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Let Me Tell You An Ethnic Joke

That sentence alone is enough to get you kicked out of any clients office and have you once again posting your resume on one of those online job web sites. I knew that, my friend Eric knew that, but Mauricio didn’t know it.

Mauricio and his wife Maria are Cuban. They escaped from Cuba and came to the U.S. over 30 years ago. Like many immigrants from Cuba they ended up in Miami and worked hard to make a life here. Other than a heavy accent their English is quite good.

Maruicio is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is always happy, always ready with a joke, and a very entertaining person. You might call him “jovial” and you cannot help but like him. He is a regular guy who has not been corrupted by the political correctness movement and the demoralizing environment of many of today’s offices. He is an innocent soul who is out to work hard and have fun.

The Situation

DayJobNuker, Mauricio, and Eric were all at a client’s head office in Ohio (if you want to know what we all do for a living please read this post). They are our client, we are the guest, we need their business, and it is a privilege to be there. We were in a large room with rows of desks where people sit and do various Accounts Paypable type activities. The room was about 40% full as it was after 4:00 PM and many people had already gone home. Almost NO MEN worked in this room and many of the women had different skin colors.

The Mistake 

Marricio must have been momentarily bored or just wanting to talk as he suddenly turned toward Eric and said in a normal voice “let me tell you an ethnic joke“. He wasn’t whispering or doing anything to be more quiet than normal.

The Resulting Conversation

Eric: (Whispering loudly with some hand motions) “No, no, NO!”

Mauricio: “What? What’s wrong? I have a funny ethnic joke!”

Eric: (Turning a little pale now and quickly glancing around the room to see if anyone could hear them)  “NO Maurice NO! Not here!”

Mauricio: “What? Why? But it’s funny. You see a Jew and a …”

Eric: (with lots of hand motions now and getting close to being too loud himself) “Maurice! NO! Don’t you understand? You can’t tell a joke here! No jokes! Just be quiet and shut up!”

Mauricio: “Oh, OK. I’ll be quite if you don’t want to hear my joke.”

Years Later

We never did get in any trouble from the client but we most certainly could have. We easily might have lost the account over this one little thing in today’s politically correct environment. You just don’t go into a client’s office and start telling ethnic jokes! 

This event was not funny in the least when it happened as Eric and I were terrified someone would complain about us.  It is funny as hell now though as we often talk about the “good old days” and “remember when Mauricio tried to tell that joke right there in the room full of women?”

As for Mauricio, I don’t think he ever fully comprehended what he did wrong. It’s not that he is dumb but rather that he just isn’t in tune to the ever fluctuating “do’s” and “don’ts” of the office environment. He doesn’t worry about his tone, the way he looks at someone, or the many ways what he says can misconstrued or twisted by someone with an agenda. To Maurcio, a joke is a joke and if it is funny then it is worth telling. His life is a little more innocent and care free than all the rest of ours. In many ways I envy him.

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  • 1

    Let Me Tell You An Ethnic Joke…

    In today’s politically correct office environment, you have to be sure to be extra careful what you say. Any joke that involves skin color or religion is NOT a good idea. Actually, telling ANY joke at the office is probably foolish as someone can, and… on November 15th, 2007
  • 2

    Yea, the world has become way too PC these days….

    mcangeli on November 15th, 2007
  • 3

    Heh an excellent little antecdote there.
    On the bright side, Mauricio wasn’t giving a speech and opening with that line. Oh yes. Similar has happened.

    SlightlyShadySEO on November 15th, 2007
  • 4

    haha, so did you ever hear the joke? 🙂

    Josh Dockery on November 16th, 2007
  • 5

    Now that I think about it we never did!

    DayJobNuker on November 16th, 2007
  • 6

    I hate being politically correct. Which could be why “I Hate The Office” too.

    But not the TV show of course 🙂

    Sucker on November 16th, 2007
  • 7

    OK, please finish, “You see a Jew and a …”

    I’m sure we all know a few, but Mauricio said it was good and I want to hear it!

    Brandon - Call Center Consultant on November 16th, 2007
  • 8

    Like I said above, I never did end up hearing the joke.

    DayJobNuker on November 18th, 2007
  • 9

    ha ha ha . nice joke. but its a joke,isn’t it? i dont like politics.

    Make money on November 19th, 2007