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What kind of work do you do?

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75 “What kind of work do you do?”

“I am a project manager.”

And then the project manager jokes start up.         Wait.       That’s not true.  I don’t remember ever hearing someone say to me, “Hey, I’ve just heard a new project manager joke – check this one out …”     But I just know there are some out there.      Let me think of one…

I got nothing.

Wait!    Now I remember the one about the software engineer, the hardware engineer, and the project manager – the one where they rub the genie’s lamp and each get a wish?  Yeah, that’s a good one.  OK – it only takes one project manager joke to kill the theory that there are none.

Maybe we should start some?!  Or just share ones we already know?  Even project managers like a good laugh, or maybe just a slight smile, sometimes.  Life is not all about Gantt charts, accounting location codes, meetings with the sponsor, and trying to herd cats.

Alright – here’s a plan – share your best project manager joke or humorous story.  Keep the length within reason!  Just comment back with your entry – and I’ll close the submissions on Monday morning (8am US Eastern), August 20th.  I’ll get my unbiased panel of judges (maybe I’ll use the Delphi technique!) to rate your entries.  So – let’s  keep ‘em clean – and in English (for the judges’ benefit)!

The best entry wins a free 10-PDU (yeah! Professional Development Units!) eLearning course from Velociteach.  I’ll announce the winner right here at The Savvy PM blog site…

Now I am getting excited about hearing some great project manager jokes – so don’t take yourselves TOO seriously…   Ready or not, here they come.


13 responses to “What kind of work do you do?”

  1. Bill Yates says:

    Louis – I like this! So, I’ll give the first line and let someone finish it to make a joke… “How many project managers does it take to screw in a light bulb?”

  2. Andrea Pistone says:

    I don’t have a joke, but after years of being asked by many what a “project manager” is or what they do, I have a short and sweet answer: A project manager is constantly herding cats for the purpose of ensuring they all make it to the kibble bowl at a time designated by someone who has no clue when they will be hungry.

  3. Sudhakar Velaga says:

    This happened in one of the projects we are working for the client in Puerto Rico. Project has people from off-shore (outside USA), near-shore and on-site and handling the virtual teams has been the challenge. “JOSE” is the name of the one of the client managers. A resource from offshore has been calling him “Jo..Se”..we spoke to him and explained him that in most/all of the spanish words, “we need to replace letter “J with “H” and hence you need to call him “Ho..Se” and explained well with examples of “SAN JOSE” and “TEJAS” etc. Looks like he took it week client manager asked him “When are you planning to do CRP sessions?” he replied “May be in the month of “HUNE” or “HULY”.

  4. Betty Corbin says:

    A project mgt joke (as opposed to a project manager joke).
    The best thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise instead of being following by a period of worry and anxiety.

  5. Maggie Carter says:

    So I wanted to play along but I have to be honest: I definitely found this one on the internet! Still, pretty funny!

    3 Cats

    A young girl enters a pet shop to buy a cat. The pet shop worker shows her three cats that look identical.

    “This cat here costs $1,000,” he explains.

    “Why does that cat cost so much?” the girl asks.

    “This cat knows how to complete legal research,” the pet shop worker explains.

    The girl asks about the cat in the middle, and the pet shop owner explains that the middle cat costs $2,000 because it knows legal research and can win any case.

    The girl is curious and asks about the third cat.

    “That one is $5,000.”

    “Well, what can this cat do?” asks the girl.

    “Honeslty, I have no idea. I have never even seen it do anything at all, but it says it’s a Project Manager.”

    –via 2009

  6. Pam S says:

    To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the project manager, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

  7. Alan Casey says:

    A woman in a hot air balloon was lost. She reduced altitude and spotted a man below. She descended a bit more and shouted:

    “Excuse me, can you help? I promised a friend I would meet her an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

    The man replied: “You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above alkali desert scrub habitat, 2.7 miles west of the Colorado River near one of the remnant populations and spawning grounds of the razorback sucker.”

    “You must be a biologist” said the balloonist.

    “I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”

    Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and that fact is I am still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been that much help so far.”

    The man responded: “You must be a project manager.”

    “I am,” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

    “Well” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise to someone that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is, you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow it’s now my fault!”

  8. Great project manager stories! The entries have been collected and are being delivered to the judges! The winning entry will be announced here…

    Thank you for participating! Keep an eye on The Savvy PM blogs for more fun and educational topics about Project Management!


  9. The judges’ decision is in! CONGRATULATIONS go to Alan Casey for winning the SavvyPM contest for best project manager story!

    Alan has been contacted with his award of 10 PDUs (professional development units) from Velociteach’s eLearning facility, InSite.

    “Thank you!” to each of our participants! The judges liked ALL of the submissions! But just like on the PMP Exam – there can only be ONE BEST answer to each question!

    Continue to peruse the SavvyPM blog for more articles on project management. For instance, Bill’s article on Headphones is great! AND, his posting TODAY about the new Risk Management Fundamentals course debut!


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