Ask Bob: How do I keep my cool at work?


Every month, Bob takes a minute or two to sort out an issue a young tradie is facing and hopefully set him (or her) straight when it comes to life on a building site. This month, Bob offers advice to a young tradie hoping to keep the laughs going on site.

Hey Bob,

I love a joke as much as the next bloke, but how does a young buck tell when enough is enough? I want to be part of the crew and love teasing my workmates but I don’t want to upset anyone if it’s avoidable. When does a prank go too far?



G’day Nick.

It’s safe to say that friendly jokes and pranks are a huge part of work culture in many industries and it’s not uncommon to have a few laughs with the boys on site in the trades.

I myself have experienced the old cling film across the toilet seat and sawdust on the ute seat myself, and many of my friends and colleagues have been on the receiving ends of some ‘creative’ drawings on their hard hats, boots and even in the dust on their windshields, but it was all in good fun. How did we know? Because we looked for the signs.

If one bloke isn’t laughing along or seems to get hot headed, just take it easy on the pranks. You never know what’s going on in someone’s personal life but it’s also much more fun to stick to pranking your buddies – that way you know no one is getting hurt.

If everyone is having a good time, it’s all good. But if there is someone who feels like it’s not so much fun, respect that too. If that person is you, calmly let the boys know and distance yourself from the shenanigans – no one likes someone who dishes it out but can’t take it!

On a serious note, the dark side of the prank is when fun teasing turns into bullying. This is helpful article to read to tell the difference between joking and bullying and it is a really important difference, because bullying is illegal and can cause long-term psychological issues.

Keep being creative and enjoy having a laugh with your mates, but make sure you read the signs so you know you’re not hurting anyone in the process.