Being funny is more of a curse than a blessing; sure, it’s nice to elicit chuckles but the mask of the funnyman/woman eventually becomes your entire identity. Friends, family, and coworkers all expect you to amuse and entertain them, no matter what mood you’re in. It’s not easy being cheesy… Hey, stop groaning. I know that was a horrible pun. That includes people always being critical of your comedy (yes, I’m looking at you Mr. Groan-y). Here are the top work-related struggles of the corporate funny person.
1. Always Laughing
Sometimes you just want to have a serious conversation about what’s going on in the world. The Syrian refugee crisis, conflict in the Middle East, and the straining of the EU as a confederation, but getting feedback and starting an intelligent back and forth is almost impossible. Because no matter what the context, meaning or tone, everyone thinks you are just rattling off one-liners. Just the other day you asked “What do you guys think about the potential for Grexit?” and the only response, other than boisterous laughter, was “Man, you and your funny made-up words… are you leaving the Greside-door through the Grexit?”
Okay, granted, your co-workers aren’t the most worldly of people, and they don’t really bother keeping up with world politics, but it would be nice to say anything and not get laughed at.
2. Personal Tragedy
Another side-effect of being the office’s haha-hunter is that monumental personal tragedy becomes a sick cynical running joke. For example, just last year, when you were involved in a horrifying parasailing accident that resulted in a broken leg and a star-shaped scar on your left glut (that’s posterior for those amongst us that are not well-versed in human anatomy) and you returned to work (after three months of excruciating physio), the first thing that you saw was a huge banner over your cubicle that read: “Welcome Back Broken Star Bottom”. I mean, how did they even find out? Who told them that you had a star-shaped scar on your butt?
3. Happy Factor
If you’re the office’s jovial chap/female variation of chap, you are always expected to be happy. That is not an easy task; testament to this is the fact that some people drink alcohol and take pharmaceuticals to get happy. If they could, wouldn’t they just forcibly will themselves in to good mood (which is considerably cheaper than chemically modifying your mood)? There is an entire medical field dedicated to helping you get happy! Yet, for some reason, just because you are an astute at observational comedy, people expect you to be constantly laughing, smiling, and generally in a good mood. Staying in a good mood isn’t exactly easy when the I.T. guy pranked you by changing your e-mail signature to “Respectfully, Broken Star Butt, Executive Star Butt Manager”.
4. Getting Pissed
If people left you alone when you were in a moderately foul mood, it would be fine but, no, they will actually become genuinely perturbed at your lack of happiness. You are demandingly asked “Why aren’t you in a good mood?” or “What’s the matter?” – usually punctuated with a scoff – or even worse: “Stop being moody and entertain me, funnyman/woman!” Granted, only your boss really says that, but it’s still frustrating. The worst thing is that perturbedness can escalate to full-blown rage if you refuse to entertain (as you usually do). Let’s not forget the joke refusal riot of 2001.
5. Concern Is Concerning
Although a joke refusal-induced rage can be terrifying, this next struggle is supernaturally maddening: almost the opposite effect of an infuriating coworker throwing a stapler at your head and screaming “Tell me a dad joke, you sad sack!!!” but it’s horrible in its own special way. It is the overly concerned coworker.
When your default mood is popping into cubicles, making finger guns and saying “peeeeecan pie” with a wink (it’s an inside joke and it would take forever to explain; just know it involved a nude Shirley from accounting, strategically placed pecans, and a very bashful John from marketing during the corporate Christmas party), it’s not easy to hide when you’re not your usually hilarious self. This of course elicits a maddening onslaught of concern from all your coworkers: “Are you alright, hun?” “Ooh, you don’t seem yourself today” and “You look tired”.
Even Shirley came round, put a handful of pecans in your hand, and said “If the lack of peeeeecan pie’s got you done… I know how to bake, if you know what I mean.” She then winked at you multiple times and slowly backed out of your cubicle, never breaking eye contact and making sure her cleavage was prominently displayed.
6. Distressing Disbelief
Another side effect of being the perpetually prankster is people not believing you when you are trying to be serious. Every time you attempt to take a personal day or a sick day, your telephone conversation becomes a train of chuckles, “Oh, come on”s and “Sure, sure”s. As if dealing with personal suffering or drama wasn’t enough, you usually get chastised by the boss because “you didn’t say you were sick / involved in a parasailing accident resulting in star-shaped scar on your ass / being deported”.
7. The Voices
You’re pretty adept at impersonations, but few people know that the voices you enact are actually voices in your head. From the old New York lady to the British aristocrat and the baby with the dirty vocabulary, they are all in your head and often speak to you. Sometimes their requests are simple, like getting Mexican food for lunch, but they are bit more intense other times, like finding a virgin to sacrifice during the winter solstice.
8. And Now You Might Be Psychotic
A 2014 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that the creative elements involved in being funny are eerily similar to characteristics observed in people with psychosis: the same type of psychosis, in fact, seen in people suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Sure, you take a lot of drugs, drink alcohol, and unremittingly listen to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, but that can’t aggravate your condition… can it?
Hey, why aren’t you talking to me? Are you still angry that I refused to run around naked, covered in chicken blood at midnight? Although most of the times I listen to the voices in my head, you know all too well that I would do that if I could find fresh chicken blood! All I had was the nasty canned stuff, and we both know that it’s just not the same.
Do you think you’re funny? Well, let’s see! Leave a hilariously humorous comment in the section below.