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Are Bad Jokes Affecting My Employment Prospects?

Get a job, wiseass!

By Brendan DonaghyPublished 28 days ago 4 min read
Are Bad Jokes Affecting My Employment Prospects?
Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

The job agency guy sipped his coffee. “You hold the record in this agency for walking away from job interviews or getting sacked within a few hours. Mind telling me what the heck’s going on?”

I shrugged. “Things haven’t panned out recently.”

He looked at my coat. “I notice you’re wearing a Hi-Viz jacket. Are you working at the minute?”

“No, I wear this all the time. I wouldn’t be seen without it.”

“You’re being funny, right? Some of my colleagues think that your ill-timed jokes are the reason you’re not finding suitable employment.”

I smiled. “Au contraire, I think the jokes are perfectly timed. Whether or not they are always appropriate is another matter.”

Long List

He set his cup back on the desk and scanned the page in front of him. “Let’s take a look at your long list of opportunities. You got fired as a yoga trainer…”

“And I really stretched myself for that job! I bent over backwards for those people!”

“…the forestry commission asked you to audit their stock, but you walked out after two hours.”

“That job had me totally confused. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.”

“…you didn’t turn up for your interview as a plain-clothes store detective…”

“Plain clothes? With my collection of Louis Vuitton shirts? That was never going to be a good fit!”

“…you did turn up for an interview at the municipal waste disposal facility, but the manager states you got up and left after two minutes…”

“I couldn’t work for that guy! He’s nothing but a trash talker!”

“…and you didn’t even last a full morning as a bellhop at the International Hotel.”

“How could I be a bellhop? I’m terrified of elevators! I take steps to avoid them!”


He looked at his papers. “This list goes on and on. What about that job at the knitwear factory? What happened there?”

I shook my head. “Not much. When it came to pay and conditions, they were spinning me yarns and pulling the wool over my eyes.”

“According to the feedback we received from the manager, you got fired for being a wiseass.”

“Technically, I wasn’t fired because I was never hired in the first place.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You realise that’s exactly the kind of remark a wiseass would make, don’t you?" I said nothing. "Moving on, you had an audition with the street performer company right after that?”

“I did, but that was a bad idea. They wanted me to replace the guy who dressed up as a clown. I thought, those are big shoes to fill!”


He turned over a page in his file. “And you’ve resisted all our attempts to set you up with learning and self-development opportunities. You trained as a barber for a few weeks…”

“I did, but I just couldn’t cut it.”

“…and you were offered a place in drama school but didn’t take it up.”

“It wasn’t my scene.”

“We also arranged for you to take the civil service entrance exams, but you flunked the tests. Did you underestimate how difficult those exams are?”

“Of course I didn’t underestimate them! They were just a lot harder than I thought they’d be.”

“You got thrown off the creative writing course we enrolled you on. Seems you’re not destined to be the next Harlan Coben after all!”

I jabbed my finger at him. “Don’t you dare laugh at my dreams! I’ll have you know I wrote an entire novel in three weeks.”

“Yes, and your professor maintains that you copied most of it from one of her books. She says you’re a plagiarist!”

“Those are her words, not mine!”


He checked his notes. “You’ve also made several attempts to set yourself up in various self-employed roles. I have to say, some of these seem slightly bizarre.”

I shifted in my seat. “What do you mean?”

“Well, according to this, you wanted to be a wizard…”

“I tried it for a spell.”

“…then a medium…”

“I couldn’t see any future in that, to be honest.”

“…and then a sole trader offering investment advice. How did that work out?”

I shook my head. “I lost money on that one. And I’ll give you a piece of investment advice for free. Don’t ever put your savings into exit signs. They’re on the way out.”

“You also tried to establish yourself as a bathroom mirror inspector. Really?”

I nodded. “For a time, it was the only thing I could see myself doing.”

He looked at me. I could swear he was almost smiling. “Maybe that’s an experience you should reflect on.”

“Terrific. And I’m supposed to be the wiseass around here?”


He sat back in his chair. “Listen. There’s a big convention in town next week and they’ve put a call out for people to work security. Will you go if I arrange an interview?”

“What’s the convention?”

He checked his papers. “The National Nudist Association.”

“Okay, I’ll go if I’ve nothing on.”


About the Creator

Brendan Donaghy

'Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man - there's your diamond in the rough.' Larry David

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Comments (1)

  • Mike Singleton - Mikeydred28 days ago

    Another excellent funny story, loved this straight away: He looked at my coat. “I notice you’re wearing a Hi-Viz jacket. Are you working at the minute?” “No, I wear this all the time. I wouldn’t be seen without it.” Made me think of Half Man Half Biscuits "King of Hi Vis"

Brendan DonaghyWritten by Brendan Donaghy

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