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People who lack a sense of humor

Joel raised the point about the minoryt of people who both lack a sense of humor and insist they have a sense of humor.  I think we have all had run-ins with these sorts.  I truly wish they could be removed from the work environment so we could all relax a bit.

Three questions for this topic:

1)  Do you think that eliminating these people would be good for business.
2)  If so would it be valid to screen for them during the hiring process.
3)  If so, how would one accomplish that without being sued.
4)  Anyone have any funny (or sad) stories about workplace run-ins with these sorts, especially ones that made you fear for your job?

name withheld out of cowardice
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Put zem up against ze vall und shoot zem...

...viz a leedle vater pistol
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I'm really curious as to who exactly is the arbiter of humor.  Go to any movie discussion board, pick any comedic actor - say Steve Martin, or, perhaps Jim Carrey - and you'll find people arguing that, either their favorite star is the funniest person on the planet, or that the other guy's favorite is not quite as funny as polio.

Especially nowadays in the US, where there are as many foreign naturals in the workplace as native born Americans, humor is definitely in the eyes & ears of the beholder. 

anon
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

sadly, name withheld out of cowardice, you are the person referred to in this article:  http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=108481

Therefore, you must resign immediately!

:-}

sanmou
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I think the legality of hire/no-hire decisions has to be limited to the person's ability to perform the work required.  Their ability to entertain or be entertained probably doesn't impact their ability to do the job. (Unless you're hiring a court jester)

Having said that, I've made no-hire recommendations based "a bad fit".  It's vague, and that's good.

Quick story... I was interviewing a candidate along with another senior programmer, Steve (a friend of mine).  We had done many of these interviews and once our questions were asked we offered to answer any questions the candidate might have for us.  This one fellow asked about our impression of the team.  My friend went into some depth covering the skills and personalities on the team and finished by saying some complimentary things about me, as well.  The candidate turned to me and asked what I though. Without missing a beat I said, "Steve's a bastard."

We all had a good laugh, but the guy didn't get the position.  My manager (who heard this story after the fact) was moritfied.  Not so much that I got out of interviewing all the other candidates... but the original joke, plus her reaction, made for 2 good laughs.

Rob H
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

George Carlin is the funniest person on the planet.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Yes, George is quite funny.  But his code sucks.

Rob H
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I have devised an algorithm and implemented code that has constructed the funniest conceivable joke in the English language.  It is as follows:

Q.  Did she feel hysterical?
A.  Never laid a hand on him.

Adam N
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

George (we're that tight) was the funniest man on the planet 15 years ago when he had new material.  Now he is just a cranky old man telling kids to get their ball out of his yard.

Kero
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Why should I resign?  I'm great.

name withheld out of cowardice
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

>>> George Carlin is the funniest person on the planet. <<<

Which planet?

Dave Barry is the funniest person on the planet.  Assuming that the planet we're referring to is Earth.

He did make fun of Maryland and our Frankenfish, but it was still funny when he did it.

mackinac
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Most people in this industry wouldn't know a joke if it hit them in their Occam's Razor.

trollbooth
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

" Put zem up against ze vall und shoot zem... "

You're thinking about people with jewish humor, don't you?

Sorry.

Astrobe
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

And thus it is clearly demonstrated that what one person thinks is funny, another thinks is reprehensible and "doesn't get the joke". Such a clear example couldn't have been given.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Too often a poor sense of humor seems likes a prerequisite for middle management...

My favorite job hunting humor.  If asked what your references would say about you: "You would be lucky if you could get that guy to work for you!"

Bill Rushmore
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

<quote>
My favorite job hunting humor.  If asked what your references would say about you: "You would be lucky if you could get that guy to work for you!"
</quote>
Yet another double positive making a negative. You Americans are too goog with English! (that's a compliment!)

Indian Developer in India
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

s/goog/good

Indian Developer in India
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I don't think you are in India. You are lying to us. I'm on to you.

trollbooth
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Small point: not everyone with a sense of humour thinks exactly the same things are funny. For example, people disagree over who the funniest actor is, even though those same people agree that some things are funny, thus demonstrating their amazing sense of humour.

However, everyone who actually has a working sense of humour is often able to tell when something is intended as humour regardless of the amusement they personally get out of the joke. The ability to recognise sarcasm, irony and satire is, it must be admitted, quite complicated and probably far beyond the abilities of most people but it's still a useful skill.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

:Do you think that eliminating these people would be good
:for business.


Well, I think that's illegal in most countries. At least here in Brazil it's called "murder" (free translation).. or something...



:-)

TJ Haeser
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

trollbooth,

Yeah, right.

Indian Developer in India
Thursday, January 29, 2004

"people disagree over who the funniest actor is"

There is no room for disagreement...  There is empirically only one funniest person:  Carot Top. 
888

anon
Monday, February 02, 2004

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