I spend approximately eight year on my life in a boy's hostel. The most important lesson it imparted me was to share a joke with the right person. I tried to use this ability to find a job and miserably failed. Finally I got an MBA in my curriculum vitae and landed in a publishing company.
Working in a publishing company offers several privileges. One of the privileges is that people don't think you have a real job. I once told my friend that I am a blogger and showed him my home page. He read a few posts and asked," Dude that's fine but haven't you written anything serious?"
Another privilege is that the girls outnumber boys in the same ratio as the boys outnumber girls at a stock exchange's trading floor. This has allowed me to count three guys in IT, couple of guys in creative and one guy in accounts cum marketing department as my friends. Now whenever I have a joke to share I walk to a friend sitting a couple of miles away.
Unfortunately, this privilege is having undesired effects on my colleagues.
A few days back I went to a friend and cracked a joke related to his work. We both had a laugh and I came back to my desk. The person sitting next to me asked me to tell her the joke. I told her that it was a domain specific joke and she won't get it. She said that I must tell her the joke because I had cracked the joke on her. I told her that," If I have a joke on you then you would be the first person to hear it. There is no need for me to go a desk which is a mile away."
She told me that I had cracked the joke on her because after cracking the joke I had looked at her. That's enough evidence to prove that joke was on her. I understood her logic and the next time I went to my friend to crack a domain specific joke, I made sure I came back without looking at her.
The person sitting next to me asked me to tell her the joke. I told her that it was domain specific joke and she won't get it. She told me that the joke was on her and she has a right to know the joke. I told her that while coming back and I did not looked at her. That's enough evidence to prove that the joke was not on her.
She gave me refined logic that she had told me that if I cracked a joke on her then I would look at her. So this time when I cracked a joke on her, I decided not to look at her. I said that the joke was not on her and even if it was, it was something she won't get it. After listening to my reply, she immediately went to my friend and came back laughing. She informed me that she knew the jokes and now I must I tell them to her.
I asked," Don't you already know the jokes?"
She said yes and now she wanted to hear them from me.
I explained to her that there is no point in sharing jokes which the listener already knows.
She informed me that," You know, you are very intelligent."
I told her that,"Yeah. I am intelligent to enough to avoid sharing jokes with you which I have cracked on you."
To sum up
Never underestimate the power of laughter. A couple of jokes can create more animosity between you and your colleague than any tactic to take solely take credit of a good work.