(mildly) Dirty jokes in a professional context

Do you tell them? At what point do you feel comfortable enough to tell them?

I have a colleague and a volunteer who tells me them sometimes. They are mild, but enough where you normally wouldn’t tell them in this kind of context:

Why was the snowman happy?
He heard the snowblower was coming!


He thinks I am rather strait-laced, which I kind of am in a professional workspace. But I wouldn’t get the jokes if I was completely strait-laced, and in my heart of hearts I am as filthy and low-brow as anyone. I would like to make a few jokes back and indicate I am not, but I am having a really hard time relaxing my work/home rule enough to do so.

Thoughts? Do you tell these jokes? Do people tell them to you? How does it go over?

I would not. But I am rather strait-laced and I’ve made my peace with that. I don’t even like to say damn at work which is very much a restriction that my coworkers do not feel.

I work at an advertising agency, which is a pretty loose environment – the language here can be very blue sometimes.

With the right group of co-workers, moderately dirty jokes might be told, but even that isn’t that common.

I don’t tell dirty jokes. Nothing against them, but I just don’t tell them.

No one tells them at work, probably because the college is run by Franciscan friars. The only exception are some of the Franciscan friars, who occasionally get a bit risque.

People I work with talk about rimjobs and snowballing on a daily basis so I’m probably not the person to give advice here.

I used to be way more strait-laced than I am even now. But then I had a coworker who cursed like a sailor, probably making actual sailors blush. So it relaxed a lot around here.

Ah well. I don’t know if at this age I can relax the professional demeanor I have worked so hard to cultivate. :slight_smile:

I don’t tell dirty or risque jokes at work. It’s not my style, and it’s not the style of my current office.

That said, if an unintentional double entendre is said, people do snicker, but we don’t carry the joke further.

I don’t generally tell off-color jokes just because I rarely find them funny. I had a boss who wouldn’t tell certain jokes in front of me, and I did appreciate it. It’s not that they embarrass me - I just don’t much like them. However, I’m not above making an off-color snarky comment if it works in context, those who can hear it being part of the context.

I find I don’t like cussing in the office. The young guy who sits in the next cube came into my cube yesterday to tell me a story about his high school days (last week, I think…) and he was overly fond of saying fuck. I wasn’t shocked and I didn’t say anything, but really, kid, this was a professional work environment. Then again, even the more senior engineers drop the F-bomb all over the place. Whatever…

I work for a large corporation, and we’re trained pretty thoroughly not to do anything that might create a “hostile environment”. I leave off-color humor for the curling club.

Oh, I should add, if I was to tell the dirty jokes, it would be out of work hours (we see each other at evening events sometimes). He, however, tells them at any time. Evening social at the bar? Go! 8 am board meeting in a professional atmosphere? Go!

My office does not seem uptight at all, but the bluest comments I hear are of the “that’s what she said” level of vaguely naughtiness

Always know your audience. At my former workplace I could have told the most off color joke you ever heard and nobody would think twice. At my current workplace, there are limits. It’s by no means a nunnery, but I wouldn’t push it. The snowman joke, for example, would be acceptable.

I have used the Boston joke among my colleagues.

Two men are seated on a plane on the way to Boston. Boston is home for one of them, the other is going there for the first time. That fellow tells the native that he’s going to be hungry when he gets there and asks him what would be a good dinner to get in Boston. He’s told about a seafood dish called Scrod, tender baked whitefish, a Boston signature dish. After landing at Logan the newcomer hails a cab to take him into town. The cab driver asks him where he’s going and asks the cabbie where he can get Scrod. The cab driver exclaims “I’ve never heard anyone use the present pluperfect tense before!”.

Now I wouldn’t use that among any people I didn’t know at all, and there are circumstances where the smell of propriety is thick in the air and I’d avoid it also, but it’s got a touch of pretention to it with only the slight bit of discoloration, not the kind of thing that would distress people I think. And that’s about the limit of how far I’d go. That’s not easy for me either, I’m afflicted with the urge to utter anything that strikes me as funny and I need to bite my tongue a lot in formal situations. There’s a lot of great humor which can teach lessons, open minds, calm tension, and many other useful properties, but sometimes it can’t be used in every situation because of it’s potential to offend, or even be misused by others.

I love dirty jokes and I would love to laugh at this but would you be so lovely as to explain because I don’t get it at all.
Me, I work with just guys and in a different building than any supervisors and we don’t tell dirty jokes. I can’t even think of one right now.

The cab driver is interpreting ‘scrod’ to mean some unusual tense of the verb ‘screw’. IOW, he thinks the guy is telling him he wants to get laid. I don’t think there’s any grammatical basis to ‘present pluperfect tense’, it’s just supposed to sound like there is.

Ok thanks, I can hear it now.

I work for an Chasidic Jew. Nuff said.

And I know some doozies. When business was slow in real estate, we used to hold dirty joke contests.

I made the decision when I first entered the corporate work force to not tell dirty jokes. And over the past few decades corporate HR has certainly tightened up about avoiding the perception of a hostile work environment.

When I started my first corporate job, the woman I worked with made a BJ joke. I didn’t laugh. She apologized for making a risqué joke. I explained that actually I found her joke funny, but if we went down that path sooner or later I would probably say something in bantering innocence that she would find offensive, and maybe even deeply offensive. So, for me, it was better to not start down that path.

Even now, some guys at work will make some kind of speculative comment on the sex life of female co-workers. I tend to say “let’s not go there.”

And the thing wrong with that joke is that everyone in Boston has heard it or its equivalent a thousand times. It was the “hit” of Noreascon in 1972.

25 years ago dirty jokes were a lot more acceptable than today. I might, just might, tell one to guys I know very well, but never to the general population.

I don’t think I’ve ever told a dirty joke in a professional context and now that I work in HR I probably never will. On occasion someone will say something that might be a double entendre but the most we do is have a little giggle and move on from there. I had one employee ask me why we didn’t have any blue balls on the Christmas tree which elicited quite an internal giggle fit when it dawned on her what she asked and started to turn red.