Yesterday a friend sent me a link to a contract requisition from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD). The req was seeking a cartoonist to conduct “humor in the workplace” seminars for BPD employees. Here’s a brief excerpt:
The Contractor shall conduct two, 3-hour, Humor in the Workplace programs that will discuss the power of humor in the workplace, the close relationship between humor and stress, and why humor is one of the most important ways that we communicate in business and office life. Participants shall experience demonstrations of cartoons being created on the spot. The contractor shall have the ability to create cartoons on the spot about BPD jobs.
At first I thought it was a joke. But no, the BPD really did want to hire a cartoonist to help its employees laugh at their jobs. Judging from the tone the requisition, they could use a good laugh.
Unfortunately, they’ll just have to develop a sense of humor on their own: Because of public outcry (or maybe internal outrage at the BPD), the cartoonist contract has been canceled.
What a ridiculous exercise.
The only outcome is that now there’s a workplace cartoonist out there whose contract just fell through. I hope he/she can see the humor in it.