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How not to Joke at Work

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Silly Dapo.

Everyone seemed to be talking about the brilliant and charming senior project resource that was recently hired.

I had not met him, but I certainly longed to meet him. In reality, I already liked him. He had been pre-sold to the project team successfully.

As a delivery lead, I am always on the look-out for sharp critical resources who are honest, know what they are doing, take ownership of their roles, don’t back down easily from everyday project challenges, are great with people and have a healthy dose of humor.

From what I had heard, Nabil fit the picture so, I couldn’t wait to meet him.

Finally, I received the invite to a meeting where we would be introduced to each other and figure out how to work together on an interesting delivery.

Lo and behold, he turned on his camera — I rarely do that when with this particular client, so I didn’t cave in to that pressure. Clients are different; I had this other client that wanted to see the faces of all my project resources ALL the time. Different strokes for different folks.

He introduced himself concisely and eloquently. I was excited, he sounded quite business like — just the type of guy that I thought he was! Usually, my typical line for myself is “I am Dapo, and I am here to work with everyone to deliver what is expected of us but, much more importantly, to ensure that we all arrive together, happily.”

As we wrapped up the call, I jokingly said to him, “Hey Nabil, nice meeting you once again. For some reason, your attire reminds me of Dr. Who.” We both giggled, but the meeting host said, “Don’t mind Dapo, I am not sure what he drank this morning.” I laughed.

Right after the call, Nabil sent me a private message on Microsoft Teams. “Hey, Dapo. It was nice to meet you on that call as well. I heard a lot of great things about you before we met. However, I thought I’d let you know that your comment about my look was inappropriate primarily because it was our first time meeting, and we didn’t yet have the kind of rapport that could give you the authority to make that kind of joke.”

I was shocked because I didn’t realize that my comment presented me as uncouth until he called me out on it, but I apologized profusely.

I took my relaxed and witty nature too far.

Today, Nabil and I are best buddies.

Calgary, Canada.

Become friends with someone in The Immigrant Life community today.

Written by Dapo Bankole.
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