What If Today…You Had Some Fun?

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things laughter finds its morning and is refreshed.” ~Khalil Gibran

I worked at Mrs. Field’s Cookies when it first opened and I was in college.

That was where I learned the value of  playing  at work- a skill I think all leaders should consider developing for the sake of their team’s morale.

I perfected  mixing and baking boatloads of cookies, and was dubbed  “The Cookie Doctor” because I knew how to fix hot cookies that had cracked and were destined for the scrap bag. It was a bad thing for a cookie to be relegated to that bag because the weight of  it reflected a part of our performance for that day.

So, that was what I did for fun until I learned about“Dead Man” Jokes. They aren’t really jokes. They’re riddles. I became a master at creating them while baking cookies, keeping my coworkers entertained for hours. If you ever want to get in good with me, you’ll learn how to stump me with one of your homemade Dead Man Joke.

Then came Halloween night at the store- the night that changed how I experienced work.  All of the employees were required to dress up in a costume of their choice and wear it while working their shift for that day. I’d had a long day in classes and an even longer bus ride to work and I was in no mood to play that game

I had no idea that there was a back-up plan for nonconformers

When I arrived without a costume cheers erupted. I guess  because everyone had been waiting to see who would have to wear “Super Chocolate Chip Cookie.”

I was lovingly taken to the back room and handed the costume  and resisted putting it on as long and as hard as I could until I was told that I couldn’t punch in until I got the chip off my shoulder and onto my body.

Not me. She looks a lot happier than I was.

Not me. She looks a lot happier than I was. A tidbit of info: I weighed about 90 lbs (I’m about 5’5″) and was swimming in it. The booties had pointed toes.

Head down and forlorn, I shuffled  to the front of the store.

Carrie, the first of my coworkers to see me, gasped, slammed herself against a nearby wall, doubled over, and started laughing. She’d been in the middle of waiting on customers- one of three long lines of them. Her laugh was contagious and in seconds we were all useless. We were done. It was impossible to work. The customers were perturbed, but it was the best day at work ever.

I really appreciate that day and what my boss provided for us even though I’m sure he didn’t think it would get so out of hand. I loved seeing him cry with laughter as he joined in on the fun. He was very wise to find a way for us to play at work, to grow closer and feel joy in the mundane tasks we’d all signed up for.

Play is different for each of us. The type of play that you find stimulating says a lot about you.

“We are never  more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play.” ~ Charles Schaefer

I don’t like board (bored) games. They aren’t spontaneous enough.

I like practical jokes. They require a certain kind of intelligence, cunning, and poker-face skills.

I could go on and on, but I won’t… 🙂


6 thoughts on “What If Today…You Had Some Fun?

  1. Oh My..Deadman Jokes..lol..I am so bad at those..I’ll have to entertain you with goofy campfire stories..I’ve got lots of those!

    Playing in whatever way is good for the heart and soul!

    As Always ~*~

    • You know what I just thought? Even back then my mind was finding humor and intrigue with death! LOL! I’ll make a believer out of you, Ann. I don’t do campfire stories. They’re always scary! I scare very easily and punch ad push hard when frightened. 🙂

  2. Hey Betsy, I recently attended a lecture from a Canadian psychologist we argued that play is directly responsible for how we as humans evolved and is one of the drivers for humans to determine value. Pretty apparent with all the sports that permeate our lives. Play is meant to define our ability to achieve what we see as success. It was a mind boggling lecture but in its own way the subject was so simple it made my head spin that i never placed the two together.

    I am not into games really. I do enjoy individual sport. Things that challenge my ability against my own will. Maybe that’s why i love golf so much.

    Laughing and poking fun at my co-workers is an essential part of how my team had become so cohesive. We all make fun of each other regularly. Practical joking is a ton of fun but in the business world a tricky thing to pull off without impunity. Still fun though. If I am in a place that is 100% serious all the time, I am out. Life is wayyyyyy too short for that.

    Are those dead man jokes like the one about Mary and John lying dead on the floor surrounded by water and glass?

    • Yes! Ceck out the link the phrase “Dead Man Jokes (highlighted in blue). Some of them are better thsn others. If you make up your own, remember that you can only answer yes or no to a person’s guesses. It’s a blast.
      What I’ve noticed (for myself only probably) is that Facebook and in a way Twitter if you stick with it, is a playground that lightens my mood. That’s how I use it- to play. That’s a bit “dangerous” for some people whose reputation as a serious, business-minded person could be at risk if they indulged that way. The online world is a bit tricky, too. I find it very hard to joke around without offending. It’s very sad. LOL!
      I’m with you. If I can’t play at work I don’t thrive.
      And my best friends had better be able to take a joke and give one back if they are going to have the best of me.
      Sorry I haven’t been around your place lately, in case you’ve been posting. I’ll drop by soon. Your posts are always thought-provoking.
      Thanks, Ralph!

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