Good Business… Is a Joke

Last night we went on a trolley hop. All the art galleries on Frankfort Ave. here in Louisville stay open late, and the city runs trolleys for free. Mrs. Businesspundit likes art, and the galleries usually have free beer or wine, so I have a reason to go as well.

We stopped to eat at a popular place last night, but we were a group of six and the small restaurant only had two tables that could seat that many. There was another group of six already ahead of us. We were told it would be a 45 minute wait, so we walked to some galleries and came back after about 35 minutes. After about 20 minutes of waiting, we began to ask the owner (he was taking care of the seating) about our table. I'm not exactly how it happened, but he somehow turned it into a big joke. He finally pointed out that he had kept one small table open for us, and was just waiting for two ladies at the next table to finish so he could put them together. The ladies ordered dessert. They were slow to pay. It took another 15 minutes before they left.

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One group member began to narrate the events, and the owner joined in, feigning exasperation at how long they were staying, at the waiter for refilling their water several times while they just sat and talked. Soon enough, instead of being annoyed that we had waited at least a half hour longer than we planned, we were laughing and joking about the whole thing.

The owner did something people rarely do now days – he mixed humor and business – and it was good. Why do we try to be so serious about everything? Laughter and humor can release a lot of tension, especially when you face an aggravating problem. The release can help you refocus. Back in my engineering days, I used to keep funny stuff on the door to my office, which I changed at least weekly. Dilbert strips, Deep Thoughts, were some of my favorites. People used to stop and read them all the time. I don't think they kept people from working, I think they boosted the mood and problemably made people work better. Business can be fun. Humor is powerful. Use it.