Monday, August 30, 2010

Office Pranks

In my 40-something years of existence, I’ve been both giver and receiver of various practical jokes and pranks. You would think, at some point, a person would grow out of this childish behavior. That has not been my experience.

I work with a group of people addicted to the television show, “The Office.” Although unfamiliar with this show myself, I’ve listened in on enough conversations to get the gist of what the show is about. Apparently, in one episode, one unfortunate employee came to work to find everything on his desk encased in gelatin molds. Imagine my chagrin, at coming to work several weeks ago, to find this waiting for me on my desk.

If you look closely, you should see a stapler in the middle of a very dark blob of, yes, green gelatin. I told them they really should have used a lighter color. This was, of course, very amusing to all concerned. I had a very good idea who the ringleader of this little scheme was, so I promptly picked up the mold, took it to his desk and swapped it with his “non-gelatin-mold-encased” stapler. After the laughing subsided, I was told that it wasn’t my stapler at all and was the private property of the ringleader. No destruction of actual company property had taken place, and he was merely hiding my stapler in his desk. He had a nicer stapler so it was still awhile before I consented to getting my own stapler back.

I realized it has been a long time since I’ve written anything, so I got the idea of saying something about pranks. As I said earlier, I’ve been on both sides of the practical joke coin over the years. One of the more memorable pranks I can remember was when I came back from a few days vacation to find every single drawer in my office, as well as the entire surface of my desk and floor covered with Styrofoam packing peanuts. Even after cleaning it out, I was still running into those little goobers for weeks afterwards. Taking a vacation is a risky business where I work. I guess it’s nice to know you are missed.

The most memorable, however, was several years ago, not long after I started. Someone had come across a program that made your computer emit sounds like flatulence at random intervals every few minutes. I have to say, it was a very creative program. It didn’t just have the same sound, there were all different varieties that issued forth. I didn’t have this put on my computer, but I did have to go around and try to figure out how to get the program off the infected machines. It was quite an ordeal and wasn’t nearly as funny after I’d been at it awhile. The program was very hard to remove. It tended to come back every time I thought it was deleted. Then you would have to wait several minutes because the rude noises weren’t all that frequent. You never knew after so many minutes of silence, if the thing would start up again. Finally, I did manage to find a way to get the program removed permanently.

Any other pranking stories out there?