I tried to bring some levity to work today, but the resulting humor was not what I expected. I wore my white Mickey Mouse tie with my charcoal gray suit and deep blue dress shirt. I’ve had the tie since I received it as a Christmas gag gift a long, long time ago. I digged through my closet to inventory my ties when I came across the Mickey Mouse tie. I’ve never really worn it because it’s such a bold fashion statement–who can take seriously someone who wears a Mickey Mouse tie? Maybe if I were a Disney executive I could get away with wearing it, but I’m not supposed to be in the entertainment industry. Lately work has been really hectic and in need of some lightheartedness, so I decided to be bold and wear my Mickey Mouse tie. I thought it was a brilliant idea–subtle humor. Keep in mind that my work iis a fairly buttoned-down place. It was easy for me to assume that someone would notice if I came to work with a comical tie. I even brought a backup tie, a red power tie, in the event that my brave move backfired.
What happened at work was funny, but it wasn’t at all what I expected. Not one person noticed my tie! White on deep blue is hard not to notice. People must have been so preoccupied thinking about work that they weren’t aware of their surroundings. It’s like getting a haircut and then coming to work expecting people to notice. No one noticed the Mickey Mouse tie. I had to laugh. People were so serious and distracted at work that they didn’t even notice humor right in front of their faces. I talked to many people today, and they looked right at me and the tie dangling down my chest. Perplexed, I finally asked a few people why they hadn’t noticed. They laughed heartily and responded, "Well, I had no idea!." Oh, so now you notice. When a place becomes humorless, it’s sometimes not enough to lend humor. Sometimes you also have to wake up the audience too.
Based on the lack of enthusiasm for my moderate attempt at humor, I’ve decided to add my Mickey Mouse tie to my regular business attire. At least I’ll be laughing.