free advice:

the silicon valley search comedy break:
our humble collection...



Since 1997, thousands of you
have checked in,

usually just before lunch PST. Our best guess is you are Googling for headhunters right after your 10AM meetings.

In this 2008 edition, we have placed the most timely first, finishing up with the best from 1997. Included is humor targeted at engineers, IT consultants, management, HR, smart people in general, and corporations. We have noticed a sharp decrease in good high tech humor, Dilbert is more documentary than funny, and the 90s were definitely the Golden Age. If you have any good stuff, send it on over! We would appreciate it.

geek graph

geek graph

Essential additions for the workplace vocabulary:
BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.
SEAGULL MANAGER: A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything, and then leaves.
ASSMOSIS: The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement by kissing up to the boss rather than working hard.
SALMON DAY: The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die in the end.
CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles.
PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

Disclaimer: SiliconValleySearch is comprised of folks like you who get a ton of jokes via e-mail. If we have violated anyone's copyrighted material, please advise us ASAP so that we can rectify the situation. We are assuming the jokes are public property unless notified otherwise.

MOUSE POTATO: The on-line, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.
SITCOMs: Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. What yuppies turn into when they have children and one of them stops working to stay home with the kids.
STRESS PUPPY: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiney.
XEROX SUBSIDY: Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one's workplace.
IRRITAINMENT: Entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you find yourself unable to stop watching them. The O.J. trials were a prime example.
PERCUSSIVE MAINTENANCE: The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.
OHNOSECOND: That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a REALLY BIG mistake.
WOOFYS: Well Off Older Folks.
CROP DUSTING: Surreptitiously passing gas while passing thru a CUBE FARM, then enjoying the sounds of dismay and disgust; leads to PRAIRIE DOGGING.

>Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it
>deosn't mttaer in
>waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny
>iprmoetnt tihng is taht
>the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.
>The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it
>wouthit porbelm.
>Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
>lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
>Fcuknig amzanig huh?

Buddy's favorite from SNL Weekend Update–
The hunter shot in the leg by his black labrador yesterday is recuperating tonight in an Iowa hospital. Observers at the scene say they never saw mallard ducks laugh so hard.

I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.
1. -Bjarne Stroustrup, computer science professor, designer of C++ programming language (1950- )


The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether
you are qualified to be a professional.

Scroll down for each answer.

The questions are NOT that difficult. But don't scroll down UNTIL you have
answered the question!


1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?













The correct answer is: Open the refrigerators, put in the giraffe, and close
the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an
overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?













Did you say, open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the


Wrong Answer.


Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the
elephant and close the door.
This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous


3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals
attend...except one. Which animal does not attend?













Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just
put him in there.
This tests your memory.

Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you
still have one last chance to show your true abilities...


4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do
not have a boat. How do you manage it?










Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been
paying attention? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting.
This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.


The rumor is that 90% of the professionals tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. This conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four-year-old.

There has been a lot of discussion as to why Ford is doing so badly lately and Toyota is doing so well. Perhaps this modern parable will help to explain why.

A Modern Parable
driving in SF

driving in SF

A Japanese company and an American company decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.
On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.
The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.
Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.
Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.
Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.
They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the "Rowing Team Quality First Program", with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.
The next year the Japanese won by two miles.
Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.
The End

Hoo boy!!!

1. On the 6th of May this year, three minutes and four seconds after 2 AM, the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07!
This will never happen again in our lifetime! Isn't that amazing!
Of course, if you miss it (or sleep through it), you can always wait for:
05/06/07 at 08:09:10, or, 03:04:05 on 06/07/08, or,
06/07/08 at 09:10:11, or, 04:05:06 on 07/08/09, or,
07/08/09 at 10:11:12, or, 05:06:07 on 08/09/10, or,
08/09/10 at 11:12:13, or, 06:07:08 on 09/10/11, or,
09/10/11 at 12:13:14, or, 07:08:09 on 10/11/12, or,
10/11/12 at 13:14:15, or, 08:09:10 on 11/12/13, or,
11/12/13 at 14:15:16, or, 09:10:11 on 12/13/14, or,
12/13/14 at 15:16:17
Mark your calendars now so you don't miss any of these important dates and times!!!
Hey, ya got me.
Don't want to mark your calendar? Neither do I. But don't worry, someone will send you an email reminding you before the next one. Just not me.
For me, I figure just celebrate all of them this year and get it over with.
However, watch out for the ones who celebrate 13/14/15 at 16:17:18. Them, I would worry about.

Subject: A new enemy on the run


San Antonio, Texas (Rooters). Unwilling to wait for their eventual indictments, the 10,000 remaining CEOs of public U.S. companies made a break for it yesterday, heading for the Mexican border, plundering towns and villages along the way, and writing the entire rampage off as a marketing expense.
"They came into my home, made me pay for my own TV, then double-booked the revenues," said Rachel Sanchez of Las Cruces, just north of El Paso. "Right in front of my daughters."
Calling themselves the CEOnistas, the chief executives were first spotted last night along the Rio Grande River near Quemado, where they bought each of the town's 320 residents by borrowing against pension fund gains. By late this morning, the CEOnistas had arbitrarily inflated Quemado's population to 960, and declared a 200 percent profit for the fiscal second quarter.
This morning, the outlaws bought the city of Waco, transferred it's underperforming areas to a private partnership, and sent a bill to California for $4.5 billion. Law enforcement officials and disgruntled shareholders riding posse were noticeably frustrated.
"First of all, they're very hard to find because they always stand behind their numbers, and the numbers keep shifting," said posse spokesman Dean Levitt. "And every time we yell 'Stop in the name of the shareholders!,' they refer us to investor relations. I've been on the phone all damn morning."
The pursuers said they have had some success, however, by preying on a common executive weakness. "Last night we caught about 24 of them by disguising one of our female officers as a CNBC anchor," said U.S. Border Patrol spokesperson Janet Lewis. "It was like moths to a flame."
Also, teams of agents have been using high-powered listening devices to scan the plains for telltale sounds of the CEOnistas. "Most of the time we just hear leaves rustling or cattle flicking their tails," said Lewis, "but occasionally we'll pick up someone saying, 'I was totally out of the loop on that.'"
Among former and current CEOs apprehended with this method were Computer Associates' Sanjay Kumar, Adelphia's John Rigas, Enron's Ken Lay, Joseph Nacchio of Qwest, Joseph Berardino of Arthur Andersen, and every Global Crossing CEO since 1997. ImClone Systems' Sam Waksal and Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco were not allowed to join the CEOnistas as they have already been indicted. So far, about 50 chief executives have been captured, including Martha Stewart, who was detained south of El Paso where she had cut through a barbed-wire fence at the Zaragosa border crossing off Highway 375.
"She would have gotten away, but she was stopping motorists to ask for marzipan and food coloring so she could make edible snowman place settings, using the cut pieces of wire for the arms," said Border Patrol officer Jennette Cushing. "We put her in cell No. 7, because the morning sun really adds texture to the stucco walls."
While some stragglers are believed to have successfully crossed into Mexico, Cushing said the bulk of the CEOnistas have holed themselves up at the Alamo.
"No, not the fort, the car rental place at the airport," she said. "They're rotating all the tires on the minivans and accounting for each change as a sale."

THE COWS (2003)

DEMOCRAT You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being successful. Barbara Streisand sings for you.
REPUBLICAN You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So?
SOCIALIST You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor. You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.
COMMUNIST You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for hours to get it. It is expensive and sour.
CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE You have two cows. You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.
DEMOCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE You have two cows. The government taxes you to the point you have to sell both to support a man in a foreign country who has only one cow, which was a gift from your government.
BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE You have two cows. The government takes them both, shoots one, milks the other, pays you for the milk, and then pours the milk down the drain.
AMERICAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one. You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have down sized and are reducing expenses. Your stock goes up.
FRENCH CORPORATION You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows. You go to lunch and drink wine. Life is good.
JAPANESE CORPORATION You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Most are at the top of their class at cow school.
GERMAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.
ITALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows but you don't know where they are. While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman. You break for lunch. Life is good.
RUSSIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You have some vodka. You count them and learn you have five cows. You have some more vodka. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.
TALIBAN CORPORATION You have all the cows in Afghanistan, which are two. You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts. Then you kill them and claim a US bomb blew them up while they were in the hospital.
IRAQI CORPORATION You have two cows. They go into hiding. They send radio tapes of their mooing.
FLORIDA CORPORATION You have a black cow and a brown cow. Everyone votes for the best looking one. Some of the people who like the brown one best, vote for the black one. Some people vote for both. Some people vote for neither. Some people can't figure out how to vote at all. Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which is the best looking cow.
CALIFORNIAN You have a cow and a bull. The bull is depressed. It has spent its life living a lie. It goes away for two weeks. It comes back after a taxpayer-paid sex-change operation. You now have two cows. One makes milk; the other doesn't. You try to sell the transgender cow. Its lawyer sues you for discrimination. You lose in court. You sell the milk-generating cow to pay the damages. You now have one rich, transgender, non-milk-producing cow. You change your business to beef. PETA pickets your farm. Jesse Jackson makes a speech in your driveway. Cruz Bustamante calls for higher farm taxes to help "working cows". Hillary Clinton calls for the nationalization of 1/7 of your farm "for the children". Gray Davis signs a law giving your farm to Mexico. The L.A. Times quotes five anonymous cows claiming you groped their teats. You declare bankruptcy and shut down all operations. The cow starves to death. The NY Times' analysis shows your business failure is Bush's fault.'s Observations of the Top 11 Best Things That Happened to Silicon Valley in 2001

11. 50-80% of Bay Area headhunters went out of business
10. 50%+ of "Management Consultants" similarly gone
9. Layoff announcements no longer make stocks prices go up
8. Great time for a new car, house, or mortgage
7. Experience counts
6. No more scooters
5. Double-digit PE ratios
4. The big campus curse is alive and well in the 3rd millenium
3. Sand Hill Roadwas appropriately named
2. Mergers and acquisitions questioned for a change, and...
1. "Starbuck's and yoga just doesn't do it anymore."(Tim Russert, NBC)


Trust the computer industry to shorten "Year 2000" to Y2K. It was this kind of thinking that caused the problem in the first place.

Overheard from a software engineer: "I've finally figured out why this whole Year 2000 problem is causing so much trouble. Fixing it depends on programmers finding a date. This isn't exactly one of our classic strengths.".

The Silicon Valley Theorem onSalary states that engineers and scientists can never earn as much as business executives and sales people. This theorem can now be supported by a mathematical equation based on the following two postulates:

Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.

Postulate 2: Time is Money. As every engineer knows : Power = Work / Time Since Knowledge = Power, and Time = Money, we have: Knowledge = Work / Money Solving for Money, we get: Money = Work / Knowledge Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity, regardless of the amount of Work done.

Conclusion: The Less you Know, the More you Earn.'s

editedBest of the Signs That You're Living in 1999:
  1. You've sat at the same desk for four years and worked for three different companies.
  2. You now refer to drinking three double espressos as "getting wasted."
  3. You have a list of 15 different phone numbers to reach your family of 3 and still can't get a hold of them.
  4. You e-mail your buddy who works at the desk next to you to ask "Do you wanna go get a beer?" and he replies: "Yeah, give me five minutes".
  5. Your new management consultant claims to "proactively synergize across all paradigms"
  6. It's dark when you drive to and from work, even in the summer.
  7. You find you really need PowerPoint to explain what you do for a living.
  8. You normally eat out of vending machines and at the most expensive restaurant in town within the same week.
  9. You think that "progressing an action plan" and "calendarizing a project" are acceptable English phrases.
  10. You ask your friends to "think out of the box" when making Friday night plans.
  11. You think Einstein would have been more effective had he put his ideas into a matrix.
  12. You try to enter your password on the microwave.
  13. You don't have schedules, you don't have have "bandwidth."
  14. Your company's welcome sign is attached with Velcro.
  15. You really get excited about a 1.7% pay rise.
  16. You learn about your redundancy on the 11 o'clock news.
  17. Your relatives and family describe your job as "works with computers."
  18. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is that they do not have e-mail addresses.
  19. There's no money in the budget for the five permanent staff your department is short of, but they can afford four full-time management consultants advising your boss's boss on strategy.
  20. The only reason you recognize your kids is because their pictures are on your desk
  21. You have 6 phone numbers under 3 different area codes.
  22. Your daughter sells more Girl Scout Cookies via her web site than your whole troop did in uniform.
  23. Your 12-year-old has his own computer consulting service, brochure and business cards and is making more money than you..
  24. Your grandmother clogs up your e-mail Inbox, asking you to send her the JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
  25. You e-mail your daughter in her room to tell her that dinner is ready, and she e-mails you back, "What's for dinner?"
  26. Cleaning up the dining area means getting the fast food bags out of the back seat of your car.
  27. You consider 2nd day air delivery painfully slow.
  28. You refer to your dining room table as the flat filing cabinet.
  29. You get all excited when it's Saturday and you can wear sweats to work.
  30. You think a "half-day" means leaving at 5 o'clock.
  31. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
  32. You hear most of your jokes via email instead of in person
  33. You didn't give your valentine a card this year, but you posted one for your e-mail buddies via a web page.
  34. You check the ingredients on a can of chicken noodle soup to see if it contains Echinacea.
  35. You refer to the tomatoes grown in your garden as deliverables.
  36. You check your blow dryer to see if it's Y2K compliant.
  37. Your supervisor gets a brand-new state-of-the-art laptop with all the latest features, while you have time to go for lunch while yours boots up.
  38. Your supervisor doesn't have the ability to do your job.
  39. Your biggest loss from a system crash was when you lost all of your best jokes.
  40. Contractors outnumber permanent staff and are more likely to get long-service awards.
  41. Board members salaries are higher than all the Third World countries' annual budgets combined.
  42. Free food left over from meetings is your staple diet.
  43. For the 2nd year in a row, Barbara Walters lists Monica Lewinski as one of the 10 most fascinating Americans.
  44. You're already late on the assignment you just got.
  45. Your boss's favorite line is "I have an opportunity for you."
  46. Vacation time is something you roll over to next year.
  47. You only have makeup for fluorescent lighting.
  48. You read this entire list, kept nodding and smiling.
  49. As you read this list, you think about forwarding it to your "friends you send jokes to" e-mail group.
  50. It crosses your mind that your jokes group may have seen this list already, but you don't have time to check so you forward it anyway.

Comprehending Engineers - Take One

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?" The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want." The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

Comprehending Engineers - Take Two

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Comprehending Engineers-Take Three

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him... Hi George. say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime." The group was silent for a moment then the pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight." The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them." The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"

Comprehending Engineers-Take Four

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers? Mechanical Engineers build weapons, Civil Engineers build targets.

Comprehending Engineers-Take Five

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Comprehending Engineers-Take Six

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.
One said, "It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints."
Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections. "
The last one said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

Comprehending Engineers-Take Seven

"Normal people...believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet."

Comprehending Engineers-Take Eight

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.
The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.
The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.
The engineer said, "I like both." "Both?" "Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

Comprehending Engineers - Take Nine

An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.
The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."
The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want."
Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.
Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"
The engineer said, "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girl friend, but a talking frog......that's cool."

Brasington's Ninth Law: A carelessly planned project takes three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned one will take only twice as long.

You might be an Engineer if:
  • The only jokes you receive are through e-mail.
  • At Christmas, it goes without saying that you will be the one to find the burnt-out bulb in the string.
  • Buying flowers for your girlfriend or spending the money to upgrade your RAM is a moral dilemma.
  • Everyone else on the Alaskan cruise is on deck peering at the scenery, and you are still on a personal tour of the engine room.
  • In college you thought Spring Break was a metal fatigue failure.
  • The salespeople at Circuit City can't answer any of your questions. (Duh!!)
  • You are at an air show and know how fast the skydivers are falling.
  • You bought your wife a new CD ROM for her birthday.
  • You can type 70 words a minute but can't read your own handwriting.
  • You can't write unless the paper has both horizontal and vertical lines.
  • You forgot to get a haircut ... for 6 months.
  • You have Dilbert comics displayed anywhere in your work area.
  • You have ever saved the power cord from a broken appliance.
  • You have more friends on the Internet than in real life.
  • You have never bought any new underwear or socks for yourself since you got married.
  • You have used coat hangers and duct tape for something other than hanging coats and taping ducts.
  • You know what http:// actually stands for.
  • You look forward to Christmas only to put together the kids' toys.
  • You own one or more white short-sleeve dress shirts.
  • You see a good design and still have to change it.You spent more on your calculator than on your wedding ring.
  • You still own a slide rule and you know how to work it.
  • You think that when people around you yawn, it's because they didn't get enough sleep.
  • You wear black socks with white tennis shoes (or vice versa).
  • You window shop at Radio Shack.
  • You're in the back seat of your car, she's looking wistfully at the moon, and you're trying to locate a geosynchronous satellite.
  • You know what the geosynchronous satellite's function is.
  • Your checkbook always balances.
  • Your laptop computer costs more than your car.
  • Your wife hasn't the foggiest idea what you do at work.
  • Your wrist watch has more computing power than a 300Mhz Pentium.
  • You've ever tried to repair a $5 radio.

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