Q: What’s scarier than a haunted house?
A: A haunted warehouse that ends with Michael Scott pretending to hang himself, and then delivering an anti-suicide message.
Although I was a little disappointed that this week’s episode of “The Office” quickly left my favorite holiday behind and moved on to other themes, I was glad to find the main storyline totally hilarious and centered around one of my favorite animals — the koi. When Michael and Jim go out on a sales call, Michael clumsily tumbles into the client’s lobby’s large koi pond. He can’t hide his soaked suit when he returns to the office and soon becomes the butt of everyone’s jokes.
“I’m not usually the butt of the joke. I’m usually the face of the joke,” says Michael before calling the staff into the conference room for a meeting on sensitivity training.
“The most fundamental part of sensitivity training is that you cannot make fun of a person for something or some action that they have done that they regret,” he says. “Show of hands: Who here has been koi ponded?
“Michael, you make fun of us every day,” says Phyllis.
“Yeah — every — single — day,” chimes in Kevin.
Michael then bungles through an explanation about why it’s okay for him to make fun of everyone, but it’s not okay for anyone to make fun of him before starting a “Do Not Mock List” on the white board.
“Anything that we think may be out of bounds we put on this list,” he says. “Anything you put on this list you cannot be teased about.” He then writes “koi pond.”
Ugh! People who can dish it out, but can’t take it are definitely on my list of pet peeves! Do you work with any of these delightful folks?
How about people who just have no sense of humor whatsoever and can’t seem to take a joke? It’s clear that there are some jokes that are simply inappropriate for the workplace (see old episodes of the office and check out pretty much everything Michael says for examples), but it can be a real drag to work with someone who seems never to laugh or have any fun, particularly if that person turns around and complains about your joking around. Yes, I have worked with those sorts before.
So how do you handle these situations? Have you ever had to have formal conversations with staff members about teasing in the office? Tell me about it here! You can also share if you love koi and Halloween because I always love to make a connection with a kindred spirit!
If you missed this week’s episode of “The Office,” or just need something to watch between trick-or-treaters tomorrow, NBC has it and more free online.