Catching up with Karyn

Why Did the Emotional Support Chicken Cross the Road?

Flying can be stressful any time of the year, but the holiday season can be especially nerve-wracking: Fretful flights. Cranky crews. Pissy passengers. Instead of instructing people to buckle their seatbelt, flight attendants might be better served to have people fasten their straight jackets! If only there was a way to deal with the strain…

But wait—Popeyes Chicken comes to the rescue! Many passengers traveling through the Philadelphia International Airport during Christmas week 2018 skipped the Philly Cheesesteaks and grabbed a to-go box that also served as an Emotional Support Chicken. Yes, I said, “Emotional. Support. Chicken.”

These chickens don’t bite, they’re TSA-friendly, and they’re “cheap” comfort food. (Sorry, I just can’t resist a good chicken pun.)

Popeyes Chicken thought this emotional support animal wouldn’t ruffle any feathers…but they were wrong. PETA and its supporters squawked that this...

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Stressed? Distract, Reframe and Refuel—with Humor (Part 1: Distract)

It was a dark and stormy night…(really) and I was waiting to board a flight along with around 200 fellow passengers. We were already delayed an hour and a half and the mood was as dark inside the terminal as it was outside.

We were finally cleared to board, and folks—while anxious about the delay—were relieved to finally be moving out of the gate area and onto the plane. The flight attendant sprinted through her safety routine while I and others nervously calculated if there was any way we were going to make our connections. We rolled onto the tarmac and the pilot announced we were #17 in the lineup—seems there were a LOT of folks trying to get-the-heck-out-of-Dodge that night.

Slowly we taxied closer to the runway. #15…#12…#8—the pilot periodically would announce our progress. But the next time we heard his voice, it was anything but progress.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. While we were waiting for...

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OMG! Funny Really DOES Make Money!

A CFO’s Take on Humor in the Workplace

One thousand, four hundred CFOs were asked, “How important is an employee’s sense of humor in him or her fitting into your company’s corporate culture?” Seventy-nine percent of them said that an employee’s sense of humor was important for fitting into a company’s corporate culture. Seventy-nine percent! 

Wow! Two things about this impressed me. First, seventy-nine percent is a huge majority. And second, why the heck did they ask CFOs?!  One would of thought they’d ask the CEO or director of HR, but I think it’s fantastic that the researchers asked the single most numbers-oriented person in any firm such a “soft” question.

The research also revealed that twenty-two percent said it was “very important,” while twenty percent said it was “not at all important.”

“A little levity goes a long way toward building rapport among colleagues, and...

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LMAO—Literally!

Does this blog post make my butt look big?

The “Average American” (I’m still trying to find that person!) gains about one and a half pounds of fat a year between ages 25-60. Bummer! Not only does this lead to a number of health issues—it’s costly, it’s depressing, and it’s definitely not helping our self-esteem. If you’re like me, you are searching for ways to laugh your, ummm, your butt off—literally.

A 15-minute laugh burns 10-40 calories. Okay, so that’s not as much as an hour of spinning might get you. But how consistently are you spinning? Or running? Or swimming? Or shaking those hips at Zumba?!

15 minutes of laughter doesn’t require any coordination. Or a membership fee. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Or your room. Or your chair. (You can do it in a house. You can do it with a mouse. You can do it in a boat. You can do it with a goat. You can do it here or there. You can do it...

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If Seal Is Broken... (Might as Well Laugh)

Everywhere I look, there is some reminder of the election. (There's a job I won't be signing up for!) But then it struck me-sometimes, being a nurse is like being President.

No. Air Force One won't be stopping by this morning to bring you into work. The odds are that you don't have a detachment of Secret Service personnel guarding you around the clock. There isn't a brass band that plays "Hail to the Chief" every time you walk in the room (but wouldn't that be cool?).

However, there are some similarities. For one, as a nurse, you are almost guaranteed to share this experience with the President: something will go wrong when you least expect it.

The event was Fortune's Most Powerful Women summit and President Obama began his address. And then-THUD! The Presidential Seal on the front of the lectern fell off-and hit the floor!

"Oh, goodness," he said. "That's all right." There, with the eyes of the world upon him, President Obama smiled and said, "All of you know who I am."

The...

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Humor: What’s Holding You Back?

As I chatted with Brett in his office, several of his staff walked by the door and giggled. One of the young women leaned into the doorway and said, “Don’t be late for your appointment!” and winked.

He waved at her and laughed, saying, “Don’t worry. I’m not backing out!”

He looked at me and laughed. “It’s not what you’re probably thinking! A couple months ago I told my staff that if they could go an entire month without an injury or a safety violation, I’d shave my head! At first I was just joking around. I said it more out of exasperation than seriousness. But the staff pounced on the idea. Before you know it, for the first time in ages, they hit the target. As soon as that happened, they came to me and set up a date to ceremoniously shave my head! Between you and me, my first thought was ‘Oh crap! I’m going to look like a dork!’

“But then I realized I’d achieved two things: Most...

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Funny Means Money: Humor and Your Marketing Message

A bunch of guys are playing football in a park. The ball is hiked. The quarterback steps back to throw. The receiver—an old woman!—shuffles down the field. Ninety-year-old comedic actress Betty White nearly catches the ball, but suddenly she’s brutally tackled. One of her teammates teases, “Hey man, you’re playing like Betty White out there!” She’s given a Snickers Bar, which transforms her back into his proper male form. The tag line: “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”

It became one of the most talked-about commercials in Super Bowl history.

Ask folks if they watch the Super Bowl and you’ll often hear, “I just watch the game for the commercials.” People remember and talk about these ads! Especially the funny ones.

This is why leaders at companies like Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, Allstate Insurance, Reebok, McDonald’s and Budweiser pay $4.5 million for 30-second spots, most of which are humorous. Why...

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Defusing Difficult Conversations

It was 1984, and the second presidential debate between Walter Mondale and Ronald Reagan was underway. After the first debate, critics observed that Reagan looked tired, and they wondered if he might be too old for the job. Understanding how this precarious issue could affect the outcome of the debate—and the election—Reagan’s team went to work and prepared his response.

Sure enough, shortly after the debate commenced, a reporter asked Reagan, “Given the fact that you are already the oldest president in U.S. history, would you really be able to function should a crisis arise?”

Reagan assured the reporter that he’d be perfectly capable of dealing with any situation at hand—and then he quipped—"I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience."

When the laughter died down, so did the question of Reagan’s age. And he was elected president for a...

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Humor as a Negotiation Tool—or—How Humor Saved the World

OCTOBER 1962 — The world held its breath as America and Russia went to the brink, with nuclear weapons at the ready. Russia was installing nuclear missiles in Cuba—a mere 90 miles from the Florida coast. The 13-day crisis played-out in real time on TV around the world.

As American and Soviet delegates came together to negotiate, tensions were high, and they soon became deadlocked. And then…a Russian delegate told a joke: “What is the difference between Capitalism and Communism? In Capitalism, man exploits man. In Communism, it is the other way around.”

Delegates on both sides laughed, and this created a bond among all of them. (Hey, ya gotta start somewhere!) With the tension eased for the moment, talks resumed, and eventually a deal was struck that avoided blowing up the planet—no small feat!

Whether you’re negotiating for world peace or for which movie to go to, humor can play a crucial role in your success.

According to a recent study on...

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“Planned Spontaneity”

The travel gods smiled upon me. My bag and I both arrived at the same airport at the same time, traffic to the hotel zoomed along, and the line for hotel check-in was shorter than the TSA’s.

As I made my way to my room, I observed this hotel’s unique (and somewhat goth) décor: elegant, comfortable... and dark. Dark! Dark! Dark! The walls were black, the furniture was black, I even think the water was black—but I couldn’t tell because, well, it was so DARK. (And I’ll let you guess what color the ballroom floor and the staging were...)

The meeting began and halfway through my presentation, I stepped forward to make a dramatic point...and walked right off the front of the stage. (Picture Wile E. Coyote stepping off a cliff.)

As you might have guessed, the black carpet and the black stage floor merged visually, leaving no hint that there was a drop-off there. The audience gasped, wondering (in the dark) if I was injured; then they held their...

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