Guru’s call for human resources jokes (12 June) was not a request for the name of your boss (thank you, Disciple Andrew), but a serious attempt to introduce some much needed levity into this thankless profession we call HR.
There’s nothing wildly original about these first few jokes, and Guru notes that some have simply been adapted from others, but Yours Truly is grateful for his disciples’ efforts nonetheless, and now has a headstart on his Christmas 2007 bestselling stockingfiller: HR Humour and Personnel Parody.
But this book ain’t gonna write itself – send more human resources funnies to: email@example.com.
Light bulb 1
Q. How many HR managers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. One, but it may take some time as the company would need to be aware of the possible need to consult the light bulb and its stakeholders.
Light bulb 2
Q. How many trainers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Just one, but the light bulb has to want to change.
The three great lies
1) The cheque is in the post.
2) Of course I will still respect you in the morning.
3) Hello, I’m the HR officer and I’m here to help.
Heaven and Hell
An HR manager was knocked down by a bus and died. Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where St Peter welcomed her.
“We’ve never had an HR manager make it this far before, and we’re not really sure what to do with you,” he said. “We’ve been instructed to give you one day in Hell and one in Heaven, and let you choose where you’d like to stay for all eternity.”
“I think I’d prefer Heaven,” said the woman.
“Sorry, we have rules,” replied St Peter, and he put the HR manager on to the downward escalator.
As the doors opened in Hell, she stepped out on to a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club around her were many friends, all happy and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her and talked about old times. They played a perfect round of golf and ate steak and lobster. The HR manager met the Devil (who was actually rather nice) and she had a wonderful night telling jokes and dancing.
But before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everyone shook her hand and waved goodbye as she stepped on to the elevator, which took her back to the Pearly Gates.
St Peter was waiting for her. “Now it’s time to spend a day in Heaven,” he said.
So the HR manager spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds, playing the harp and singing – which was almost as enjoyable as her day in Hell.
At the day’s end, St Peter returned and said: “You’ve spent a day in Hell and a day in Heaven. You must now choose.”
The woman thought for a second and replied: “Well, Heaven is certainly lovely, but I actually had a better time in Hell. So I choose Hell.”
But on her return, she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. Her friends were dressed in rags, picking up rubbish and putting it in old sacks. The Devil approached and put his arm around her.
“I don’t understand,” stuttered the HR manager. “Yesterday, there was a golf course and a country club. We ate lobster, and danced, and had a wonderful, happy time. Now there is just a dirty wasteland of garbage, and all my friends look miserable.”
The Devil smiled and said: “Yesterday we were recruiting you. Today, you’re staff.”
Disciple Donna, Disciple Debra, Disciple Carol, Disciple Douglas
HR and the shepherd
Once upon a time, there was a shepherd looking after his sheep on the side of a deserted road. Suddenly, a Porsche 911 screeches to a halt beside him. A woman steps out and asks the shepherd: “If I can guess how many sheep you have, can I keep one?” The shepherd agrees.
She connects a laptop to a mobile phone modem, enters the Nasa website, scans the field using GPS, opens a database linked to 60 Excel files filled with logarithms and pivot tables, then prints out a 150 page report on a high-tech mini-printer. She studies the report and says to the shepherd: “You have exactly 1,586 sheep.”
The shepherd replies: “That’s correct. You can have the pick of my flock.”
She packs up, surveys the flock and puts one in the boot. As she is about to leave, the shepherd says: “If I can guess your profession, will you return the animal to me?” She agrees.
The shepherd says: “You are an HR manager.”
“Correct,” says the woman, “but how did you know?”
The shepherd replies: “First, you came without being invited. Second, you wasted a lot of time telling me something I already knew. And third, you don’t understand anything about the work I do, but interfere anyway. Now, can I have my dog back?”
Q. Why don’t HR staff look out of the window in the morning?
A. Because they would have nothing to do all afternoon!
(PS. You can publish my name but not my employer – I have only been here six weeks and there is a window in my office.)
And the wooden spoon goes to Disciple Bill for this ‘effort’…
Q. What’s worse than finding a maggot in your apple?
A. Finding an HR director in your apple.
Er… thanks, Bill.