Things I Don’t Understand … No. 5

24 March 2013

I believe I have a reasonably well-honed sense of humour – I can laugh at myself for a start which is a fairly good sign.

What I don’t understand is the number of job ads. that list all the qualifications and experience necessary for the role then state “Sense of humour required” as one of the qualities they’re looking for.

Firstly, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who didn’t believe they had a great sense of humour, even when it was obvious to the rest of us that this was plainly untrue.  Do you know anyone who would tick all the boxes on the job specification of their dream job and then say “Damn, I can’t apply for this.  I haven’t got a sense of humour”?

Secondly, why does the job require a sense of humour?   Is it the payslip you’re likely to be laughing at or the working conditions?

And thirdly, if the applicant is offered the job but it’s then discovered that she hasn’t got the sense of humour she was claiming, would that be grounds for dismissal (or even prosecution for obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception)? 



  1. “Sorry, we can’t afford to pay you this month. However you can always have a laugh about this later.”

  2. What a strange thing to add to a job ad!

  3. Maybe it’s like the psychic evaluations reportedly used by some companies… which I presume (hope) are just an excuse to pick the candidate you want in a way that was “assessed” and therefore presumably more likely to stand up to a challenge by an unsuccessful candidate claiming racism, sexism, etc.-ism.

    Or it could simply be a subtle way of saying that the workplace is full of what, anywhere else, would be construed as harassment.

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