Bureaucrats Learn How To Laugh At Taxpayers' Expense

Inside every bureaucrat is a "very funny, happy playful person who is bursting to come out and play."

That's a tagline from Laughter Works Australia, which runs motivational and teambuilding workshops for various big businesses and, most recently, Australia's Department of Human Services, the Herald Sun reported.

In other words, taxpayers paid a few thousand dollars for their welfare agents and medical care providers to "get in touch with their happy self," through costume play, word games, balloon animals and bubble blowing.

Organizations hand over fat fees to speakers and workshop leaders all the time to team-build and lower employee stress, often with unconventional methods, from group cooking to meditation to "interactive creative narrative."

"Belly laughter" is perhaps even scientifically sounder than most. Humor has been shown to defuse anger, intimidation and stress, increase blood flow and respiration, relax muscles for up to 45 minutes, pump up endorphins, reduce depression, burn calories and charge up infection-fighting antibodies.

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine," says Proverbs 17:22.

Also, once co-workers mimic temper tantrums together in matching ladies' bloomers, they're less likely to rail on each other later that day for an unsent memo.

"We reconnect on a human level, as human beings," LWA's owner and director Bronwen Williams told the Herald Sun.

Her website makes a few even loftier claims. After a Laughter Workshop, you will "gain a better understanding of your self," it says, "and "see life with a new perspective." (Other sessions include Juggling and Giggle Balls.)

Government employees doing anything involving the words "giggle" and "balls" with taxpayer money may seem scandalous, but as the LWA points out, the Australian government spends $20 million a year on avoidable sick leave.

It makes sense that Human Services administrators would want to set an example.

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