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We've all been interviewed for jobs.

And, we've all spent most of those interviews thinking about what not to do. Don't bite your nails. Don't fidget. Don't interrupt. Don't belch. If we did any of the don'ts, we knew we'd disqualify ourselves instantly. But some job applicants go light years beyond this. We surveyed top personnel executives of 100 major American corporations and asked for stories of unusual behavior by job applicants. The lowlights:

  • "...stretched out on the floor to fill out the job application."
  • "She wore a Walkman and said she could listen to me and the music at the same time."
  • "A balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later, wearing a hairpiece."
  • "...asked to see interviewer's resume to see if the personnel executive was qualified to judge the candidate."
  • "... announced she hadn't had lunch and proceeded to eat a hamburger and french fries in the interviewer's office wiping the ketchup on her sleeve."
  • "Stated that, if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm."
  • "Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions."
  • "When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office."
  • "At the end of the interview, while I stood there dumbstruck, went through my purse, took out a brush, brushed his hair, and left."
  • "...pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him."
  • "Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much."
  • "While I was on a long distance phone call, the applicant took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest at the centerfold."
  • "During the interview, an alarm clock went off from the candidate's brief case. He took it out, shut it off, apologized and said he had to leave for another interview."
  • "A telephone call came in for the job applicant. It was from his wife. His side of the conversation went like this: 'Which company? When do I start? What's the salary?' I said, 'I assume you're not interested in conducting the interview any further.' He promptly responded, 'I am as long as you'll pay me more.' I didn't hire him, but later found out there was no other job offer. It was a scam to get a higher offer."
  • "His attaché [case] opened when he picked it up and the contents spilled, revealing ladies' undergarments and assorted makeup and perfume."

"Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one."

"...asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called security."

"Pointing to a black case he carried into my office, he said that if he was not hired, the bomb would go off. Disbelieving, I began to state why he would never be hired and that I was going to call the police. He then reached down to the case, flipped a switch, and ran. No one was injured, but I did need to get a new desk."

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10 Features of The Company Car
  • Accelerates at a phenomenal rate.
  • Has a much shorter braking distance than the private car.
  • Can take speed humps at twice the speed of private cars.
  • The battery, radiator water, oil and tires never have to be checked.
  • It can be driven up to 60 miles with the oil warning light flashing.
  • It needs cleaning less often than private cars.
  • The suspension is reinforced to allow for the weekend loads of bricks, concrete slabs and other building material.
  • Unusual and alarming engine noises are easily eliminated by turning up the radio.
  • It needs no security system and may be left anywhere, unlocked and with the keys in the ignition.
  • It is especially sand and waterproof for barbeques and fishing expeditions on remote beaches.

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.

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"You Know You're Too Stressed If."
  • relatives that have been dead for years come visit you and suggest that you should get some rest.
  • you can achieve a "Runners High" by sitting up.
  • you say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing that you have said it before.
  • the Sun is too loud.
  • trees begin chasing you.
  • you can see individual air molecules vibrating.
  • you begin to explore the possibility of setting up an I.V. drip solution of espresso.
  • you wonder if brewing is really a necessary step in the consumption of coffee.
  • you can hear mimes.
  • you believe that if you think hard enough, you can fly.
  • things become "Very Clear."
  • you ask the drive-thru attendant if you can get your order to go.
  • you begin speaking in a language that only you and Channelers can understand.
  • you say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing that you have said it before.
  • you keep yelling "STOP TOUCHING ME!" even though you are the only one in the room.
  • your heart beats in 7/8 time.
  • you and Reality file for divorce.
  • you can skip without a rope.
  • it appears that people are speaking to you in binary code.
  • you have great revelations concerning: Life, the Universe, and Everything else, but can't quite find the words for them before the white glow disappears, leaving you more confused than before.
  • you can travel without moving.
  • antacid tablets become your sole source of nutrition.
  • you discover the aesthetic beauty of office supplies.
  • you begin to talk to yourself, then disagree about the subject, get into a nasty row over it, lose, and refuse to speak to yourself for the rest of the night.
  • teddy bears begin to bully you for milk and cookies.
  • you have an irresistible urge to bite the noses of the people you are talking to.
  • you say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing that you have said it before.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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"I'm Gonna Be Late Because.... " Excuses you can use, right?
  • My stigmata's acting up.
  • I can't come in to work today because I'll be stalking my previous boss, who fired me for not showing up for work. OK?
  • I have a rare case of 48-hour projectile leprosy, but I know we have that deadline to meet...
  • I am stuck in the blood pressure machine down at the Food Giant.
  • If it is all the same to you I won't be coming in to work. The voices told me to clean all the guns today.
  • Yes, I seem to have contracted some attention-deficit disorder and, hey, how about them Skins, huh? So, I won't be able to, yes, could I help you? No, no, I'll be sticking with Sprint, but thank you for calling.
  • Constipation has made me a walking time bomb.
  • I just found out that I was switched at birth. Legally, I shouldn't come to work knowing my employee records may now contain false information.
  • The psychiatrist said it was an excellent session. He even gave me this jaw restraint so I won't bite things when I am startled.
  • The dog ate my car keys. We're going to hitchhike to the vet.
  • I prefer to remain an enigma.
  • My mother-in-law has come back as one of the Undead and we must track her to her coffin to drive a stake through her heart and give her eternal peace. One day should do it.
  • I can't come to work today because the EPA has determined that my house is completely surrounded by wetlands and I have to arrange for helicopter transportation.
  • I am converting my calendar from Julian to Gregorian.
  • I am extremely sensitive to a rise in the interest rates.
  • I refuse to travel to my job in the District until there is a commuter tax. I insist on paying my fair share.
  • I set half the clocks in my house ahead an hour and the other half back an hour Saturday and spent 18 hours in some kind of space-time continuum loop, reliving Sunday (right up until the explosion). I was able to exit the loop only by reversing the polarity of the power source, exactly e*log(pi), of the clocks in the house while simultaneously rapping my dog on the snout with a rolled up Times. Accordingly, I will be in late, or early.

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The personnel office received an email requesting a listing of the department staff...

... broken down by age and sex. The personnel office sent this reply...

"Attached is a list of our staff. We currently have no one broken down by age or sex. However, we have a few alcoholics."

Submitted by Kathy, Gettysburg, Pa.

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I was scrubbing the bulkhead on the USS Kitty Hawk one Sunday morning...

... when the loud-speaker announced: "Religious services. Maintain silence about the decks. Discontinue all unnecessary work."

An hour later, the opinion many of us held regarding our daily routine, was confirmed with this announcement:

"Resume all unnecessary work."

Submitted by Dick, Williamsport, Md.

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These are some (allegedly) real-life examples of what NOT to put on a resume.
  • "Disposed of $2.5 billion in assets."
  • "Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain store."
  • "My intensity and focus are at inordinately high levels, and my ability to complete projects on time is unspeakable."
  • "Education: Curses in liberal arts, curses in computer science, curses in accounting."
  • "Personal: Married, 1992 Chevrolet."
  • "I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse."
  • "I am a rabid typist."
  • "Exposure to German for two years, but many words are not appropriate for business."
  • "Personal interests: Donating blood. 15 gallons so far."
  • "I have become completely paranoid, trusting completely nothing and absolutely no one."
  • "References: None, I've left a path of destruction behind me."
  • "Don't take the comments of my former employer too seriously, they were unappreciative beggars and slave drivers."
  • "My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I possess no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage."
  • "I procrastinate - especially when the task is unpleasant."
  • "I am loyal to my employer at all costs. Please feel free to respond to my resume on my office voice-mail."
  • "Qualifications: No education or experience."
  • "Accomplishments: Oversight of entire department."
  • "Extensive background in accounting. I can also stand on my head!"

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Letters of Recommendations For Employees

For the chronically absent: "A man like him is hard to find." "It seemed his career was just taking off."

For the office drunk: "I feel his real talent is wasted here." "We generally found him loaded with work to do."

For an employee with no ambition:

  • "He could not care less about the number of hours he had to put in."
  • "You would indeed be fortunate to get this person to work for you."
  • "He consistently achieves the standards he sets for himself."

For an employee who is so unproductive that the job is better left unfilled: "I can assure you that no person would be better for the job."

For an employee who is not worth further consideration as a job candidate:

  • "I would urge you to waste no time in making this candidate an offer of employment."
  • "All in all, I cannot say enough good things about this candidate or recommend him too highly."

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My husband and I were boarding an airplane...

... with our two small children when he commented that it was too bad we weren't flying first class, where we'd have more room for our infant.

"They probably don't allow babies in first class," I said.

"On the contrary," a nearby flight attendant jokingly confided to us. "ALL our first-class passengers are babies."

Submitted by Vicki, Downingtown, Pa.

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Real Teachers
  • Real teachers buy Excedrin and Advil in bulk at Sam's.
  • Real teachers will eat anything left in the teacher's lounge.
  • Real teachers grade papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meetings, in the bathroom, and at the end of nine weeks have even been seen grading in church.
  • Real teachers cheer when they hear that April 1st does not fall on a school day.
  • Real teachers can't walk past a crowd of kids without straightening up the line.
  • Real teachers never sit down without first checking the seat of the chair.
  • Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards without turning around.
  • Real teachers are written up in medical journals for the size and elasticity of their bladders.
  • Real teachers wear glasses from trying to read the fine print in the teacher's manuals.
  • Real teachers have been timed gulping down lunch in 2 minutes 18 seconds. Master teachers can eat faster than that.
  • Real teachers can predict exactly which parents show up at open house.
  • Real teachers understand the importance of making sure every kid gets a Valentine.
  • Real teachers never teach the conjugations of "lie" and "lay" to eighth graders.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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Tips with English Grammar
  • Don't abbrev.
  • Check to see if you any words out.
  • Be carefully to use adjectives and adverbs correct.
  • About sentence fragments.
  • When dangling, don't use participles.
  • Don't use no double negatives.
  • Each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
  • Just between You and i, case is important.
  • Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
  • Don't use commas, that aren't necessary.
  • Its important to use apostrophe's right.
  • It's better not to unnecessarily split an infinitive.
  • Never leave a transitive verb just lay there without an object.
  • Only Proper Nouns should be capitalized. also a sentence should.
  • begin with a capital and end with a period
  • Use hyphens in compound-words, not just in any two-word phrase.
  • In letters compositions reports and things like that we use commas to keep a string of items apart.
  • Watch out for irregular verbs which have creeped into our language.
  • Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  • Avoid unnecessary redundancy.
  • A writer mustn't shift your point of view.
  • Don't write a run-on sentence you've got to punctuate it.
  • A preposition isn't a good thing to end a sentence with.
  • Avoid cliches like the plague.

Submitted by Sam, Emmitsburg, Md.

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For many years I worked as a receptionist and switchboard operator at a busy company.

After a good annual review, my supervisor told me I was up for a raise, pending approval of the vice president.

A month later, my supervisor called me into his office and told me the VP had refused to approve the raise. His reason? I clearly wasn't doing my job. Every time he saw me, I was either chatting with someone in the lobby or talking on the phone.

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A man learned shortly before quitting time that he had to attend a meeting.

He tried unsuccessfully to locate his car-pool members to let them know that he would not be leaving with them.

Hastily he scribbled a message to one fellow and left it on his desk: "I have a last-minute meeting. Leave without me. Dave."

At 7:00 p.m., the man stopped at his desk and found this note: "Meet us at the bar and grill across the street. You drove, you idiot."

Submitted by Al, Seattle, Wa.

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For thirty years, Johnson had arrived at work at 9 A.M., on the dot.

He had never missed a day and was never late.

Consequently, when on one particular day 9 A.M. passed without Johnson's arrival, it caused a sensation.

All work ceased and the boss himself, looking at his watch and muttering, came out into the corridor.

Finally, precisely at ten, Johnson showed up, clothes dusty and torn, his face scratched and bruised, his glasses bent.

He limped painfully to the time clock, punched in, and said, aware that all eyes were upon him, "I tripped and rolled down two flights of stairs in the subway. Nearly killed myself."

The boss said, "And to roll down two flights of stairs took you an entire hour?"

Submitted by Bill, Ardmore, Pa.

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This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

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Ten Common Full-Time Employee Ailments
  • The Macy's One Day Sale Flu.
  • The Drivers License Renewal Appointment 24-Hour Virus.
  • The Friday-Afternoon-Start-The-Weekend-Early Sudden Unbearable Stomach Pains.
  • The I'm Looking for a New Job and I Don't Know How Long It's Going to Take, but I Want To Stay On The Payroll Until Then Mysterious Infection.
  • The My Boyfriend's Got the Week Off So Suddenly I'm Too Contagious To Come In To The Office Disease.
  • The I Need a Hair Cut and My Stylist Doesn't Make Evening Appointments Bout of Influenza.
  • The There's No Federal Holidays for Two Months and I Want a Day Off Sickness.
  • The It's Spring Break and I Want To Pretend I'm a Teenager Again General Ailment.
  • The I've Messed Up Royally and I Won't Come In To Face the Music Terminal Illness.
  • The I Really Am Sick and I've Got The Doctor's Bills and the Completed Medical Expense Reimbursement Forms to Prove It Infirmity.

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Human Resources & The 7 Dwarfs

In every Human Resources report, there is a reason for termination. There are so many possibilities, that we have narrowed the list down to the 7 dwarfs. Here they are:

  • Happy: Had trouble putting nose to the grindstone. Too much time spent telling jokes at the water cooler.
  • Doc: Left to pursue further schooling, in particular, Ph.D. work.
  • Sleepy: Chronically late for work. Caused many project delays.
  • Grumpy: Poor attitude toward work. Not a team player. Trouble with early mornings.
  • Dopey: Made several critical errors at work costing the company money, e.g., misappropriated company funds.
  • Sneezy: Recurrent, chronic illness has made it difficult for the employee to complete work in a timely fashion.
  • Bashful: Lack of initiative. Not willing to make cold calls. Too often let workplace disagreements simmer.


  • Jealous Queen: Heavy involvement in the occult not congruent with organizational policies.
  • Snow White: Misconduct, e.g., kissing strange men while under some kind of trance.
  • Huntsman: Couldn't stand to be cooped up in the office all day. Pursuing work with the National Forest Service.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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Are you an Engineer?
  • If these remind you of yourself, it's a good bet you are an engineer.
  • At Christmas, it goes without saying that you will be the one to find the burnt-out bulb in the string.
  • In college you thought Spring Break was a metal fatigue failure.
  • The salespeople at Circuit City can't answer any of your questions.
  • You are at an air show and know how fast the skydivers are falling.
  • You bought your wife a new CD ROM for her birthday.
  • You can quote scenes from any Monty Python movie.
  • You can't write unless the paper has both horizontal and vertical lines.
  • You comment to your wife that her straight hair is nice and parallel.
  • You forgot to get a haircut ... for 6 months.
  • You have Dilbert comics displayed anywhere in your work area.
  • You have ever saved the power cord from a broken appliance.
  • You have more friends on the Internet than in real life.
  • You have used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts.
  • You know what http:// actually stands for.
  • You own one or more white short-sleeve dress shirts.
  • You see a good design and still have to change it.
  • You still own a slide rule and you know how to work it.
  • You wear black socks with white tennis shoes (or vice versa).
  • You're in the back seat of your car, she's looking wistfully at the moon, and you're trying to locate a geosynchronous satellite.
  • You know what the geosynchronous satellite's function is.
  • Your laptop computer costs more than your car.
  • You've already calculated how much you make per second.
  • You've ever tried to repair a $5 radio.

Submitted by Kenneth, Shropshire, England

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Working in an ophthalmology practice that specializes in LASIK surgery...

... I am expected to comfort nervous patients. But prior to one operation, the patient was so nervous she was actually shaking.

Nothing I said to her would comfort her so after the doctor finished on the first eye and before he began on the second I wanted her to know the surgery was going well.

There, I said, patting her hand reassuringly, "Now you only have one eye left."

Submitted by Barb, Unionville, Pa.

Go to page 20 of Work Jokes

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