Just for some fun, Caroline has based this week’s blog is based around work-related sketches and jokes that we’ve come across recently.

Some things are better left unsaid

Do you have a job that provokes clichéd or rude comments? Or, perhaps a job that seems to give people licence to take advantage of you?

I have a doctor friend, who I rarely impose on when I need any medical advice (in all honesty, I’m a bit of a Google freak). Anyway, I know that she often gets random calls for advice and diagnoses from friends and family just because she’s a GP.

The following snippet has a bit of a saucy ending but it does make you think that, sometimes, a touch of subtlety wouldn’t go amiss.


Weird but not wonderful

The following sketch from the inimitable John Cleese screams British. There’s a time and place to keep a stiff upper lip, but a bonkers interview is probably not one of them.

Ever had a nightmare interview? Or, simply an uncomfortable interview? Sometimes, you know in your heart that a situation is odd but you just go with the flow because it’s so bizarre that you have to wonder if it’s all a weird test.


Mind your language

The sci-fi geek in me loves this little gem. Obviously, it’s deliberate rather than a misunderstanding but the response was wonderfully contextual.

A Welsh politician asked the government for information about UFO sightings and if it might fund UFO research. Officials wrote back, “jang vIDa je due luq … ach ghotvam’e’ QI’yaH devolve qaS.” Which means, “The minister will reply in due course. However, this is a non-devolved matter,” in Klingon.

Ever felt like you’re having a conversation with someone and it’s almost like you’re talking two different languages? What about when someone uses the wrong word, and actually mean something else entirely? And, let’s not get started on nuances and tones of language, especially when corresponding in the written word via letter, email, or text. Sometimes, messages get lost in translation. I don’t speak Mandarin, but I’ve been told that some words that have the same pronunciation can have different meanings, depending on how the word is said – on the tone. For example, the word ma can have a number of different meanings depending on how it is said: mā (mother), má (to bother), mǎ (horse), mà (to scold), or ma (an interrogative participle).


Lost in translation

Still on the subject of languages, have you ever had a job where you felt somewhat inadequately qualified? I studied French at school and university. I was always complimented on my impeccable accent – to the point that French people thought I was a native. However, when conversation got past simple phrases, the content of my speech could often be somewhat garbled. It’s been so many years now that I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was all show and no substance – or, as an old work colleague used to like saying, all sizzle and no sausage! This brilliant sketch from Catherine Tate demonstrates this to a tee.


An accent of birth

Do you sometimes feel that your accent predisposes people to make assumptions about you, and the type of job you have? Do you ever feel judged simply by the geographical inflection of your speech? Do you think your IQ is assumed to be in correlation to your accent? I have an Irish friend whose parents sent her and all her siblings to elocution lessons when they were growing, so that they wouldn’t speak with a strong brogue. You’ll never catch her calling her female parent, “mudder”.

On the other hand, do you think there are accents that inspire confidence? Jason Manford makes some amusing observations about accents and call centres in the following sketch.


As I sign off, I’ll leave you with a festive Christmas joke.

An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman are all invited to a Christmas party. In order to get into the party, they must bring something relevant to Christmas. On the day, the Scotsman turns up with a Christmas tree, so he is allowed in. The Englishman turns up and brings a cracker, so he allowed in as well. Eventually, the Irishman turns up holding a pair of ladies underwear. The guard at the door asks him, “What have they got to do with Christmas?”

 The Irishman replies, “They’re Carols”.

Lis McGuire

Lis McGuire

Lis McGuire is a professional CV writer at Giraffe CVs. She has 15 years of experience gained delivering interview-winning CVs and cover letters for professionals at all levels, helping individuals to stand out from the crowd in a highly competitive job market.
Lis McGuire
Lis McGuire