Uncomfortable Situation #322

superstock_1487r-62505Sometimes having a sense of humor doesn’t help in even the most dire of circumstances. Either the environment, the people around you, or just the time of day can deflect even your strongest one-liners. Sometimes, all you can do is sit back and watch.

Over the holidays, Sheila’s dad told me a great joke. It’s “business risque” that level of NSFW that you can kinda get away with, given the right company. I heard it Christmas Day – and have been sitting on it for just the right moment to lighten the mood.

What do martinis and tits have in common?  One isn’t enough and three is too many.

Hey, I didn’t say it was going to be David Cross’ next stand up routine, but in the business world, you’ll get guffaws.  Guaranteed.

Or so I thought.

Today, I happened to be at one of my clients.  One that is going through a GREAT number of layoffs today, and the team I work with didn’t know if they were in or out.  All day, 4 meetings, 2 phone calls with this group, and everyone is staring at their cell phones, looking for a new meeting request/text message/phone call asking for their presence at a meeting with the boss.  We had a quick break for lunch, so as the speculating was going on, I’m sitting there thinking that this – THIS – is the moment that I was meant to whip out this joke.  Let’s lighten the mood.  Let’s take the mind away – even for a BRIEF second – that these people may have the saddest Superbowl experience of their lives – watching from their unemployed couch.  So, as is common with these types of discussions, there was a lull – and I lead in with the typical, “So I heard this from my father-in-law…” banter.  Hit ’em up with the question – look at the blank faces – and spit the response.  Essentially, given any REGULAR day, this would have been a hit, my timing was perfection.  Steve Martin himself would have been impressed.  But not today.  I got 2 smiles, and someone poking though his carnitas.

Nothing.

After a few moments of silence… A new guy joined the table, and he got all the focus regaling stories that HE had heard of people who were not there any longer.

Ok ok ok… Timing – sure, maybe this wasn’t the BEST choice to tell a joke.  I’m ready to get blasted about how “insensitive” I was to what these people might be going through.  How I should just sit there and listen to their conspiracy theories about which team are getting reshuffled to so-and-sos department and why, and what fat is getting trimmed, etc.  But, eh.  I put you in that situation, and you’ll realize there’s only so many times you can “look concerned” and say, “that sucks” before you say to yourself, “Fuck it.  I’m going for it.  If I go, it’s in a blaze of glory.”  Sure, it wasn’t a blaze, and there was no glory – but after a couple hours, one of the guys texted me saying:

3 Tits.  Funny.

So there.

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