If you don’t have a sense of humor, then perhaps working in IT isn’t for you. After all, if you can’t laugh when you accidentally reformat the one drive containing the only copy of everyone’s payroll records … OK, bad example.
But the truth is, laughter reduces workplace stress. When you’re in an environment that is technically oriented and has its own terminology and its own reputation as being somewhat “different,” having a laugh can remind you that one, plenty of other people “get” what you’re going through and two, chances are someone you work with has made that same stupid mistake, so you won’t be permanently branded as “Brad, the only person who ever failed to back up his data in time.”
Someone just told him the joke about how even air conditioning doesn’t work if you open Windows.
Here are a few IT-related quips culled from around the Internet, with attribution where available. You might find some of them useful as well as funny.
1. “Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months.” – Clifford Stoll
Would end users at your company keep the same password from their initial hiring date until retirement if you didn’t keep after them about changing it? Perhaps appealing to their germophobia will help.
2. “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.”
– Emo Philips
Like the definition of hardware as “the parts of the computer you can kick,” this reminds us that everyone has harbored the occasional destructive thought about a computer.
3. “A printer consists of three main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light.”
Nobody can get printers to work all the time. And even if a print failure is due to a boneheaded error, you can always blame the printer itself and no one will question it.
4. “If you give someone a program, you will frustrate them for a day; if you teach them how to program, you will frustrate them for a lifetime.”
Programming is hard. It just is.
5. “My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.”
Also known as “Programming Is Hard 2: The Electronic Boogaloo.”
6. “The purpose of most computer languages is to lengthen your resume by a word and a comma.” – Larry Wall
This is especially true as programmers get older. Eventually, “FORTRAN” becomes just another word included in stories that have lines like, “I tied an onion to my belt. Which was the style at the time…”
7. “… one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs.” – Robert Firth
It’s good to be reminded of just how important programming is to life today. The amount of power programmers hold in their fingers is really astounding when you think about it.
Learn to detach, so you can see how resetting passwords figures into the overall order of the cosmos.
8. Sometimes when minor tragedies occur, it’s good to clear one’s mind, take a deep breath, and see the situation from a state of acceptance and detachment. Explaining an event in haiku form somehow magically turns it into a stepping stone on the way to enlightenment:
Windows 8 has crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
9. Detach. Exhale. Use the fix that has worked since (roughly) the dawn of time:
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot
Order will return.
10. And finally, when the longtime CEO retires, leaving you to deal with a storage room full of ancient relics like 8-inch floppy disks and manuals for MS DOS and Lotus 123, you can laugh, knowing that Plato’s interlocutor in Phaedrus elicited the true value of user manuals way back in 370 BCE:
“…Then anyone who leaves behind him a written manual, and likewise anyone who receives it, in the belief that such writing will be clear and certain, must be exceedingly simple-minded…” — Plato