There’s such a thing as black humor.  It’s the humor that happens when a situation is grim, stressful, and things have been difficult far too much or too long or too often.  Some people find it inappropriate, but when you’re in the middle of things it can really help create solidarity, relieve tension, and break things up for a moment or two.  However, we’re in the middle of Mercury Retrograde so communications right now are dodgy at best so what can seem like humor can become a raging panic.

I know a group of people who are trying to build their own business. They are working hard on it and in this economy things are tough. Like really on the edge of will the business still be around next month kinda tough. Which is stressful.  Everyone is working together to make it work and working hard at each every day. So the other day one of these people gets asked a comical question about what’s that paper you’re carrying, your resignation?  And the guy has a black humor moment.  He goes all dry British humor and says ‘Yes’ and describes this scenario where he’s gotten a new job with the direct competition for more money, better benefits, and better hours, etc, etc.  But the other guy doesn’t see it as humor.  He thinks its real.  And he tells one friend and they tell one friend and the next thing the whole company thinks they are sunk and should all just close the doors and start looking for new jobs.

By the end of the day, the reality gets found out.  It was just a joke.  Black humor.  But the day is a loss, the whole company is an emotional wreck, and work still has to get done.  So what has this got to do with anything?  Well, even when stressed, check yourself and check your sources.  Had this humor guy checked himself, he wouldn’t have said it.  Had the first guy checked the source with “Are you serious?!” he would have gotten, “No, not really” and the whole thing would have stopped there.  Or had the first guy gone to someone in management and said, “OMG this is what is going on” it could have been handled without causing the entire company to have a heart attack.  Which would have been responsible and supportive even in the midst of crisis.

It’s not gossip when you think the sky is falling, but look up before you start screaming. Because if it’s not, and there are just fluffy clouds floating up there, you can really save yourself and everyone else some grief.