Sunday, February 18, 2024

Consultant and Consulting Jokes (2)

If you know any consultants, please mention these postings to them.

Back when I was a self-employed consultant I started to collect consultant jokes, with the half-baked idea of self-publishing and selling a paperback book of jokes and cartoons. Below, the first part of what I had collected.

For people who are seriously considering a career in consulting, I strongly recommend buying a copy of Alan Weiss' book, Getting Started in Consulting. When I was getting started, I would read the entire book every few weeks. It help tremendously in understanding how to establish visibility, 'gravitas', reputation, etc. as means of rising above the competition. 

I also remember being asked and answering two key questions about becoming a self-employed consultant: Separate from your credentials, experience and knowledge, "Are you comfortable talking to strangers? Are you comfortable talking to no one?" Because if you cannot do the first, you won't find clients, and if you cannot do the second, sitting home alone in your office with the phone not ringing an no one to have coffee with will be depressing.


A doctor, an engineer, and a consultant were arguing about what was the oldest profession in the world.

The doctor remarked, "Well, in the Bible, it says that God created Eve from a rib taken out of Adam. This clearly required surgery, and so I can rightly claim that mine is the oldest profession in the world."

The engineer interrupted, and said, "But even earlier in the book of Genesis, it states that God created the order of the heavens and the earth from out of the chaos. This was the first and certainly the most spectacular application of civil engineering. Therefore, mine is the oldest profession in the world."

The consultant leaned back in her chair, smiled, and then said confidently, "Ah, but who do you think created the chaos?"

An efficiency expert concluded his lecture with a note of caution. "Don't try these techniques at home."

"Why not?" asked somebody from the audience.

"I watched my wife's routine at breakfast for years," the expert explained. "She made lots of trips between the fridge, stove, table and cabinets, often carrying a single item at a time. One day I told her, "You're wasting too much time. Why don't you try carrying several things at once?"

"Did it save time?" the guy in the audience asked.

"Actually, yes," replied the expert. "It used to take her twenty minutes to make breakfast. Now I do it in ten."

The classified ad said, "Wanted: CEO needs a one-armed consultant, with a social sciences degree and five years of experience."

The man who won the job asked, "I understand most of the qualifications you required, but why 'one-armed'?"

The CEO answered, "I have had many consultants, and I am tired of hearing with each advice the phrase 'On the other hand…'."

A man had a male cat that howled all night, every night. The sleepless man concluded that the cat has too much testosterone and took him to the vet to be castrated. To his great surprise, the cat continued howling.
"Why are you doing it now?" he asked the cat.
"The other cats hired me as a consultant."

There’s a glass of water on the table...
First consultant says, "It's half full." That’s an optimist.
Second consultant says, "It's half empty." That’s a pessimist.
The Human Resources consultant says, “You have too much glass there.”

A consultant is ...

  • Someone who takes the watch off your wrist and tells you the time
  • A person who in theory knows 99 ways to make love, but doesn't have any actual experience
  • Someone who is called in at the last moment and paid enormous amounts of money to assign the blame

Consulting Revisited

Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.

It takes two things to be a consultant - grey hair and hemorrhoids. The grey hair makes you look distinguished and the hemorrhoids make you look concerned.

An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less, until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.

To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.

After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.

If you consult enough experts, you can confirm any opinion.

Hiring consultants to conduct studies can be an excellent means of turning problems into gold (your problems into their gold).


 How many consultants does it take to change a light bulb?

  • We don't know. They never get past the feasibility study
  • Two. One to change the bulb and one to speculate how Tom Peters would have done it
  • That depends - how much money is in your budget...?
  • None. Time to buy a new fixture - with a service contract. For a reasonable fee we can survey light fixture suppliers, conduct on-site examinations of the finalists, and make a recommendation
  • That's difficult to say. First, we need to do a major study to see if you really need light in that area, determine historically why the light burned out, and conduct an analysis to determine whether it's the right kind of light. We may need to survey employees for risk of light sensitivity. After that, we can: develop RFPs and RFQs, evaluate the abilities of various maintenance workers to perform the task, recommend personnel selection, and supervise the activity.

  A consultant who came upon hard times and had lost quite a few clients was forced to have a serious economic discussion with his wife and told her that they would simply have to cut back. "If you can learn to cook, we can get rid of the cook," to which the wife replied "Yes, dear, and if you can learn how to make love we can get rid of the gardener too."

A consultant is an ordinary person 50 miles from home with a PowerPoint presentation.

A consultant is someone who comes in to solve a problem and stays around long enough to become part of it.

One consultant, told he was a pain in the neck, said he was glad to have been moved up.

A client with one consultant knows what to do. A client with two consultants is never sure.

 A consultant is someone who…

 …spends weeks asking you about your job, then tells you how to do it better.

 …solves a problem you did not know you had, in a way you don’t understand.

 …think a half-day means leaving at 5 o'clock.

 …knows the people at airport security better than the next door neighbors.

…borrows your watch, then charges you to find out the time.

 …has room service on speed dial.

 …is on a first-name basis with the dry cleaner at O’Hare.

 A consultant died and went to heaven. There were thousands of people ahead of him in line to see St. Peter. To his surprise, St. Peter left his desk at the gate and came down the long line to where the consultant was, and greeted him warmly. St. Peter took the consultant up to the front of the line, and into a comfortable chair by his desk. The consultant said, "I like all this attention, but what makes me so special?" St. Peter replied, "Well, I've added up all the hours for which you billed your clients, and by my calculation you're 193 years old!"

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