Laugh and the world backs quickly away

Never underestimate the power of maniacal laughter – especially in the 21st century workplace.

Over the years, I’ve found that a judiciously administered amount of crazed cackling can go a long way toward making one’s workday infinitely more enjoyable and considerably less complicated.

When your work is piling up and your beady-eyed colleagues are lethargically helping out by dropping all their uninspired assignments in your lap, a good burst of mad scientist-like merriment can whip everybody back in line in a hurry. And if you do it right, your human resources department will abruptly decide that it’s time for a team-building retreat in a secure coffee shop about 16 blocks away.

I’m not talking about cutting loose with some silly Girl Scout giggles here. If you don’t sound like a werewolf on a three-day drunk, you’re just not trying hard enough, and your co-workers – not to mention the boss – will continue to intrude on your day with their constant nattering about annoying job-related matters.

No, when the pressure just gets too intense in your workplace, you’ve got to take a big breath, roll your eyes back and stun your fellow employees with a rumbling “Bwah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaa!”A rising, asthmatic “Hee-hee-heee-heeeeee!” can work in a pinch, but you’ve got to remember to keep the decibels high and to accompany the laughter with a series of grotesque facial contortions (think gargoyles or a road-killed ‘possum).

Don’t feel like dealing with a particular workplace task?

Just cut loose with a hearty “Ya-ha-ha-ha-haaaa!” and the boss will juggle that puppy like a hot potato and pass it off to some poor drone who has yet to harness the infinite power of maniacal laughter.

Face it – nobody wants to mess with a guy who sounds like a B-movie serial killer. They’ll steer clear of your work space so you can get in some valuable nap time or play “Grand Theft Auto” on your desktop computer.

In today’s business world, this is called maximizing quality time for greater productivity potential.

Really. I checked it out with a guy who used to be a security guard at the Almaden Winery…

Just to keep things interesting, you might want to vary your horrific hooting from time to time. One day you might want to rely on the tried-and-true mad scientist cackle. On other days the laughter of a power-mad politico may serve you better. Consider, too, the homicidal Colombian drug lord guffaw or the bomb-throwing anarchist chuckle.

You can augment the effect of your periodic bouts of maniacal laughter by occasionally wandering around the office muttering about “My friends, the raaaaaats…” or whispering barely audible commands to your pocket calculator.

This may not get you a lot of genuine respect in the workplace, but I can guarantee that your co-workers will, at the very least, treat you with the same kind of trembling deference normally reserved for short-tempered Central American dictators.

And it just doesn’t get any better than that, amigos…

Originally published April 24, 2005