We laugh at you at CHUM!

When I learned on the Radio-Canada website that the CHUM offered training from the National School of Humor (ENH) to the managers of the establishment, I thought it was a fish, from April to November. So let’s see! As if the healthcare system had the means to laugh in the midst of a crisis. As if health officials should learn to laugh! But where I was really disappointed was when I saw the title of the training: “AT-CHUM: Because humor is contagious”. Atchum? do you take it Holy shit, the CHUM paid $60,000 of your money for THAT? CEGEP level humor? But who is kidding us here?


We learned yesterday that “Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé’s office considers an expense incurred by the University Hospital Center of Montreal (CHUM) to be ‘highly questionable’.” Radio-Canada’s Thomas Gerbet had revealed the day before that a $60,000 contract had been struck with ENH for training titled “Humor Skills for Managers”.

The minister’s office wrote to Rad-Can by email: “All contracts awarded by establishments must be justified and must be done in accordance with the rules and ensure that they are relevant. Is it suitable for humor training?

To find out if it was “relevant”, I went to the CHUM website, where you can find all the details of this training. I swear, this is no laughing matter. The training takes place in person, in three half days of two and a half hours. Humor, we take it seriously. The training is in charge of Louise Richer (director of ENH) and Benoit Pelletier (humor author).

“Sense of humor skill. Target clientele: All managers of the CHUM. In the framework of the development of its managers and in relation to the new management skill “Sense of humor”, the CHUM, in collaboration with the ENH (National School of Humour), offers a development plan linked to humor and fun at work. This plan consists of 3 levels: each level is a prerequisite for the next level. Topic LEVEL 1: Awakening and Empowerment / the individual The three Level 1 sessions focus on the individual and their relationship to humor and pleasure This characterization will lead the participant to possibly position themselves as a facilitator in your group and in the organization Attend all three sessions Some objectives of this level: Define and frame the fundamental functions of humor Identify your personal attitude towards humor at work Distinguish the functions of the transmitter VS the receiver: intention, perception and effects. Integrate the 4 styles of humor: identify your humorous style. Sharpen your critical judgment. Experiment with the strategies learned. Take responsibility for the act of humor.”


Does it make you laugh to know that the managers of our health care system take seven and a half hours of their time to learn to “identify their humor style”? Are Martin Matte, Guy Nantel team or Rosalie Vaillancourt more trending? Even in his wildest scenarios, Denys Arcand could not have imagined that sane heads would pay for lessons in laughter. This kind of humor makes me sick.