Madeleine Begun Kane, Humor Columnist Latest Humor Columns
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Madeleine Begun Kane,
Humor Columnist,

Madeleine Begun Kane

Bob Newhart Names Madeleine Begun Kane Winner of Robert Benchley Society Award For Humor


I'm an escapee from the "9 to whenever" workplace. These days I write (or pretend to write) from my home office. Can you think of a better qualification to write workplace humor? Me neither. Here's some that's appeared in Career Magazine, Bridge News,, Troika,, Women's Village, and other publications. I hope you enjoy all the workplace and employer humor columns, light verse, and limericks by Madeleine Begun Kane.

  • “Entrepreneur Barbie!” Are They Toying With Us? "I’m NOT making this up! “Entrepreneur Barbie,” from Mattel Canada, supposedly takes aim at the glass ceiling. Alas, it clearly misses..."

  • Ode To Workaholics
    "Workaholics endure a disease,
    Which will cause neither cough nor a sneeze..."

  • Office Party Follies "There are few "fun" activities quite so vexing as the Office Christmas Party; that obligatory gathering of bosses and subordinates, cronies and rivals, back-stabbers and back-stabbees. Plus a horde of husbands and wives who spend the entire night planning their escape..."

  • Limerick Ode To “Take Your Dog To Work Day” "If the thought of dogs at work gives you pause, you might want to play hooky on “Take Your Dog To Work Day...”

  • Limerick Fall
    "A fellow who’d taken the fall
    For his boss got enraged, took an awl ..."

  • Working Stiffed "Finding a new job can be a daunting challenge. But if you follow my simple 21-step plan, you'll soon be battling cranky alarm clocks, rush-hour traffic, and the living for the weekend daily grind..."

  • Poetic Fantasy
    "Just imagine a job that would pay
    Us to sit and write poems all day..."

  • Limerick Ode To Lady-Filled Binders "The oddest line of last night’s presidential debate has to be Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women.” Romney used that phrase when responding to a question about gender inequality in the workplace..."

  • Limerick Invention
    "A fellow invented an app
    That fills a technology gap: ..."

  • Limerick Ode To Holiday-itis
    "We’re busy pretending to work:
    Reading Facebook’s the best way to shirk ..."

  • Mad Limerick
    "A woman who felt she’d been had
    Was incredibly angry — yes mad ..."

  • Telecommuting Limerick
    "A fellow who telecommuted
    Had a short trip to work — undisputed. ..."

  • Happy Take Your Dog To Work Day
    "I thought bringing your canine to work
    A superb way to look like a jerk..."

  • Late Limerick
    "A fellow was terribly late
    To a job meeting key to his fate. ..."

  • Office Party Haiku

  • Suitable Verse
    "A man who owned only one suit
    Could afford many more with his loot.
    But he hated to wear’em
    And just could not bear’em,
    Which led to a workplace dispute. ..."

  • National Boss Day Limerick
    "For a reason I don’t comprehend
    Bosses get their own day — what a trend. ..."

  • Creative Verse
    "A creative young woman named Ro
    Snagged a role in an Off-Broadway show. ..."

  • Lush Limerick
    "A fellow who drank to excess
    Got to work in a state of undress: ..."

  • Parental Proposal "The help wanted pages are filled with job descriptions that defy comprehension. This probably explains why so many parents can't quite figure out what it is their children do for a living..."

  • Those Unspeakable Meetings "Do men and women communicate differently at work? Yes, according to proponents of the "men and women are from different galaxies" school of thought. Women are said to be self-effacing and apologetic. Men, on the other hand, are described as convincingly confident ... even when they don't have the slightest idea what they're talking about..."

  • Building That Career (Limerick)
    "An unemployed fellow named Nick
    Had an interview — poured it on thick. ..."

  • Games People Play ... At Meetings (Limerick)
    " Buzzword bingo’s a game workers play
    To record pompous things people say: ..."

  • Fight Firewalls With Kindle "My humorist pal Rose Valenta recently created a Kindle version of her blog and inspired me to do the same. Why? Because many employers are getting strict about web access, blocking employees from reading their favorite blogs and sites ..."

  • Ad-Monitions "When I see the term "Dream Job" in employment ads, I immediately get suspicious. My first thought -- after "Yeah, right!" -- is what else is this company lying about..."

  • Workspace Squeeze "In these cost-cutting days, you don't have to be outplaced to be downsized. Workspace Squeeze has invaded the workplace, victimizing almost everyone who still has a job. The Squeeze often attacks suddenly, usually overnight. One day, you arrive at work in your customary caffeine-deprived haze. Something seems different, but you aren't quite awake enough to figure out what it is..."

  • Bandwidth Blues
    "“I’ve no bandwidth for that,” some folks say.
    It’s their style of responding, “No way! ..."

  • Employee Blues
    "A hard-working woman named May
    Was employed at a very low pay. ...”

  • Thoughtful Interview "For a job applicant, an interview is to be sought, then dreaded, then endured. And managers rarely relish interviews any more than the trembling supplicant on the other side of their desk. So it's probably just as well that people can't read minds. If they could..."

  • Office Politics (Limerick)
    "Your career is at stake, you should know,
    And you don’t want that guy as a foe. ..."

  • Ms. CareerPerson Answer Your Questions "Lately I've been getting lots of e-mail from women who'd like to return to the work-force. My first instinct is to ask: Why on earth would you want to do that..."

  • How To Give A Speech (Humorous How-To) "In a moment of weakness you agreed to give a speech. What are you in for? If you're lucky, it won't be any worse than this..."

  • Accounting For That CPA (Limerick)
    "This accountant is no CPA,
    Though he hopes to become one some day. ..."

  • There's No Substitute For A Bad Job (Limerick and Haiku)
    " In my twenties I substitute taught.
    ‘Tis a challenging job and it’s fraught; ..."

  • Employee Dearest Dear Employee: Congratulations on your ___ (fill in the blank) anniversary at ("SPIES"). We hope you have enjoyed your ___ (fill in the blank) years at SPIES as much as we have.
    It's time, as you know, for your annual review, which we have decided to do this year by email. In the past, we made every effort to conduct employee reviews face to face. Frankly, however, in person interviews are very time consuming. Plus we had far too many fatalities.

  • Ode To The Wingnutty Pete Sessions Congressman Pete Sessions has a rather odd theory about President Obama and the unemployment stats.

  • Dear Boss, Where’s My Bonus? (Limerick) “The AIG bonus fiasco has been very enlightening. Giving incompetent employees huge bonuses, so they won’t resign? And with taxpayer cash yet? What a concept! ...”

  • Rivals (Limerick)
    "An arrogant fellow named Kirk
    Thought each of his rivals a jerk. ..."

  • What Will I Be When I Grow Up? (Limerick)
    "Ev’ry decade I change my career.
    The first used my musical ear. ..."

  • Do Bosses Really Need Their Own National Holiday? "Did you know that tomorrow, October 16th, is National Boss Day? So, are you excited yet? ..."

  • I Guess They Miss The “Good Old Days” A Congressional work ethic?

  • Diary Of A Bashed Attorney "Why did I go to law school? Work is unbearable, I have no free time, and I'm expected to "make rain" at parties. To somehow extract legal fees from revelers who sidle up, drinks in one hand, hors d'oeuvres in the other, looking for free advice. My reward? Lawyer jokes..."

  • "Dear Scotty -- Mad Kane Applies For White House Press Credentials Dear Scotty: I've always fantasized about being a White House correspondent. But until now, I've never sought so lofty a position because -- silly me -- I assumed you had to be an actual journalist..."

  • But Has He Ever Seen A Scanner?
    "In case there was ever a doubt at all
    That Dubya's out of touch,
    His answer to that three-job-mom
    Sure proves he don't know much..."

  • AWOL Jobs
    "Our jobs are disappearing
    To nations far and wide.
    While Dubya has no plan at all
    To stem this risky tide..."

  • George Dubya Bush Channeler Seeks Therapy "Doctor's Notes: An unusually difficult first session. Patient was referred by Employer law firm, who has placed Patient on indefinite mental health leave. HR files furnished by Employer report erratic behavior dating back eight months, including: 1. Patient refused to address sundry judges as "Your Honor" on seven occasions, leading to..."

  • Mad Kane's Diary "10:45 a.m. Another late start on this week's column. That's what I get for surfing every night until 3:00 a.m..."

  • Gender At Work "Our Portia has come up with an excellent solution." A trial judge said this about me several years ago in open court, when I was still a full-time litigator. I've never forgotten it. Not because it was a compliment to be compared to so formidable a lawyer as Shakespeare's Portia, although I think he meant it as a compliment..."
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