I had this strange experience the other day: years ago I had put in a requirements document a requirement that the team would deliver a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a system we were building. Those who have read system requirements document know how boring they are - I thought I'd add a little levity in what is normally a mind numbing process. What was interesting was the reaction: my peers got a chuckle out of it and moved on, never thinking twice about it. The higher up the management chain, it wasn't so funny. In fact just the other day a high level manager was talking to a group of folks and brought this up as an example of unprofessional behavior. My reaction was: this happened five or more years ago and this guy is still concerned about this?
This isn't an isolated case either, I've got other examples where someone was being funny and it was the peers that laughed and moved on, while the management got concerned. I'm not talking about dirty jokes, racial slurs, etc.
Is this a DISC model thing where most people higher up are D's and they don't react well to humor? Is there some unwritten professional code of conduct that says there are guidelines for humor in the work place - who to joke around with, who not to, kinds of humor? Is it okay to be funny? Is it just that there are those kind of people who aren't into humor, don't worry, just be yourself? Should I apologize to the manager?
I can't believe I'm asking this - sounds pretty stupid - but when a manager has negative memories that last more than five years, maybe I'm missing something.