My first boss had a peculiar sense of humour. We had formed a great team together. Lots of laughs. Nice time together. We were working in a newsroom of a newspaper in our city, but the main newsroom was in a bigger city, 200 km away.
The managers decided to cut expenses and close our newsroom with its six journalists and its administrative staff, leaving only one correspondent and a commercial. We had heard about that plan, when a manager announced a visit to our newsroom. His mission was to communicate the layoffs. To tell us one by one: “you are fired.” Devastating.
Before he arrived, my boss called a meeting and took us to a toys shop. We bought balloons, garlands , streamers , confetti , party blowers , firecrackers and things like that. Then we went to the wine shop and bought two bottles of Champaign. Finally we went back to the newsroom and decorated the office for a big feast. We hang a banner all along the room with the legend: “welcome.”
When the manager appeared at the door, very serious and worried with the task he had to do, we uncorked the bottles, while throwing the confetti and making all the festive noise we possibly could. Our boss went ahead to shake effusively the hand of the newcomer. The expression in the manager’s face was a poem. He was speechless. When he entered with our boss into his little office, another surprise was waiting. A banner with the words “Be aware, manager, You’re not in your territory here”, and a poem with funny rhymes asking him: what we’ve done to deserve this?.
The big city guy got surprised and then annoyed. We didn’t care. We knew there was nothing to do. He was not going to change a single thing. We just decided to have a little fun instead to wait sadly doing nothing like a lamb to the slaughter.