Vox asked me to write a follow up post about humor given the response to my previous post. I’m convinced that one of the reasons if not the main reason that Gammas constantly engage in snark, bad jokes, and cut-ups is for express reason of plausibly deniability of being wrong about something. The secondary reason is to indirectly take on men of higher ranks with as little chance of recourse as possible.
Snide remarks – Gammas don’t make them towards attractive women ever and rarely against unattractive women. Why? Because it’s pure Game of trying to tear down men of other higher rank in their own manner. The Beta gives his instructions about something important (and of course the Gamma should really be in charge) and suddenly there’s a mumbled movie quote which is a shot at the Beta. If the Gamma is called on it he quickly replies, “Relax, I’m just joking.” If pressed. “No really.” (Panic starts to set in.) “I’m totally joking.”
Movie quotes – The Gamma has nothing really funny to say so he parrots something else which he found funny. He is so socially clueless he doesn’t think that perhaps other people in the world won’t find his humor so humorous. *squawk* “Come and see the violence inherent in the system.” *squawk* “He’s dead Jim. *squawk* “I’ll be back”. Once again if someone tells him to put a sock in it, “Relax, I’m just joking.”
It only spirals downward from there if a Gamma is given authority as they don’t know how to use it or when to use it. You’ll find a frustrating and weird use of humor about serious things from a Gamma boss, and when people as for clarification he’ll come back to “You’ll know when I’m serious.” Think about that for just a moment. It means an employee has to guess when a boss is serious about things. Who wants to work under those conditions? It is horrendous for moral and efficiency. This isn’t to say if you are a manager you can’t have a couple of employees which you can crack inside jokes with, but you can’t be flippant, or joke about anything of importance. This isn’t negotiable. You’ll have employees who loath you which is exactly why the Gamma does it in the first place, he wants people to like him.
It really comes back to the deep insecurity of the Gamma. Being “funny” all of the time gives him a way out, at least in his mind, of difficult situations. If you are insistent on trying to be “funny” all of the time you need to look good and hard at your motivations. Before you roll that movie quote off your tongue, before you make a snide remark about something catch yourself and ask, “Why?” Is this legitimately funny and appropriate, or am I doing it out of habit and fear of not being liked or wrong?
I have to include a paragraph about proper humor as I can hear the howls of protests from the Gammas. “You just want a boring, starched collar world of nothing!” No. Absolutely not. There are very few things better than hanging out with friends and family and having a good belly laugh about things. But if you think movie quotes, snide remarks, funny voices, and constant small jokes are equivalent you are clueless.