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I thought that maybe a thread devoted to things that made us laugh would be a good thing for 2009. It's been a bit tense economically.

Here's my contribution:
I found out that in the past, the nature center giftshop I help manage had an unusual security practice. Their safe had been stolen in a break-in, so at night they put the cash drawer....in the Fox Snake Cage.
http://www.herpnet.net/Minnesota-Herpetology/snakes/Fox_snake.html

She's a little over 3 feet long, so it probably was an effective theft deterrent. One thing the MN page doesn't mention is that fox snakes get their name in part from the musky anal gland secretion they use defensively.

So why did they quit doing this (aside from it not being a SOP for dealing with cash)?

"people said our money smelled funny."

Mark's picture

Clever theft deterrent... isn't mankind incredibly creative and inventive?

Sure makes work interesting some days.

Mark

kima's picture

The thing that makes me go "Ha!" is your snake story! Thank you so much for sharing it. I'll be smiling (and going "Ha!) for a long time over that one. You made my day.

Kim

jhack's picture

We software folks have less exciting lives than the herpetologists, obviously!

A programmer who worked for me (many years ago) was brilliant for 2 or 3 hours a day. He wrote more good code in an hour than most did in a full day. The CIO expected folks to be tooling away at their monitors all day, however, so this kid wrote a few programs that simulated the computer compiling, processing data, and so forth. He'd run these programs, read the paper, and if the CIO walked by, it looked like his machine was running a batch job. Nothing brings out creativity like idleness!

He eventually went back to grad school to work on the P v. NP problem.

John

bug_girl's picture

This morning all work came to a stop and our office was filled with strange sounds. The reason?
We discovered that you can download free bird and insect songs as cell phone ringtones.
http://wild.enature.com/ringtones/

Warning: if you live in a cubicle farm, don't play the barn owl song! (at least, not without headphones.)

My personal fave was the Sea Lion--Can't want until someone calls me.
One of my directs now has a turkey gobble as her ringtone.
:D

This was much more disruptive our work stoppage than last week, when we discovered Bird Radio
http://www.birdsongradio.com/ (streaming bird song).

tlhausmann's picture

> He eventually went back to grad school to work on the P v. NP problem.

Not too many folks know about that one! :-)

asteriskrntt1's picture

Heya Bug

Thanks for sharing. I tried downloading the Coyote mating howl but alas, I could not load it on my phone. I would have been the most popular... ummm most popular something whenever my phone rang. Another dream squashed! ;)

*RNTT

bug_girl's picture

Last week's work stopper:
We were going to order out for lunch, when someone looking at a menu blurted out:
"Beefy Panini?? That's a porn name, not a sandwich!"

That kept us giggling for a while :D

bug_girl's picture

Oh, and sometimes, in the course of our work, we discover things that crack us up:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/1110_031110_herringfarts...
""We know [herring] have excellent hearing but little about what they actually use it for," said research team leader Ben Wilson, a marine biologist at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre, British Columbia, Canada. "It turns out that herring make unusual farting sounds at night."

Wilson and his colleagues named the phenomenon Fast Repetitive Tick, which makes for the rather mischievous acronym, FRT. "

I love science :)

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Bug_girl,

totally off the subject of management but, if you haven't come across it already I recommend reading the book "A random walk in science".

Stephen

thaGUma's picture

Bug girl, when you joined the community, you caught by one of the more 'robust' contributers. I though at the time you were going to be a great asset. You have shown you are. Perhaps 1/2" to the left of reality but still a valued member.

Thank you.

Chris

thaGUma's picture

i won't reword it , you get the gist.... sorry for sloppy spelschk

Davis Staedtler's picture

I love this thread.

The entire outside facing front of our Northwest side San Antonio retail store is made of sheets of glass. People (mostly children) will randomly walk into it once or twice a week. I think you know where I'm going with this....... :)

-Davis

mauzenne's picture

Oh where, oh where, do I draw the line? ....

;-)

bug_girl's picture

to let me know when I find the line, Mark~

(But the herring stuff is science!  :)

I realized the irony that as one of the few High S folks here, I created a thread to see to see to our emotional needs in a tough time.

HA at myself for fitting the type so well!

terrih's picture

I had a coworker once who apparently got a little flustered when speaking on the phone to clients. I still remember two of the things she said:

"I don't know enough to lie to you"

and

"Thank you for the inconvenience!"

mtietel's picture

I once had a co-worker who who closed an e-mail with:

" I apologize for the incontinence."

Advice for the day - don't rely too much on spell-check.  ;-)

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Ooooooh yes, relying on spellcheck to get it rite.  Not good, note good at all!  I've lost count of the letters and emails Ive received about appending meetings and there importance to the organisation, etc. 

 

Stephen

 

mikehansen's picture

More of a raised eyebrow than a "Ha", but I have a co-worker who has an e-mail tag line that states:

I would like to thank you in advance for your prompt attention and help in this matter.

The first time I saw this is when she sent me an e-mail welcoming me to the company. 

I promptly replied with a thank you :)

 

asteriskrntt1's picture

Mike... great line

I would like to... but I am not actually going to thank you... classic bad grammar.  Thanks for sharing!

 

*RNTT

 

bug_girl's picture

The Annual Think Geek April 1 sale is on... I think many MT'ers would like this:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/buzzword.shtml

Train yourself to never say "synergy" again!

 

Also, this one has proved so popular, they may really have to make it. Attn. Star Wars Fans:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/41/tauntaun.html

EricGagnon's picture

I really enjoyed today's Dilbert: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2009-04-05/

:D

Mark's picture

Sorry Jen - I removed your post.  It may ALL be true.  But just because it's true it doesn't mean it's professional.

Mark

stephenbooth_uk's picture

More of a "Ha?  They did what?!?" than "Ha!  funny".

Apparently Fox and Endemol (the company behind such televisual greats as 'Big Brother') have come up with a new reality show.  In "Someone's gotta go" employees at cash strapped firms will compete to see who does and doesn't get sacked.

My first thought on reading the article was to check the date.  No, not April 1st.

They'll probably get a big audience, much like a car crash does.  Perhaps they should have called the show "Schadenfreude"?

Stephen

--

Skype: stephenbooth_uk

Experience is how you avoid failure, failure is what gives you experience.

terrih's picture

"Schadenfraude" would be a good title, except the type of people who'd watch this wouldn't know what "Schadenfreude" means. ;-)

terrih's picture

... there's some appeal to letting a contest decide who to lay off, instead of me lying awake trying to decide...

JK

Mark's picture

These shows sicken me.  Lest there be any doubt, young people are learning about our profession through these completely UN-real shows.  Soon, those with small ethics will be making big decisions.  It's Horstman's Law of Management Matrushka.

Management is a profession, just like being a physician, but without the aura of social respect.  We wouldn't tolerate a show about doctors selling body parts as entertainment, and we oughtn't tolerate managers exposing their employees to treatment so farcical and cruel as to be nihilistic.

Tell your friends not to watch, and tell them why.

Mark

 

terrih's picture

but any company that would sign up for something like this would be a place NOT to work!! and ought to be boycotted.

Jazzman's picture

Mark, 

Many professions are portrayed in TV shows and movies in woefully inaccurate ways, it’s not just managers.  One popular show depicts surgeons as sex-crazed megalomaniacs with the emotional maturity of young teenagers.  Lawyers, physicists, police, musicians, car mechanics, junk dealers, etc…they all have reason to complain about fictional, exaggerated stereotypes.  I also think by now, with so many out there, that most people understand that “reality” shows are fictional and dramatized during production and editing.
  
-Jazz

bug_girl's picture

To get us back on (off?) topic: I had another one of those odd conversations today that make me enjoy this job:

 

"There seems to be a blockage in our frozen rat pipeline."

 

We get donations of deceased, frozen rats to feed to the raptors.  The company is cutting back, so we get fewer rats.

(BTW, one of our microwaves is NOT for food. We have to re-heat the rats to body temperature before the birds will eat them.)

scm2423's picture

 

Now I am curious. How long do you have to microwave it to get it to a normal temperature?
 

rgbiv99's picture

Right? Is there an auto rat button like popcorn?

bug_girl's picture

LOL indeed! I think they just use the Soup button. They usually do a batch at a time.

While I do supervise the keepers/interns, I'm not nearly as hands-on from day to day as I'd like to be.

They do let me come out and "help" sometimes, and then take photos of me falling in ponds or covered in poo.

Much fun is had by all :D

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKV0QuQsonk

 

--

Skype: stephenbooth_uk

DiSC: 6137

Experience is how you avoid failure, failure is what gives you experience.

Mark's picture

But if you can get your friends to do it for free...

A classic.  Thanks Stephen.

 

BJ_Marshall's picture

He at least got the "high energy" part of the interview right. Great clip, Stephen!

- BJ

hanks1415's picture

This will certainly make those of you who have purchased the interviewing series go "Ha!" 

http://www.howtonailaninterview.com/

I think on a subconscience level I didn't really believe Mark when he would give egregious examples of poor interviewing behavior. "C'mon!" I would think, "no one can be THAT dumb!"  I am now a believer. Like Bill Cosby says "(interviewees) say the darndest things!"

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 Unshelved w/c 4th May 2009

Unshelved is a daily web comic I've been reading for a couple of years.  It is set in a community library in the fictional town of Mallville and is very popular amongst library staff and management.  One of the writers works in a library so, much like Dilbert is often based on real events, events and characters in the strip are often based on real events and people.

The reason I chose to post a link to it this week is that the storyline is about people coming to the library for help with job seeking and their resume, including Mel (the library manager) purchasing some resume writing software to help patrons and some fundemental problems with that.

It's also something that makes me go "Ha!!"

Stephen

--

Skype: stephenbooth_uk

DiSC: 6137

Experience is how you avoid failure, failure is what gives you experience.

bug_girl's picture

Ha! Our bookstore alarm went off last weekend, and it turned out to be because a mouse had nibbled through the phone line connecting it to the main security  monitoring station.

The conclusion after we got it all sorted out?

"We are defenseless against a burglar armed with a rodent."

bug_girl's picture

that I am the only MT person with this on their calendar for tomorrow:

4pm: Pick up snake from Renee. Bring Mice.

If I am wrong about that, please let me know :)

Edited to add: you have no idea what excitement that calendar item caused when my PA saw it.  LOL!

kima's picture

Bug Girl,

Once again your post has made me go Ha!   Nothing on my calendar will ever compare to that!  Thanks (again) for making us laugh!

terrih's picture

Nope, no snakes, no mice.

ROFL! Your job sounds fascinating! (and a little scary) :)

bug_girl's picture

Today's equation:

10 [undergraduate women on site] + 20 [40yr old veterans for training] =

me having way more conversations about hot pants and less....er..... bootylicious attire choices for class than I'm entirely comfortable with.

bug_girl's picture

HA!

Empty Inbox Badge. Requirements: Empty inbox, 71.4% of the time.

http://www.nerdmeritbadges.com/products/inbox-zero

I also liked the "family tech support" badge:

http://www.nerdmeritbadges.com/products/05-family-tech-support

asteriskrntt1's picture
stephenbooth_uk's picture

 Just heard in the office (from a consultant, who possibly didn't realise that not everyone in the office at 17:15 on a friday is a consultant, to another consultant): "In this place multi-tasking is holding two or more grudges at the same time."   The other consultant agreed.

Stephen

--

Skype: stephenbooth_uk (Please note I'm on UK time)

DiSC: 6137

Experience is how you avoid failure, failure is what gives you experience.

pedantix's picture

 Haha... reading Mark's comment "hey it's five o'clock somewhere" (here) in reference to his palm-embossed wristwatch.  

 

...wish there was a "Like" button on MT.  I'd like to "Like" Mark's comment!

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 The April 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review has an article "Hurt Feelings? You Could Take a Pain Reliever..." (pages 28-29, reprint reference F1104D).  This article looks at research done at University of Kentucky into the impact of drugs (in particular Acetaminophen) which relieve physical pain on 'social pain' (hurt feelings &c).  The result of the study was that a daily dosage of the drug over 3 weeks was shown to markedly reduce feelings of 'social pain'.

I found this particularly relevant in light of my concerns about step 2 of the "My Boss is Angry" cast, which I expressed in a comment on that cast.  Mayhap, rather than making a potentially damaging and untrue admission a more effective solution would be to just keep your boss on a regular dosage of Acetaminophen (the article also reports similar results in rat pups with opiates which may be more easily available) soi allowing them a more relaxed outlook and reducing the probability of them sweating the small stuff.

Stephen

DISCLAIMER: I hope it's clear that I'm not actually advocating drugging your boss, just trying to throw in a little leaven in a thread created for that purpose.  If that's not clear, drugging people against their will is a very bad thing in particular if you are not medically qualified and do not have a full medical history including allergies and other drugs they are on.

 

--

Skype: stephenbooth_uk  | DiSC: 6137

"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack

 

bug_girl's picture

http://www.infocus.com/labs/all/visual-communication-%2526-collaboration...

Worst Powerpoint Slide Awards!

I am especially puzzled by the runner-up with a hotdog and a bunny(?) as an illustration for social change :)

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 I'm pretty sure that the winner and two of the honourable mentions are slides from presentations I've attended.

I don't understand the hotdog and the bunny either.

Stephen 

--

Skype: stephenbooth_uk  | DiSC: 6137

"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack

 

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 I'm still not 100% if BNET is a humour site that concentrates on business or a business site that uses humour.  This one seemed appropriate: Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Managers

I certainly recognise habits 2, 4, 6 and 7 as being very common.  They're also mostly things that applying MT principles and tools would counteract.

Stephen

 

--

Skype: stephenbooth_uk  | DiSC: 6137

"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack