U.S. office survival guide sees humor in job misery

Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:25pm EDT
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sometime during the recession, work -- or the lack of it -- became funny.

From oversleeping and missing a job interview to being fired for no reason, job woes are now a great source of humor, say Gregory Bergman and Jodi Miller, authors of "WTF? Work: How to Survive 101 of the Office's Worst F*#!-ing Situations," a new book that offers tongue-in-cheek job advice.

Workers forced to switch jobs due to the recession gain an outsider's perspective and may find humor in office politics or water-cooler dramas they may not have noticed before, said Miller, a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles, as is Bergman.

"People are in need of a good laugh, and they enjoy listening to stuff that has to do with jobs and lack of jobs," she said. "Misery loves company."

"Now when I make a statement about being poor or I don't have a job, people identify with it and they like it," she said. "Before, when I'd say I don't have a job, they'd say 'loser.'"

The U.S. unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in March, about double what it was two and a half years ago.

"People are a little more vocal about not having a job. They're less embarrassed," Bergman added.

Their book addresses workplace scenarios, from dumbing down a resume to get a menial job to what do if the receptionist hates you for no good reason. Or maybe you've crashed the company car, or you've landed a construction worker job but you don't know how to cat-call.   Continued...