A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 24, 2018
“I told my boss I needed a pay raise. I said that three other companies are after me” (joke)

There’s an old joke about an employee asking for a raise:

EMPLOYEE: I need a pay raise, sir. Three companies are after me!
BOSS: What companies?
EMPLOYEE: The gas company, the water company and the electric company.


The joke has been cited in print since at least 1937.


4 May 1937, San Diego (CA) Said to be true one that had its foundation in a wholesale stock room on lower Fifth ave.:

An employe asked his boss for a raise. "If I don't get one," he said. I'll have to leave. Several other companies are after me."

"No doubt," responded the boss cynically. "I suppose it is the gas company, the furniture store and the radio shop."

20 December 1939, Illinois State Journal (Springfield, IL), “Making Conversation” by J. Emil Smith, pg. 10, col. 3: 
Laborer: “I’ll have to have a raise, sir. Three other companies are after me.”
Boss: “Is that so? What companies?”
Laborer: “Light, water and fuel.”

23 June 1941, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg. 9, col. 7:
Much in Demand
As his request for a n increase in pay had been received in a stony silence, Jones thought he’d better strengthen his case.

“You see, sir, the reason I;m asking for more money is because three other companies are after me,” he explained.

His employer smiled coldly.

“Indeed!” he sneered. “And may I ask who they are?”

“Well, sir,” replied Jones, “there’s the gas company and the coal company and the company we got our furniture from.”—Stray Stories.

2 December 1941, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, “Batch of Smiles,” pg. 12, col. 1:
Employee approaching the manager:

“Could you manage to give me a raise of salary, sir? Three other companies are after me.”

“What companies?”

“Gas, electricity, and water, sir.”

Google Books
July 1945, Boys’ Life, “Think and Grin” edited by Frank Rigney, pg. 33, col. 2:
IN DEMAND
Employee approaching the manager: “Could you possibly give me a raise in salary, sir? Three other companies are after me.”

“What companies?”

“Gas, electricity and coal, sir.”

16 January 1947, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, “Try and Stop Me” by Bennett Cerf, pg. 14, col. 4:
“You better give me a raise, sir,” said the assistant. “Two other companies are after me.”

“A likely story,” said the boss. “What two companies?”

“The light company and the gas company,” said the assistant.

Google Groups: talk.origins
Reply to John Harshman
Greg G
2/2/04
(...)
Employee: You need to give me a raise. Three other companies are after me.
Boss: Really? Which companies?
Employee: The electric company, the gas company, and the phone company.

Twitter
Evolve Not Devolve‏
@darwinsf
Worker to Boss: “You have to give me a raise. 3 other companies are after me.” Boss: “Really?” Worker: “Mortgage Co, Telephone Co, Gas Co.”
12:25 PM - 27 May 2010

Twitter
Doctor_Giola‏
@doctorgiola
I told the boss i desperately needed a raise,and to hurry cause 3 other companies were after me.(who?) he said:The Gas,Cable and Phone Co’s!
1:00 AM - 21 Jan 2011

Twitter
Miss Aquarian‏
@AmritaPursnani
‎​Employee: I need salary increment. Three other companies are after me. Boss: Really? Which three?Employee: Electricity,telephone and gas.
12:44 PM - 20 Jun 2011

Twitter
aaquib‏
@aaquib_
Employee: I need salary increment, 3 other companies are after me.
Boss: Which companies?
Emp: Electricity,Petrol &Credit Card companies
6:29 AM - 24 Jun 2011

Twitter
Chris Burns‏
@OneFunnyBastard
I told my boss I wanted a raise because 3 other companies were after me. I didn’t mention the companies were Gas, Electric, and Mortgage.
4:33 PM - 3 Aug 2012

Twitter
Ms. Behave‏
@MamanyaDana
I asked for a salary raise.. I told the HR that other companies were after me..
I forgot to mention they were Credit Card Companies.. 😗😗
8:12 AM - 3 Feb 2015

Twitter
Shit Jokes‏
@ShitJokes
I told my boss I needed a pay rise, I said that 3 other companies were after me
Boss “which ones?”
I said “the electric, gas, & the water”
1:42 PM - 30 Aug 2016

Reddit—Jokes
Told my boss I wanted a pay raise, 3 other companies are after me!
submitted July 8, 2017 by _LadyBoy
He said “Oh yeah, which ones?”
I told him “the gas and electric company, the phone company and the credit card company”

Twitter
Shit Jokes‏
@ShitJokes
I told my boss I needed a pay rise, I said that 3 other companies were after me
Boss “which ones?”
I said “the electric, gas, & the water”
11:45 AM - 25 Feb 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Saturday, February 24, 2018 • Permalink