, the ad is possibly offensive to the Irish, to be sure, but it’s also given me an idea for an ‘HR solutions’ hotline. For $2.97 per minute (even LESS if you call me from a mobile phone, rather than coming to see me in person), I will listen to you about the same thing that Aliz’s people do: “career struggles”, “business issues”, and “money matters”. I draw the line at “love or relationship problems” though, sorry.

To sharpen my HR Solutions hotline approach, I clicked the link to the testimonials on Aliz’s You Tube channel. I found this most extraordinary “testimonial” there. And by extraordinary, I mean unbelievably freaky and quite a bit disturbing. Crazy voices, a puppet, and they even provide an incorrect number for the hotline. Nailed it.

Inspiration for ACate’s HR Solutions hotline, to be sure. I’ll let you know the correct number to call, just as soon as I finalise the set up of this Swiss bank account…