Shut up, you’re not funny.

This is a phrase I wish I could use more in my daily life, primarily when I’m at work.

I work in an office. I have a little cube with fuzzy gray walls, and I work from 8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday. I have a typical white-collar gig.

And I loathe it some days.

I had heard about “office humor” before I actually worked in an office, back when I worked in food service during college. It seemed like totally harmless, cheesy humor. I even kind of wanted to be part of that culture, mostly because it seemed like it would mean better job security and less shitty hours (oh, and not smelling like grease).

Then I joined the culture.

I soon realized that it isn’t that problem isn’t the jokes themselves. Yes, they really are all cheesy and mostly harmless. The problem is that they are the same. goddamn. jokes. every. time. And while they ranked cracking a smile the first time I heard them, after the 1,000,000,000,000,000th time, it’s a little tedious.

Yes, please make another joke about jam the delicious fruit spread when there is a paper jam at the printer.

Yes, please comment again that you have no idea where the day went, how is it already [x] o’clock?!

Yes, it is Monday. I get it, you don’t like Monday, but please tell me again how much Monday sucks.

Yes, I am indeed in [coworker’s] chair, at [coworker’s] desk, please say, ‘[Coworker]! You look different!’ again.

Yes, please repeat again that your computer is slow, it must need more coffee.

And please, please, do continue to make an effort to make painful small talk that neither of us wants to participate in. It’s the highlight of my day.

Oh, I forgot. The other part of the problem. All of these are supposed to be equally funny every time they are repeated. As if it wasn’t bad enough hearing the same people repeat the same tired shit day after day, they don’t seem to realize they’re doing it, and find it equally amusing every single time.

God forbid you not laugh or smile. You must be in a bad mood. What’s wrong?

Whatever you do, don’t call the person out at this point, because they’ll just get offended and think you don’t like them. Also, you can’t really say that you’re just trying to work, because then they’ll think you’re hinting that they’re slackers and they’ll get defensive. Basically, if you’re at this point, you’re fucked.

And all of this could be avoided if it were just socially acceptable to say, “Shut up, you’re not funny,” and force people to actually listen to themselves…

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