Friday, 31 January 2014

Game, set and match

 Do people joke around at work anymore?
I seriously doubt that it does, what with HR's bullying policies , harassment at work directives and a workforce that can't seem that they can take a bit of horseplay or leg pulling.
People seem to take umbrage so much quicker nowadays.
Now, let me make something very clear. I cannot abide destructive and cruel bullying behaviour, but in my experience real bullying is often much more subtle and insidious than a whoopie cushion  on a chair or a good natured Micky take.
I once worked on a rehabilitation ward with a boisterous enrolled nurse called Karen,who was a self proclaimed " Queen" of  the workplace practical joke. For over a year the pranks against each other grew in complexity and effort. She would whitewash the windows of my tiny terraced house in Walkley. I would remove and hide all the wheels from her car.....it was that sort of silliness .
Eventually the pranks faded away, when I got a junior sister's post . It was a time I felt I needed to become a little more professional in the workplace.
I think that Karen thought I had " sold out" just a little and I remember one day she turned on me during a ward round discussion and accused me rather angrily of not being " any fun anymore"
Her words stung somewhat, but I finished the ward round professionally, completed other jobs on the ward then called the staff into the office for handover.
Handover was a  time for a chat and a cuppa. So I made several cups of tea, left the tray in the office and rushed down the ward where one of the older patients was eating his dinner and whispered  to him
" give me your false teeth"
Surprisingly enough he handed over both sets without question, and seconds later I was back in the office handing out the tea mugs to the staff.
Karen drank half her cup before the teeth clinked gently at the bottom of her mug
The screaming was heard on every ward of the Spinal Injury Unit.
All I said was a smug " game , set and match"

57 comments:

  1. Dave Lee Travers is currently being prosecuted for - allegedly - innocently creeping up behind a fellow broadcaster and grabbing her tits - 40 years later. Be careful, those teeth might come back and bite you in the arse.

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    1. I suspect that most females in most workplaces were "victims" of that kind of sexual mischief in the previous century.
      Some of it was malicious and intimidating, most of it harmless, if rather irritating.
      I'm just a bit suspicious of the reasons for bringing a case against an old bloke who probably genuinely can't remember who he groped several decades ago. So many men did it, as if it was expected of them, or their right.

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    2. Well I cannot remember, but when I do it these days, I am either hit or threatened by the elderly, frigid lesbians who I sympathetically grope in order to brighten up their dull, empty and meaningless lives, now that the mal-formed children by previous mistakes in the 1970s have grown up and left them to die a lonely and miserable death.

      My real name is Jeremy Clarkson, and I really like cars.

      What are your interests, Jean?

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    3. When have tits ever been grabbed innocently?

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    4. Sorry, wrong word. I meant 'playfully' (and I'm not sure that's right either!).

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  2. Brilliant. My 'workplace' only tolerate jokes etc from a certain clique of people - that's why I find myself suspended and going round the bend stuck at home for something I said :(

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  3. HIlarious... and awful. Had you done that to me, I'd STILL be in therapy.

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    1. Me too but I would still be throwing up !

      cheers, parsnip

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    2. Oh dear, me three! Ugh!!!!

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  4. I hope you're not going to do this when helping out with the teas at the Memorial Hall. Mrs Bagguly and Mrs Jones may not be amused.

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  5. Oh snap!..That will go down in the annuls of tricks....touché!

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  6. one must be sensitive to the quirks of co-workers. since I work in an 8-person office, I know what I can/cannot say to each of them. they in turn know that I DO NOT tolerate racism or gay slurs. we DO laugh and have fun each workday.

    as for your teeth joke, I would have you shot! ;-b

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  7. Ahhh fond memories. :) This reminds me of the time I pulled a prank on a neighbor that sent him leaping backwards through his closet door with a high pitched shriek. This was revenge for scaring the hell out of me with a prank of his own. He never pulled a prank on me again.

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    1. Oh do tell what the pranks were…please.

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  8. She brought that one on herself lol. And yes people do take too much umbrage to good-natured office fun. I think humor makes the workday bearable!

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  9. hahaha...hilarious LLOOLL

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  10. That was damn well cruel. You have to pick very carefully who you can have fun with at work. I know some older people who I can have fun with, and I think with a couple of younger ones, but I am cautious. Pretty sad state of affairs really.

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  11. My office is crawling with lawyers (4 out of 7 staff - we do research not practice law.) Removal of the sense if humor is a requirement for admission to the bar in most states (but fortunately not removal of the sense of sarcasm.) .

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  12. That's worse than a fast food worker spitting on your burger. Heave.

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  13. I had a friend who worked for a Graphic Design company in Knightsbridge. His office overlooked a small ally, on the other side of which was another (enemy) Graphic Design company. They started by flying paper darts through each others open windows, this escalated to bogus phone calls, etc. The 'fun' finished when my friend threw a small bomb through their window, and it demolished the whole office. They had a good laugh though.

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    1. I worked for a large graphics and printing company for my first 20 years. The old guys then, leftovers from the hot type days, were all alcoholics. The young people were great fun. Playing jokes on each other was what kept us going, especially with some of the work we had to slog through.

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  14. Revenge is a dish best served...wet?

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  15. Well after all you couldn't let her get away with a comment like that. Imagine, telling YOU you aren't fun any more.

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  16. You bad boy! That would have been gag-o-rama for me. One of my favs in the prank days (long gone I might add) was a simple one. As nurses we are frequently required to re-tie our shoes, or pick something from the floor. A perfect position for shooting a large syringe full of cold saline into the co-workers shoe while bending over. The shriek may not have been the best response in a fast paced high tension coronary unit, but it did lighten the stress.

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  17. Marvellous!
    You would have to be insane to do anything like that now.
    The victim would see £5 notes beckoning from the bottom of the cup and she/he would downloading their claim app before you had drained your own cup.

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  18. Things are WAY too serious now! There is a line that dictates one has gone too far but finding that line can be a lot of fun.
    I went too far once and it ended up the 'victim' broke down and cried. I hadn't known that something very tragic had occurred in her life. I 'made up' by buying flowers and profusely apologizing. I was careful from then on.

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  19. Oh, John, that's just horrible! I'm gagging. (You could have served her some ass fudge.)

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  20. Thanks John you put a *smile* on my face through my migraine clogged head. I needed that today xx

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  21. I need to know…did you wash the teeth first?

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  22. Y'see you're all going to hate me now and think I'm not fun....but I don't find pranks or slapstick funny....not in a superior way...just in a Margo from the good life way...I don't see the funny......which does not mean I'm humourless........but we can't all be the same can we?

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  23. John, did that stop her from pranking you? There were some beauts in one large company where I worked. We didn't get to see the one played on a top guy in the Boston office, but we did get pictures. He was getting married, and went back to his office after lunch to find nearly every surface (desk, chair, cabinets, even his computer) completely covered in plastic wrap.

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  24. There's naughty - but after I'd lurched my tea up I think I would have seen the funny side too.

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  25. As a dental nurse (a million years ago) we used to "prank" with topical anesthetic gel ... the uses for that "fun" was endless! any mucus membrane was numbed for long enough to make it funny

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  26. That's great. When I had jobs, I was always very badly behaved, but it was all in good fun and when I needed to be professional, I was. I'm not one to bully people. I've been bullied, and I don't like it.

    Love,
    Janie

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  27. Great idea! Thanks! ;-)

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  28. I feel sure that practical jokes in places like those are a great way to relieve the tension which often exists John. Isn't it funny, but blogging with you for a couple of years has made me think I know you really well - I can just imagine you playing practical jokes - and long may you continue to do so!

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  29. Oh what are you like.

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  30. I'm with libby, i don't find practical jokes funny for the most part, i usually see them as being hurtful. But, i do like seeing people who enjoy joking with one another. Since i telecommute these days, there's very little joking that transpires. The last office i worked in, we did have fun until the last company that bought us out squashed any sense of mirth.

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  31. LOL

    teasing and tricksys goes hand in hand in our family; but when its done with anger, jealousy and malice, thats when you know its in bullying territory..

    IMO the internet makes it hard to show intent - and if you add a "hey, i was joshing you" it makes it even worse... I wonder since its hard to do on the WiFi technology, is it translating to the real world?

    one of my favorite all time tricksys i have seen on the 'net -http://www.oliandalex.com/james-face/2010/9/20/james-face.html?currentPage=2 seriously, i have seen this a few years back and I still laugh hysterically. James is a good egg...

    xoxo

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  32. I knew someone who dangled his "bits" in a colleagues sandwich then told her after she are it. Another delightful friend of mine rubbed his ex girlfriends toothbrush round his bum ( in the hole bit not just the cheeks!) put it back and then text her the photo when he moved out.

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  33. Humour is essential but "the line" not to cross is set differently by everyone, so it's a problem... When I was a student I thought it funny when I saw someone hide a dead mouse from the biology dissecting room under a lettuce leaf in a refectory salad; but I would not find it funny to find one under my leaf. And it was not funny at all to receive a barrage of water bombs from students (I believe) on top of my head while sitting on the toilet in between giving lectures many years ago, Not funny at all (for me).

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  34. Oh, that is just wrong! I would watch out for any missing catheters if I were you.

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  35. Yes! My night nurse friends and I did the same sort of hilarity. We used to take turns starting each others cars in the winter. Then one day I went out to fetch mine and it was moved in the lot. So the next night I moved her car across the street. So the next night she moved mine 6 blocks away in front of the police station!! Oh how I miss those times. And yes of course we always gave our patients their pain meds before we started goofing off. We did have some ethics.

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  36. Haha. That was a great trick!
    You're right though. Especially around here. No joking. You're likely to get into trouble as not.

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  37. Hahahaha! That's hilarious! However, if you had done it to me I would have been furious, I hate getting pranked. So I am one of those really annoying people who love to see other people get pranked but hate it if I do. I won't prank anyone though.... I know ... I'm weird!

    Jo in Auckland, NZ

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  38. Great fun. When I was on a Kibbutz in the 80's we played lots of practical jokes. The boys managed to stash a frozen fish in our bedroom; you can imagine the smell after a few days & our hunt to find where it was coming from ( the snigger on the boys' faces.

    We got one of them back by pinching his best jeans, keeping them for a couple of weeks then get someone to wear them up to dinner one night.
    Once accused of theft, the wearer wipped them off dramatically infront of everyone ( he had his own jeans on underneath. Happy days x

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