Monday, November 24, 2008

Field Testing

Lately at work, we have slipped into crisis mode. The things we do are important and we do have our fair share of crises but lately we have been treating routine business as if it were a crisis. Inspired by an e-mail, I developed a list of seventeen ‘concepts’ to help snap us out of the mock crisis mode. Concepts are good but they need to be proven. So, I decided to ‘field test’ some of them. Here are the results.

When the receptionist is in an unnecessary crisis mood – Using your office phone call the receptionist and ask for yourself, don’t disguise your voice. My test went like this:

Me: Yes, is Ralph in?
Receptionist: He is but he’s on the phone would like his voice mail?
Me: No.
Receptionist (after a long pause): Well. . .would you like me to give him a message?
Me: No.
Receptionist (another long pause): Well. . . .Sir, how can I help you?
Me: I want to speak to Ralph.
Receptionist (after an extremely long pause): Ralph is that you?

I started laughing and the phone went dead. She was in my office in a matter of seconds laughing uncontrollably. For the rest of the day every time I walked by her desk she started chuckling.

One that works well at ‘emergency’ meetings is - Finish all your comments with the phrase, “So let it be written, so let it be done.” It was a line used by Pharaoh in the movie the Ten Commandments.

Now the key to this one is two-fold. First, you must have a comment about everything; this is not the time to be silent. Secondly, you need to be patient. It starts with a chuckle or two and continues to build until there are only one or two people in the room who don’t get it. Finally someone will break down and say, “What the @#$% are you talking about?” The entire room will bursts out laughing. That’s a good time for a break.

I’ll keep you posted on future field tests.


Blogger bobbie said...

Ralph, you're wonderful! Every municipality should have someone like you on their Council, Planning and Zoning Boards. Meetings would not only be more fun, they would probably be more productive.

4:28 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

You ALMOST make me want to return to the workplace to try out these clever jokes.......but, naw, retirement is too much fun.

5:36 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Ralph, I would need to get rid of at least one and sometimes two board members on every board I sit on to try these.
Plust if I tried the, “So let it be written, so let it be done.” thing on Marilyn, she'd probably get that gun out again.
We told Char to bring the turkey so it looks like you get to come along on this trip.

6:16 AM  
Blogger EV said...

That's hilarious, Ralph. So were Cliff's musings. I'm going to call myself on my cell phone now .... oh, wait .... never mind.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous DOR said...

That was pretty funny. I was reading the phone conversation during one of my classes and I started laughing to myself. the kids saw me and started questioning what I was laughing.

7:39 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Gee, that almost made me wish I had a secty. well, almost... Hmmmm, I wonder what would happen if I called home and tried that?
Oh, that's right... that's what they have competency hearings for, right????
Thanks for the chuckle.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Ralph, this is priceless! I'm still laughing! I love practical jokes and it sounds like your're the King of them!! Great Job and Thanks for the laugh!!

8:50 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Ralph! I'm catching up on reading what I have missed. Sounds like you have fun at work and that makes it all better! When I worked at my last job, myself and the doctor played so many scary tricks on the office manager. I really thought she might have a heart attack or hurt herself a few times. Put a fake mouse in her drawer and you should see the reaction when she casually opened that drawer to get something and saw the mouse! LOL Now that memory has me laughing!! We were bad. VERY bad!!

Oh, I loved your Sunday joke!! That was cute! Poor preacher!

Cute joke about you and Cliff too! I can see a policeman slapping the two of you and you just calmly taking it. Oh yeah!! NOT!

Looks like you are going to Cliff's for Thanksgiving (after reading his comment). Er...after reading his comment it sounds like you might want to slap him, calling you a turkey and all!!
Do have safe travel and a wonderful time!! I know it'll be all fun!

4:53 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Ralph, I can see why you are such a good blogger (meaning that your fans all love you!):
"Now the key to this one is two-fold.
. . . First, you must have a comment about everything; this is not the time to be silent
. . . Secondly, you need to be patient
You fit this mold very well. Of course you wrote the book.

5:22 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Ralph ~ I hope that you and Char have a GREAT Thanksgiving! We all have much to be thankful for! ~ jb///

5:18 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

:-) I'm glad your secretary has a sense of humor.
It took her a little while, but she caught on.

Have a great Thanksgiving.
So let it be written; So let it be done!
Jamie Dawn hath spoken!!!!

Hello to Char also, too.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Cheyenne said...

You really should be paid for some of the things you do and say. I usually get a good chuckle whenever I read your posts. The ones that are supposed to be funny, that is. Have a great Thanksgiving!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Try this one out. This was actually uttered at a staff meeting at a large insurance company in Pennsylvania.

When presented with a problem, simply state (with a very stern face), "I like to think that's not happening."

Works just as well on global warming as it does on duplicate insurance claims.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Janell said...

You, GO Pharoah! You da MAN!

7:01 AM  
Blogger Marla said...

Love your field test! I have been trying to keep my sense of humor in my new job and I msut say that I find it most difficult!

8:11 AM  

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