Black Humour


The Top 15 Layoff Greeting Cards

"You're fired!"  No other words can so easily and succinctly reduce a confident, self-assured executive to an insecure, groveling shred of his former self.
Handled creatively, getting fired allows an executive to actually experience a sense of relief that he never wanted the job he has lost.

- Frank P Louchheim

(To Those Not in the Know:
The Phrase "Laid off" Is Passé - One is Now "RIFed," for "Reduction in Force...)

  1. Roses are red, violets are blue.
    Al Gore's out of work, and so are you.

  1. Your writing was great!  Such a way with cards!
    Now please leave quietly or we'll call the guards.

  1. We all know that you're valuable,
    You do so many things,
    But we found someone for half your pay
    With dreads and eyebrow rings.

  1. Your poems were sublime!  Your work left us gaspin'!
    But the prez wants to build a new condo in Aspen!

  1. Roses are red, violets are blue.
    I wouldn't get sick, if I were you:
    You've lost your job, and your insurance, too.

  1. Get Re-employed Soon!
  1. We realise that on this solemn day,
    A part of our company goes with you.
    We strongly suggest that you put it back.
    Signed, the guys in Security.

  1. Don't think of it as getting older.
    Think of it as dying penniless after a meal of Alpo
    on toast.

  1. You are invited to a layoff!
    From: Management
    For: Restructuring
    Bring: Your belongings
  1. During your times of suffering, when you could see
    only one set of footprints, it was then that you had
    your feet on the desk and your lazy ass was playing

  1. At writing cute poems, you were the bomb,
    but now we suggest
  1. We hope this friendly greeting card
    Will ease your post-job tension,
    At least until you find that we
    Have pissed away your pension.

  1. In order to replace your work,
    We'll have to count on Tom.
    We're sure that he can handle

  1. Your work was really wonderful,
    But we have to boost our stock.
    We're really sad to see you go -
    Please don't rampage with your Glock.

and the Number 1 Layoff Greeting Card...

  1. You've been a great employee,
    So diligent and true.
    But there is no "i" in "our team,"
    And now there is no "u." "

The Top 10 Euphemisms for Corporate Layoffs

  1. Dissing the Gruntled
  2. Improving the Odds in the Office March Madness Pool
  3. Fueling Demand for Lottery Tickets and Malt Liquor
  4. The Corporate Catch-and-Release Program
  5. Giving You a Shot at Posting Your Very Own Negative-Growth Quarter
  6. Causing 404s on the Career Server
  7. Moving 1/3 of Your Workforce to within a Dead Dog and a Cruel Woman of a Blues Classic
  8. Giving Bruce Springsteen Something to Sing About
  9. Hiring a Bunch of New People, Only Backwards
  10. Ass-Harvesting on the Cubicle Farm

Source: These "Top 5 Lists" are reprinted courtesy of Chris White. has been delivering lists like this every week-day continuously since 1996 to over 50,000 users.  Copyright 2001 by Chris White.


Top 10 Ways to Get Fired

by Beverly West

Most admins start their jobs with the best of intentions, never thinking they could be fired.  After all, that's a fate reserved primarily for incompetents and workers caught with their hand in the company till, right?  Wrong.  You might not realise just how slippery the slope out the door can be.

Workplace Mistakes to Avoid

To guard your job security, be sure to avoid the 10 common pitfalls on this checklist from Jennifer Star, a New York City-based corporate recruiter and trainer specialising in administrative-support personnel:

  1. Lie on Your Job Application or Resume: Tell the truth from the start, because you will be held responsible for the information you provide - and your employer will check it.  Generally, education background checks can take up to a month after hire.  "I recently had a candidate fired from a large financial company after being there for a month, because she lied about her educational background," says Star.  "This woman did not need a degree for her editorial assistant position but said that she has one anyway - and one month later when the cat was out of the bag, she was immediately let go."
  2. Be Indiscreet About Your Job Hunt: If you are in the market for a new job, don't send your resume from your office computer, which most likely is monitored by IT.  Assume your instant messages (IMs) and emails are fair game as well.
  3. Gossip or Take Lots of Personal Calls: You never know who is listening, and in cubeland, walls really do have ears.  The safest bet?  Keep gossip to yourself, and never repeat anything you hear.  Winding up on the wrong side of the rumour mill can cost you more than somebody's trust; it can mean your job.
  4. Taking Too Many Personal Calls Can Make You Look Just as Bad: Spending much of your work time orchestrating your own personal business, rather than your boss's affairs, usually results in being given an opportunity to spend all of your time on the phone on personal business - looking for a new job, Star warns.
  5. Drink at Work: One of the quickest ways to be shown the door is drinking too much at lunch and walking into a wall.  Administrative assistants must keep things organised, efficient and clear, so maintaining your own clarity is extremely important.  Staying on top of the mountain of details that go into making a business run smoothly requires focus - and sobriety.
  6. Surf the Web Excessively: Spending much of your workday cruising around cyberspace puts you just a point-and-click away from unemployment.  And checking out adult-oriented websites on the job is a definite no-no.
  7. Become Romantically Involved with the Boss: While it may make for great watercooler discussion, a boss/direct-report romance can easily end with someone out of a job.  (Hint: It's usually not the boss.)
  8. Forget to Double-Check Your Figures: When working with numbers, scrutinize your work carefully.  One stray zero could make the difference between being employed and unemployed, advises Star.
  9. Alienate Your Coworkers: To do your job effectively, you'll need the cooperation, support and goodwill of those around you.  If you don't have these things, you probably won't be an effective administrator.  And becoming detached from those you work with could get you replaced with someone who can work well with others.
  10. Point the Finger at Everyone but Yourself: Take ownership of your job.  If you make a mistake, own up to it.  Don't try to sweep your mistakes under the carpet - or worse yet, blame somebody else - because the truth will usually come back to bite you on the bottom line.  And nobody wants to trust or employ a liar, says Star.

Source: © 2007 Monster - all rights reserved

Source: Funny Times May 2001

Accounting for Stop-Loss Jobs

by Kris Maher

Shortly after Bonham Johnson was laid off from his job as a network engineer at Nortel Networks Corporation last December, he walked into a local Home Depot and applied for a job.  "A lot of my peers did not want to go the route of getting a minimal-paying job," says Mr Johnson, who is 40 years old.  "I struggled with it as well."  But he needed to pay his bills.  So, for about 5 months this year, Mr Johnson donned a green apron instead of a suit and talked to customers about plants and shrubs instead of routers and switches.  But as he continued to interview with telecommunications companies, he wondered whether he should talk about his current job or try to hide it.  In the end, he compromised, keeping Home Depot off his resume but mentioning his job there during interviews.  In August, an Atlanta telecom company hired him as a systems analyst.

A lot of layoff victims have found themselves in a similar fix during the downturn, taking a temporary job to get by while seeking a job in their old industries that is comparable to a former position.  Getting back to a comparable position in one's field of expertise is the ultimate goal of most people who find themselves suddenly unemployed.  But as weeks stretch into months, how should you account for that job and experience?  Mr Johnson says he didn't want to highlight his Home Depot stint, but that he wasn't afraid to bring it up since he felt it showed he had a good work ethic and initiative.

But many career experts advise candidates not to talk about a job you took because of financial necessity.  "You never mention it, because that's all they're going to remember," says Richard Bayer, chief operating officer of Five O'Clock Club, a New York outplacement and career-counseling company.  "It's going to reposition you in a bad way."  He uses the example of an out-of-work financial professional who takes a job selling suits at a men's clothing store.  "It really would be a terrible mistake to say you were selling men's suits out at Saks," Mr Bayer says.  It's far more important to position yourself as someone who is dedicated to a particular industry.  He recommends talking about attending association meetings, articles you've read in trade journals and networking efforts.  If pressed by an interviewer to explain what you've been doing since your last full-time position, he suggests sticking to something unspecific.  "I'm not saying lie.  I'm saying don't answer the question," he says.

Others say there is more leeway about when to mention a stop-loss job.  Taking such a job, rather than sitting at home collecting unemployment, "shows them that you're an individual that has a strong work ethic," says Lori Davila, a career coach in Atlanta.  In general, she recommends that people keep an unrelated job off a resume but says it's all right to talk about during an interview.  She advises clients to keep these stints as short as possible.  Because working at a lower-paying job sometimes can reinvigorate a job search that has stagnated, Ms Davila often advises clients to take a position even if it's not a financial necessity.

There are other ways to put a positive spin on a job, of course, but be careful about talking about revenue generation or enhancing customer relationships if you are simply working a cash register.  In most cases, it's best to play down your experience or to simply state that you wanted the extra income to maintain your lifestyle.  One danger that many people who take a position below their skill level encounter is that they "put themselves on cruise control," says J Damian Birkel, executive director of Professionals in Transition Support Group, a Winston-Salem, North Carolina, job-support group, and author of a guide to re-employment titled Career Bounce-Back!  Mr Birkel tells underemployed people he works with to look at every customer encounter as a potential networking opportunity.  "Don't be afraid to tell them that you are actively looking for a job," he says.  He also advises people to develop business cards and bring them to work.  In most cases, an employer who knows you are underemployed won't have a problem with you passing out cards as long as it doesn't interfere with your job or disturb customers.

For some people, a far bigger risk is becoming demoralised by a job for which you feel overqualified.  It's easy to lose perspective on your talents when they seem undervalued by prospective employers and you end up working in a lesser capacity.  Nancy Collamer, a career counselor in Old Greenwich, Connecticut and author of Layoff Survival Guide, says one of the best ways to combat this is to keep your job search your main priority.  Another is to seek out volunteer roles where you can use your skills in a professional way, even if you aren't getting paid.  "For an executive who has taken a job bagging groceries, getting back into that professional role again can do a whole lot for your ego," Ms Collamer says.

Kris Maher is a staff reporter; e-mail comments to

Source: The Wall Street Journal Tuesday 28 October 2003

Why I Fired My Secretary

I woke up early, feeling depressed because it was my birthday, and I thought, "I'm another year older," but decided to make the best of it.  So, I showered and shaved, knowing when I went down to breakfast my wife would greet me with a big kiss and say, "Happy birthday, dear."

All smiles, I went into breakfast, and there sat my wife reading her newspaper, as usual.  She didn't say one word.  So, I got myself a cup of coffee, made some toast, and thought to myself, "Oh, well, she forgot.  The kids will be down in a few minutes, smiling and happy, and they will sing 'Happy Birthday' and have a nice gift for me."

There I sat, enjoying my coffee, and I waited.  Finally, the kids came running into the kitchen, yelling, "Give me a slice of toast!  I'm late!  Where is my coat?  I'm going to miss the bus!"  Feeling more depressed than ever, I left for the office.

When I walked into the office, my secretary greeted me with a great big smile and a cheerful, "Happy birthday, Boss."  She then asked if she could get me some coffee.  Her remembering my birthday made me feel a whole lot better.

Later in the morning, my secretary knocked on my office door and said, "Since it's your birthday, why don't we have lunch together?"  Thinking it would make me feel better, I said, "That's a good idea."

So, we locked up the office, and since it was my birthday, I said, "Why don't we drive out of town and have lunch in the country instead of going to the usual place?"  So, we drove out of town, and went to a little out-of-the-way inn, and had a couple of martinis and a nice lunch.  We started driving back to town, when my secretary said, "Why don't we go to my place, and I will fix you another martini?"  It sounded like a good idea, since we didn't have much to do in the office.

So, we went to her apartment, and she fixed us some martinis.  After a while, she said, "If you will excuse me, I think I will slip into something more comfortable," and she left the room.

In a few minutes, she opened her bedroom door and came out carrying a big birthday cake.  Following her were my wife and all my kids.  And there I sat with nothing on but my socks.

Source: Letter to Ann Landers

If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm!

- Coach Vince Lombardi

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