Humor and Taking Notes
In my day job I attend this thing called Architecture Guild. It's a group of like-minded people who want to make the architecture of our software better. We meet for 1.5 hours fortnightly. I have been attending this guild for almost four years, which is when I started working there. Within the past six months or so I started being in charge of taking minutes during the meeting. Now, because of how I learned to take notes in college, I put jokes in my minutes. During college classes it kept me entertained if I put jokes in my notes and kept me from doing stuff besides pay attention.
Over the past six months I've had probably a dozen non-technical people say they read the minutes because they're just so darn funny. A month ago, I had about another dozen in one day tell me they read and love reading these minutes. I'm not sure why, but it brought me immense joy knowing that I could bring laughter to these people. Generally, I'm not particularly close to the people who said they read the minutes and love them. It almost is the happiest and most satisfied I've ever felt at this job. I know, I'm paid to be a Software Architect and that's what my company has decided I contribute of value. But man, making people laugh sure feels good.
Today, during guild meeting, at least four people asked me to "professional up" the minutes. No more jokes, no more humor, just dry meeting minutes. Blegh. Boy, that's the maddest I've been at work in months. I wandered upstairs, walked around by myself, meditated, and generally just tried to calm down. I acknowledge that it's an overreaction for me to have gotten that angry. I know that meeting minutes in email communication should probably be professional. Knowing that didn't stop me from being mad. It's frustrating to feel that the most joyful contribution you've made to your job was taken away from you. I don't even want to take minutes anymore.
Sure, in two weeks I'll be calm and probably will end up taking minutes. Because that's the kind of person I am with anger and following through on stuff I'm supposed to do. But I'm going to make those minutes classily funny. And if people don't like it, they can take minutes themselves. I was voted into this position because (in part at least) people like the way I take minutes. I've been "secretary" of at least three different groups in the company. And I like filling that role. If MasterControl can't find a place for humor in email communication, that's a change in company culture in the negative :(