From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

British Retailer Jokes Around With Holiday Stress

Looking for a way to alleviate shopping stress, British retailer ASDA is applying a little ergonomics to the task of buying holiday gifts by replacing its usual piped-in music with light-hearted jokes for the holiday season.

According to the British retail superstore, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, the decision to interrupt ASDA’s in-store music and replace it with Christmas jokes was made because of “research that show[s] laughter can reduce stress.” Studies have linked stress to decreased productivity and quality in the workplace, and possibly increased musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

To calm shoppers, ASDA will play jokes on both Friday, December 20 and Tuesday, December 24 in its 245 stores. “We’re famous for going the extra mile for customers, but . . .this week we’ll go the extra ‘smile’ too,” said ASDA’s head of customer service, Richard Woodhall in a company press statement.

ASDA’s in-store radio will broadcast jokes on the hour and the half-hour that, according to ASDA, have been chosen for their “Christmas-groan-ability.” ASDA officials said that any of the following side-splitters could end up on the in-store radio’s rotation:

  • It was Christmas and the judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner, “What are you charged with?” “Doing my Christmas shopping early,” replied the defendant. “That’s no crime,” said the judge. “How early were you doing this shopping?” “Before the store opened,” answered the prisoner.
  • How long should a reindeer’s legs be? Just long enough to reach the ground.
  • How would you get four reindeer in a car? Two in the front and two in the back. And how do you get four polar bears in a car? Take the reindeer out first.
  • What song did Cinderella sing as she waited four months for her photos to come back from the shop? ‘Some day my prints will come.’
  • Who is never hungry at Christmas? The turkey – he’s always stuffed.