austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

But give it plenty of hoke

My boss is suprised I can be a funny guy.

The context was a presentation made for work, in which we showed off for a bunch of clients, real and potential, new projects the company's been working on. Each of the programmers got to show off themselves and whatever they were working on, and I lead off with what might as well be a stock joke: ``I just started sneaking in to the office whenever I saw someone bringing doughnuts, and [the boss] guessed I must be one of his programmers, and that's worked out pretty well so far,'' while gently stroking my beard. And with comments like ``the inspiration of [my project] is that everyone's job is better when they can spend it looking at pretty pictures instead'', you have some sense of the sort of commercial-office-grade humor that made up my (improvised) talk. The audience appreciated it, anyway.

During the lunch afterward, which I note featured almost as many trays of cookies as it had trays of sandwiches, and was generous in both counts, the boss talked with the other presenters (and some of the clients who got my project started) about his delight that someone else was being as funny as him in the presentations. I admit the other presentations had been dry this-is-how-you-do-this affairs, but, really? A few quips so basic that it would be harder not to make them is that exciting?

Also, I've been coming in to the office for several years now and interacting with the boss typically once or twice a week; I know that he's heard and laughed at me saying things before. Was it rare enough that he'd not realized my natural interaction mode is being gently ridiculous? Or that I'd be like that performing in front of an audience too?

(I must note an alternate explanation: he's had a rather serious personal disaster recently, and while he's publicly holding up extremely well --- if he didn't tell you likely you wouldn't suspect --- I'd expect him to be off his game.)

Trivia: Audience research expert Ollie Treyz wanted to cancel ABC's Wide World Of Sports after its initial 13-week trial run, as the series was costly and not bringing in enough revenue. Then-sales-chief (and Treyz's subordinate) Tom Moore had pushed to keep the series alive. Source: Inside ABC: American Broadcasting Company's Rise To Power, Sterling Quinlan.

Currently Reading: Monstrous Regiment: The Story Of The Wormen Of The First World War, David Mitchell.


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