So an employer decides that his team needs a little cheering up. It’s Christmastime, nearing the end of what has been a tumultuous year. He remembers his daughter’s recent birthday, and a simple party favor he purchased that was a huge hit with the kids. It was also a huge hit at his own birthday party, some twenty-five years earlier.
A simple red clown nose.
He bought enough for every one of his employees — he had to visit three different stores to collect enough for everyone. Because of the holiday, the clown noses became “Rudolph Noses” and everyone was encouraged to wear one.
He wore his all day long.
So the employees wore them too, and had quite a hoot. Laughter was everywhere. The customers enjoyed the fun as well. After all, it’s impossible to take yourself too seriously while wearing a clown nose.
Now, this didn’t occur at a place you might expect, like an elementary school or a design firm or an internet startup. Nope, this happened at a bank, arguably one of the least desirable places to work during this economic downturn. A place often filled with stuffed shirts and even stuffier demeanors. The story is true. The ringleader was the CEO, and his name is Morty. I met him today in Tampa, Florida.
Many industries have been hit hard by the weak economy, maybe yours is one of them. Don’t wait for someone on the news to give you something to smile about (you might be waiting a long time.) Clown noses cost about a quarter. If the CEO of a bank can give his employees permission to have a little fun with some red foam, imagine what fun you could have where you work.
The expense is minimal, but the benefits could be priceless.
There’s always something inspiring about talking to someone who is passionate about what they do. While touring Europe as a stage carpenter for dance companies, Peter Robertson fell in love — with the food of Italy. He began studying the traditional fresh pasta that was a staple of the Italian food he loved. And ultimately, began making authentic fresh pasta on his own.
Robertson later moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he gave gifts of his fresh pasta to friends and family. One of those friends, proprietor of the award-winning Pasta Per Tutti restaurant in Madison, asked Robertson to supply pasta for the restaurant. Soon after, RP’s Pasta Company opened for business.
We really wanted to hear a firsthand account of how Peter turned his passion for pasta into a business. And we were dying to have him show us the noodle-making process. (Especially Kim, a self-avowed noodle junkie.) Enjoy this webisode about Peter and RP’s Pasta. It will be part of a feature length project about the childlike side of Madison that we’ll be releasing in the Summer of 2009. But you get to watch it right now, because you’re a Club K&J member. And we think you’re cool.
This episode offers a tip on how to get into the Halloween spirit AND banish any Adultitis that may be lurking in your life (or in the lives of your loved ones!) It will teach you a new skill, strengthen a relationship with someone you care about (or a complete stranger), and it costs nothing — except for a piece of paper. Sweet.
It’s time to go beyond birthdays and baby showers for workplace celebrations. You know the typical drill: someone is delegated to pick up the marble sheet cake from the local grocery store for so-and-so’s birthday. Then, an equally generic birthday card circulates for everyone to sign their name. Although appreciated and a great first step, we still have a lot to learn from our short friends in kindergarten classes throughout the world. They are serious about celebrating, so much so that they even create holidays in order to do so…ever heard of the 100th Day of School?
This eBook offers up a number of unusual ways to celebrate at work. Illustrated with Kim & Jason comics, it’s conveniently formatted for both easy screen viewing and printing.
––>Download (384 KB)
Continuing on the theme of desktop toys, this public service announcement delineates the fine line between childlike and childish. Stray too far from that line and either Adultitis will eat you alive, or you’ll get fired. You’ve been warned.
Earlier this month, we shared 5 games you can play with your office mates in episode #34 of the Escape Adulthood Show. We had more ideas than would fit in one episode, so we’ve included five more here. Enjoy!
1. Just For Fun Day
Incorporate some simple fun on a certain day of the week, like wearing goofy or retro ties every Thursday. Pick something that fits the culture of your group. Have customers vote on the best or wackiest tie. Other ideas: hat day, funny t-shirt day, barefoot day, dessert day, silly sock day, Hawaiian shirt day, bandana day, pajama day, etc.
2. Show & Tell
People love to talk about themselves. Take turns every month giving each employee the chance to share about him/herself. Designate a bulletin board for this, so that the staff can hang pictures of their family, sports logos, favorite TV shows, etc. Encourage them to bring in a favorite dessert on one of the days.
3. Book/Movie/TV Show Club
Have the staff agree to read a certain book, or watch a specific movie or TV show. Then have everyone discuss it over lunch or on a Friday afternoon.
4. Snack Break
Who says kindergartners are the only ones who get snack time? Make it a daily habit to take a 15-minute mid-afternoon snack break each day as a staff. Healthy snacks keep the energy levels up and the metabolism firing. Each person can bring their own snacks or you can assign days.
Healthy competition is a great way to team build. Incorporate some playfulness by playing darts, mini golf around the office or assigning partners and conducting chair races.
Here’s another public service announcement to help you deal with workplace Adultitis. This one covers the topic of desktop toys. Watch and learn.
In this episode, brought to you from studio 303 in Greeley, Colorado, we talk about the secret to living to 112, yearbook pictures, Jason’s first trip to Fenway Park, and share 6 tips to make your workplace more fun. Just click “Play” to listen to the show, or you can subscribe to the show with iTunes…
• The Secret to Long Life (Happynews.com)
• Take Your Job and Shove It (Jason’s first installment of Cereal Box Chronicles.)
• Yearbook Yourself: Find out what your yearbook picture might have looked like had you graduated in a variety of different decades (Thanks for the link, Steven!)
• Member Profile: Learn more about one of our newest members, Rachel Wester from Tilly, Alberta, Canada.
• Cool Thing: Wall Gumball Machine
• Show Music: Coyote Sleeps by Ethan Elkind
• Show Length: 34 minutes, 4 seconds
• Shout Outs: Thanks to the Pinto family for the baby care package. And a big welcome to all the new members from Baxter and our new friends from New Hampshire, California, and Baraboo, Wisconsin!
• Feedback: Do you remember the llama song? Do you prefer middle or corner brownies? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Add a comment below, e-mail us, or give us a jingle via the exclusive Club K&J Hotline at 608-554-0803.
You know those “The More You Know” public service announcements that NBC does? We’ll we filmed our own. Hopefully it will get the word out about the rarely talked about dangers of office clutter. Knowledge is power, people. Stay safe.
This eBook examines the Adultitis levels of ten characters from the hit NBC show The Office. It also serves as a handy guide, giving you the opportunity to learn from each character while providing tips on how you can avoid contracting Adultitis at work. Conveniently formatted for both easy screen viewing and printing.
––>Download (532 KB)