Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Project Mayhem


Is your work environment ho-hum? Do you seem to be stuck in a rut, having the same conversations with the same people about the same stupid stuff day in and day out? Does your company’s current “water cooler talk” leave you wanting to jab your eye out with an unsharpened pencil?

Your work life should be considered in the same regard as your love life. If either is flailing, you can bet your bottom dollar you are going to be miserable. If you need advice on your love life, you have come to the wrong place. However, if you would like to spice up your work life, you’re in luck. This book was written for you, custom tailored to suit your particular environment. It may not make your work life any more enjoyable, but it will keep it interesting.

Chapter 1
The Basics

The first rule of thumb for any good prankster is to know your audience. How will your prank be received? How far can you take a prank without repercussions? You should never pull a prank that will cause you to lose your job, unless of course, you were planning to leave that job anyways. If that’s the case, the sky’s the limit.

Another point of consideration is the immediate response of your intended victim. Will a particular prank cause your mark to hunt you down and beat you to a bloody pulp? If the answer is yes, you must then ask yourself if there is anyway for you to pull off your prank anonymously, because this type of person is just begging to be pranked. Consider it public service; you are helping them grow as a person and quite possible saving someone down the line the aforementioned beating. When people learn to laugh at themselves, the little things don’t seem to stress them out as much.

If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. I know this sounds like a comment you would make to a child, but you would be surprised how many people forget this little bit of information. Once the pranks start, you should expect them to spread through your workplace like a wildfire. Yes, this means that you are bound to be a mark at some point from then on. It’s not just a matter of “Do unto others” or any of that philosophical crap. There seems to be a deep seeded need in the human psyche that dictates that a prank be propagated. It is almost as if the only way that we can prove that we are not exceptionally gullible is to make as many people fall for the same prank as possible.
A good prankster should also know their absolute limits. It is a good idea to think a prank through thoroughly prior to implementation. Never pull a prank that could land you in jail or cause your mark to get into legal trouble. Is it possible that the prank could result in serious bodily harm and/or death? I am sure that right about now, you are asking yourself: “Geesh, for a prankster, this guy sure is a worry wart.” All I am saying is that you might want to think twice about rigging up a noisemaker to the desk of a coworker with a bad ticker.

If you do find that you are suddenly the victim of multiple pranks, remember, don’t just get even; get one up. I intend to give you the tools to do just that.

Chapter 2
The Office

Here are a few ideas to stir things up in the cubicle farm. These pranks may not get you promoted, but they are guaranteed to get you noticed.

1. Monday Morning Assault.
Sneak into a co-workers office before they arrive and apply liberal amounts of Scotch-tape to strategic items on and around their desk. Put tape over the ball of their mouse and a small paper clip under their left mouse button. You won’t want to use the whole paper clip, as this will be too easy to spot. Twist the paper clip back and forth until a sizable piece breaks free.

Place a single piece of Scotch tape on the telephone receiver to secure it to it’s stand on one end.

Disconnect their Ethernet connection from the wall jack but leave it in far enough that it looks like it is still hooked up.

Crank the volume on their speakers up to max.

When they come in on Monday morning, the first thing they will do is fire up their computer. The two mouse pranks are the easiest to spot at this point, followed shortly by the blast of noise that spouts from their speakers. Once they get logged on, they realize that they can’t connect to the network (this is a fairly common occurrence in my office) so they grab the phone to call IT. Since the receiver is connected to the heavy base, they both come crashing down on their desk. It is a great way to start a workweek.

Repeat after me: “Superglue is our friend.” You can superglue anything and everything on a coworker’s desk. They beauty of superglue is that once the seal is broken it peels off with little or no damage.

2. My Computer is Possessed.
You should practice this prank several times on your own computer so that you will be able to do it quickly. This operation will need to be performed after your mark has logged into his computer, but has left his desk. It will also help to have a list of changes that you want to apply.

The steps for this prank will differ, depending on the word processing software that your office uses. For my example, I will be using Microsoft Word.

Open a blank copy of Microsoft Word and select “Tools” from the toolbar. You want to open the “AutoCorrect” feature.

Once the option is open, verify that “Replace text as you type” and “Automatically use suggestions from spell checker” are checked.

Begin entering commonly used words in the “Replace” box and your alternatives in the “With” box. Don’t get too exotic here. If you try to keep the words similar, it will be harder for your mark to realize that they are writing a bogus sentence. For instance: “If you refer to the numbers from last year.” Becomes: “If you reefer to the rubme’s from last year.”

You can get as creative as the mind allows on this one, but again, I must caution you to know your audience. Don’t use language that will get you (or your mark) fired if it is used in a correspondence to the CEO. Unless, of course, you think they will get a kick out of it.

3. What’s that Smell?
There are several ways to pull this prank off. Whichever way you choose, remember not to go overboard. A little well placed seafood goes a long way. If it is just the occasional whiff, it will make it harder to find the source and the prank will last longer.
Take a small shrimp (or any other easily concealable smelly morsel) and place it under your mark’s chair. Depending on the type of chairs your office uses, you can place it in the shaft of the chair or just slide it in between the cushion and the adjustment mechanism.

Another option is to use a piece of Scotch-tape (yes, I am quite fond of tape) and attach it to a portion of their desk that faces a wall.

Your mark’s fragrant gift can also be inserted in the heating/cooling vents of their office. This one is a little more risky, as you must climb on something (in most cases) to reach the vents.

Of course, using actual pieces of rotting flesh around the office can leave a trail of evidence. As a more covert option, use fish oil. This will give you a little more flexibility in its application. Just be sure to use a Q-tip to administer the juice so that it is harder to trace back to your smelly hands.

No matter which method you use, within a day the smell of seafood that has passed its prime will begin to get the attention of your co-worker. If the mark is in a cube farm, this prank may actually get several victims at the same time.

4. Bring on the Noise.
Pull string fireworks can be used in several different scenarios to give your coworkers a start. They can be attached from a chair to the bottom of a desk.

If your mark’s desk has a center drawer, it can be attached from the drawer to the back of the desk (again you will need tape).

Poppers (the little white balls that you throw or crush between your fingers to make noise) can be placed under the wheels of a coworker’s chair.

When all else fails; keep it simple. Know when you see a good opportunity and take advantage of it. Everyone has entered the office of a coworker only to find that they are so engrossed in their work that they don’t notice you are there. I recommend using a sudden intense burst of noise to announce your presence.

5. Sudden Movements.
On most office chairs, there is a lever that allows the user to lock in the vertical position that they feel is most comfortable. A minor adjustment to this lever should allow the chair its full range of movement. When your mark goes to sit in their chair, it falls backwards and for a split second your victim thinks they are hitting the floor.


At 11:16 AM, Blogger Leslie said...


That used to be MY word...

...but you may use it now :)

At 11:44 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thanks, and here all this time I thought I stole it from Fight Club. :)

At 6:06 PM, Blogger JohnH985 said...

You are sooooo evil :)
I love a good prank at work. I'm also known for always having a sarcastic comment about everything, it's gotten so bad that before I can say anything people will look at me and tell me not to say anything.

Hey, can I add your bloglink on my links on my site?

At 6:13 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Yeah, it has gotten so bad that I can't really pull many pranks at work any more because they already know it's me. Hell, I think I am the first one they come to anytime a prank is pulled.

Sure, you can add me to your links. I would be honored.


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