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Business Humor

Over 100 funny business quotes and humorus business stories. Use for business presentations, speeches, or just plain business inspiration. Contributions welcome. Also visit Smallbusinessquotes.com for 300+ inspirational and motivational business quotes under 44 categories and Smallbusinesscartoons.com.

Humorus Business Stories


What is Two and Two?

A business man was interviewing applicants for the position of divisional manager. He devised a test to select the most suitable person for the job. He asked each applicant, "What is two and two?"

The first interviewee was a journalist. His answer was "Twenty-two."

The second applicant was an engineer. He pulled out a slide rule and showed the answer to be between 3.999 and 4.001.

The next person was a lawyer. He stated that in the case of Jenkins v Brown, two and two was proven to be four.

The last applicant was an accountant. The business man asked him, "How much is two and two?" The accountant got up from his chair, went over to the door and closed it then came back and sat down. He leaned across the desk and said in a low voice..."How much do you want it to be?"

He got the job.

The Ruthless Executive

A young, ruthless executive died and went to hell. When he got there, he saw a sign that said Capitalist Hell, and another that said Socialist Hell. In front of the Socialist Hell was an extremely long line, while no-one was in front of the Capitalist Hell. The executive asked the guard, "What do they do to you in Socialist Hell?"

The guard replied, "They whip you, boil you in oil, and then put you on the rack."

"And what do they do to you in Capitalist Hell?"

"The same exact thing," the guard answered.

"Then why is everybody in line for Socialist Hell?"

"Because in Socialist Hell, they're always out of whips, oil, and racks!"

Overseas Advertising Blunders
  1. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick."

  2. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with a beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies prefer to put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read.

  3. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.

  4. Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.

  5. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as "Ke-kou-ke-la", meaning "Bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax", depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent "ko-kou-ko-le", translating into "happiness in the mouth."

Funny Slogan Translations

From "American Demographics" magazine:

When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, "Fly in Leather," it came out in Spanish as "Fly Naked."
Braniff

Coors put its slogan, "Turn It Loose," into Spanish, where it read as "Suffer From Diarrhea."
Coors Beer

Chicken magnate Frank Perdue's line, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken," sounds much more interesting in Spanish: "It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate."
Perdue's Chicken

Puffs tissues tried to introduce its product, only to learn that "Puff" in German is a colloquial term for a whorehouse.
Puffs Tissues

The Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish speaking countries. "No Va" means "It Does Not Go" in Spanish.
Chevy Nova

True Tales: Computer Genius

A neighbor works in the operations department in the central office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when they have problems with their computers. One night he got a call from a woman in one of the branch banks who had this question: "I've got smoke coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys have a fire downtown?"

Office Dictionary Humor: Part I

APPLY IN PERSON:
If you're old, fat or ugly you'll be told the position has been filled.

CAREER-MINDED:
Female applicants must be childless (and remain that way).

CASUAL WORK ATMOSPHERE:
We don't pay enough to expect that you'll dress up.

COMPETITIVE SALARY:
We remain competitive by paying less than our competitors.

DUTIES WILL VARY:
Anyone in the office can boss you around.

JOIN OUR FAST-PACED COMPANY:
We have no time to train you.

MUST BE DEADLINE ORIENTED:
You'll be six months behind schedule on your first day.

MUST HAVE AN EYE FOR DETAIL:
We have no quality control.

NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE:
We've filled the job; our call for resumes is just a legal formality.

SOME OVERTIME REQUIRED:
Some time each night and some time each weekend.

Office Dictionary Humor: Part II

ADAPTABLE:
I've changed jobs a lot.

ALWAYS ON THE GO:
I'm never at my desk.

EXTREMELY ADEPT AT ALL MANNER OF OFFICE ORGANIZATION:
I've used Microsoft Office.

EXTREMELY PROFESSIONAL:
I carry a Day-Timer.

HIGHLY MOTIVATED TO SUCCEED:
The minute I find a better job, I'm outta here.

HONEST, HARD-WORKING AND DEPENDABLE:
I pilfer office supplies.

PERSONABLE:
I give lots of unsolicited personal advice.

PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS A MUST:
You're walking into a company in perpetual chaos.

REQUIRES TEAM LEADERSHIP SKILLS:
You'll have the responsibilities of a manager, without the pay
or respect.

SEEKING CANDIDATES WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE:
You'll need it to replace three people who just left.

TAKE PRIDE IN MY WORK:
I blame others for my mistakes.

Salary Theorem

Dilbert's "Salary Theorem" states that "Engineers and scientists can never earn as much as business executives and sales people." This theorem can now be supported by a mathematical equation based on the following two postulates:

Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.
Postulate 2: Time is Money.

As every engineer and scientist knows: Power = Work/Time.

If (Knowledge = Power) and (Time = Money) then Knowledge = Work/Money.

Solving for Money, we get: Money = Work/Knowledge. Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity, regardless of the amount of work done.

Conclusion: The less you know, the more you make.

Branding Humor

A New York family bought a ranch out West where they intended to raise cattle. Friends came to visit and asked if the ranch had a name.

"Well," said the would-be-cattleman. "I wanted to call it the Bar-J. My wife favored the Suzy-Q. One son liked the Flying-W, and the other son wanted the Lazy-Y. So, we're calling it the Bar-J-Suzy-Q-Flying-W-Lazy-Y."

"But where are all your cattle?"

"So far, none have survived the branding."

Regrettable Quotes: Part I

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
Charles H. Duell, Office of Patents, 1899

There will never be a bigger plane built.
A Boeing Engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that carried ten people.

Ours has been the first, and doubtless to be the last, to visit this profitless locality.
Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861

We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out."
Decca Executive, 1962, after turning down the Beatles

With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the US market.
Business Week, August 2, 1968

Regrettable Quotes: Part II

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corp. 1977

This telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.
Western Union, memo, 1876

No imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?
David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urging investment in the radio in the 1920's

Who wants to hear actors talk?
H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927

Regrettable Quotes: Part III

Market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make.
Response to Debbi Fields' idea of Mrs. Fields' Cookies

We don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.
Hewlett Packard excuse to Steve Jobs, who founded Apple Computers instead.

I think there's a world market for about five computers.
Thomas J. Watson, chairman of the board of IBM

While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility.
Lee DeForest, inventor

Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax.
William Thomson, Lord Kelvin English scientist, 1899

Quotable Business Humor

When you make a mistake of adding the date to the right side of the accounting statement, you must add it to the left side too.
Accountant's Maxim

Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.
Ambrose Bierce

Nothing is illegal if a hundred businessmen decide to do it, and that's true anywhere in the world.
Andrew Young

I think any man in business would be foolish to fool around with his secretary. If it's somebody else's secretary, fine.
Barry Goldwater

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
Bob Hope

Need a good laugh? The following classified ad was listed in a sleazy business opportunities home page: "How to get one million people to send you $2.00! Method plus proof it really works. Rush $2.00 and SASE to..."
Classified Ad

There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do any business from there.
Colonel Sanders

Big business never pays a nickel in taxes, according to Ralph Nader, who represents a big consumer organization that never pays a nickel in taxes.
Dave Barry

There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.
David Letterman

The two most beautiful words in the English language are 'check enclosed'
Dorothy Parker

Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.
Earl Wilson

In the dog-eat-dog economy, the Doberman is boss.
Edward Abbey

Advertising is legalized lying.
H. G. Wells

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.
Howard Aiken

If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.
J. Paul Getty

We were hoping to build a small profitable company; and of course, what we've done is build a large, unprofitable company.
Jeff Bezos (1964-) U.S. Businessman

If you break 100, watch your golf. If you break 80, watch your business.
Joey Adams

Behind every successful man lurks a truly amazed ex-mother-in-law.
John Chrusciel

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.
Johnny Carson

Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.
Karl Marx

I used to sell furniture for a living. The trouble was, it was my own.
Les Dawson

You don't want another Enron? Here's your law: If a company, can't explain, in ONE SENTENCE....what it does....it's illegal.
Lewis Black

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.
Mary Little

The first thing a new employee should do on the job is learn to recognize his boss' voice on the phone.
Martin Buxbaum

The company accountant is shy and retiring. He's shy a quarter of a million dollars. That's why he's retiring.
Milton Berle

We owe a lot to Thomas Edison - if it wasn't for him, we'd be watching television by candlelight.
Milton Berle

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
Mitch Ratliffe

There is an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job.
Peter Drucker

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
Robert Frost

I've talked to you on a number of occasions about the economic problems our nation faces, and I am prepared to tell you it's in a hell of a mess—we're not connected to the press room yet, are we?
Ronald Reagan

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
Ronald Regan

I don’t want yes-men around me. I want everyone to tell the truth, even if it costs them their jobs.
Samuel Goldwyn

Remind people that profit is the difference between revenue and expense. This makes you look smart.
Scott Adams

Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
Stephen Butler Leacock

How many people on their deathbed wish they'd spent more time at the office?
Stephen R. Covey

We don't have a monopoly. We have market share. There's a difference.
Steve Ballmer

I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.
Steven Wright

My son is now an "entrepreneur." That's what you're called when you don't have a job.
Ted Turner

The three most frequently told lies in the world... The cheque is in the post... I'll still espect you afterwards ..... I'm from the Revenue and I'm here to help you.
Unkown

What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.
Vilhjalmur Stefansson

There are three cardinal rules -- don't take somebody else's boyfriend unless you've been specifically invited to do so, don't take a drink without being asked, and keep a scrupulous accounting in financial matters.
W. H. Auden

If you can build a business up big enough, it's respectable.
Will Rogers

A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it.
William Feather

In modern business it is not the crook who is to be feared most, it is the honest man who doesn't know what he is doing.
William Wordsworth

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