Ask The Eye.Don’t Laugh With Them,Laugh At Them

Dear Eye View:
I am a young management consultant who has so far earned high marks from my superiors. Recently, however, I’ve repeatedly faced a situation that I fear might become a blot in my personnel file. At a tense meeting with a client several months ago, one of the other consultants made a joke about an error he’d noticed on a spreadsheet. The room burst into laughter while I sat there expressionless, not even feigning a smile. It just “wasn’t funny”. A couple of weeks later, the same situation happened. This time, my supervisor asked me after the meeting why I had been so “rude” not to laugh after the client made a pun. When it happened a third time, someone remarked how I must be having a “bad day”. I’m not a gloomy person. I am a natural-born storyteller who can cause a small crowd of friends to bend over laughing with an off-color joke. I’ve even dabbled in “stand-up”. Should I just get with the program and pretend office humor tickles my funny bone, even if I’m actually laughing at the boss’s terrible “haircut”?

—Mirthless

Dear Mirthless

Often Eye View readers provide their own answers. The next time someone tells a story and everyone laughs, just say that was “funny”. The use of air quotes will make everyone happy.Make it a “lifestyle choice”. But, be sure to use air quote protocal. Hope this helps.

EV

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