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When Work Feels Like A Joke...

In one the best moments in film history Jack Nicholson starring in The Shining, aptly, demonically and repeatedly reminds us that, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Given the fact that we all need a break every once in a while, including Jack, I have decided to devote this week's column to the lighter side of business. Whether you're a boss or employee, tuck these links away from a little breather from the daily grind.

For anyone who's looked, there are scads of sites out there dedicated to office humor. One of the best ones I've run across is Jim's Joke Repository located at http://defcon.rutgers.edu/~jimpoz/jokes/. For some decent job-related humor, click on the Business Jokes link to the left (definitely use the "no frames option" too). Be sure to check out the famous "Prison Versus Work" and be sure not to miss "Things To Say If You're Caught Sleeping At Your Desk." Another good joke site is Alex's Humor File at http://www.rider.edu/users/grushow/humor.html. Click on "The Corporate World" on the Table of Contents Menu to the left to find some great anecdotes like the also-famous "Things You Shouldn't Do in a Job Interview."

If you consider yourself one of the most jaded individuals in corporate America, may I suggest you play a round of Business Buzzword Bingo? Point your browser to http://www-ucs.usc.edu/~karl/Bingo/ and let the fun begin. This site shows you how to print out a bingo card filled with corporate buzzwords like "empower" and "quality vector" to take with you to your next meeting. Mark off the buzzwords as you hear them, then shout "Bingo!" when you get five buzzwords in a row (up, down, diagonally). You can re-load the page and it will dynamically build a new Bingo card each time. The possibilities are endless!

Think you can run your own business? You might think again after you visit The Lemonade Stand, located at http://littlejason.com/lemonade/. In this Web version of the popular computer game, you're a kid setting up your own Lemonade Stand on a neighbor's yard. Before each day starts, you have to decide (based on the weather forecast) how many cups of lemonade you are going to make; you also have the option to advertise (decisions, decisions!). At the end of the day, you'll receive a daily report with financial information, letting you how many cups you made and sold and how much profit you made that day, if any. You continue playing until you go broke, you decide to retire, or you reach 25 game days. A delightful time waster!

For those of us you who are fed up with your coworkers, there are a couple clever sites that can help you express your feelings. The Automatic Complaint Generator at http://www-csag.cs.uiuc.edu/individual/pakin/complaint let's you enter various information about the person you wish to complain about (i.e., their name, title, gender), then spits out a hilarious complaint letter (the length of which you can determine based on how angry you are - choose 1 paragraph for mildly irritated all the way to 10 paragraphs for absolutely livid). Of course, most of the fun comes from reading the letter to yourself, but if you're going to actually send it to the intended complainee, heed the disclaimer for the "Humor-Impaird" listed on the site.

If you're like most office workers, there's no better way to relieve the tedium of the workday than surfing the web when the boss isn't looking. But as many a fired worker can attest, surfing on the job can be a dangerous habit. Thankfully, Don's Boss Page, found at http://www.donsbosspage.com/, has come to the weary worker's rescue. This site has everything you need to look busy while kicking back and relaxing or surfing the Net. Try "Sound Busy," which is an audio-enhanced page that contains convincing sound effects that will make it sound like you're busy doing something while you sleep in your cube. My favorite was the realistic whipping sounds combined with typing. Guaranteed to make the whole office turn their heads! Also, make sure to check out Don's tips for "Stealth Surfing" as well as the "Personal Protector," which is a panic button designed to help you surf the web in safety, even with a boss looking over your shoulder! Now, who says you can't mix business with pleasure?!

Happy Surfing!

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Contributing Editor: Mary Bergner

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