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Your own work pranks

David O'Meara

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Not the ones you've heard of. What have you actually done or had played on you?

We had a guy who would dial the number using the on-hook dialling and then pick up the reciever when the person at the other end anwsered. I found it really annoying so we taped his handset down and he couldn't answer them when they answered him...

When I worked in hospitality we switched all the nozzles in the post-mix machine (feeds the syrup for the coke and OJ etc). About half way through lunch the next day we started getting carbonated OJ out of the coke and syrup-water out of the OJ.

In the same restauant we had two phones, one at either end of the staff area. Someone was annoying me so I picked up the phone and hit them on the head. The manager was using it at the time. We also had a trolley used for moving hot foods safely. Another employee climbed into it so we pushed them out into the restaurant in front of customers before they could climb out.

At a different restaurant I set the CD player on repeat so it played the same song for about two hours.

Reflecting on this I'm glad I left hospitality.

Back in IT, I took a snap shot of my desktop, made it the desktop picture and moved all the icons into a folder. Then I asked support why my computer wasn't working.
Ryan McGuire
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2005
Posts: 1044
The good old "x-acto knife leaning against the back of someone's phone"... that's always good for a laugh.

But seriously. I used to share some cube space with an electrical engineer. A good portion of his job involved soldering together prototype circuits. One time when I knew he was working on designing and making the prototype of a 220V power supply, just as he touched the soldering iron to the circuit board, I twisted a roll of bubble wrap right behind him. You should have seen him jump.

Another time...
He was kind of turned to his left, reading some schematics. The soldering iron (still on) and the other tools were over to his right, now basically behind him. It was a Friday around 4:45, and I was talking to some of the other guys, telling them how I just finished one thing and didn't want to start another in the last fifteen minutes before a weekend. Then I said "I know I'll just pick up the soldering iron and poke Rob with it." I know he heard me pull the iron out of the stand. But just as I was saying, "...and poke Rob..." I poked him with a screwdriver instead. You should have seen him jump.

My one boss has a snow globe where you can put your own pictures, sliding them in through the bottom. She normally kept a picture of her husband and newborn son in it. I took a picture of myself, printed it out and snuck it into the snow globe when she was at lunch. A couple days later we got together to discuss allocating people to the projects we had coming up. When I got to her office, my picture was still there. Part way through the meeting, I leaned over her desk to point where a new task could be inserted inthe Gantt chart and "just happen to" notice the picture. I said, "Aww that's sweet and all, but does Jeff (her husband) know about this?" She hit me.

My current boss usually works 8 - 4:30 or so, while I'm usually an hour or so behind that. Last December, when the mail room guy came by to deliver the refill for his dayplanner, my boss was gone and his door was locked, so the mail guy just left it leaning against his door. I grabbed it and sliced the bottom of the plastic open. I then slid out a page and wrote "Give Ryan a raise" on one of the Monday pages, and put the page back in. I had completely forgotten about it until we got to our Monday Morning Meeting on Jan 30 and he started laughing. I didn't get the raise.
Eric Pascarello

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15385
One guy in the office was in a diet competition with one of his friends and was doing a good job. One day we put moon pies in his coat. He said he went to the store, went to pull out his wallet and out came a moon pie instead. He was embrassed.

At one last job this girl was given these smelly candles that she hated so she threw them out. She left for the day. I took them out of her trash and hid them all over her cube. She came for the next week she kept complaining that she could still smell them. Finally she found one. From then on the candles showed up in other people's cubes until they were finally thrown out for good. The greatest was sticking the candle behind the exhaust han on a guys laptop. That hot heat and wind really kicked up the smell.

We also liked to place pictures from the internet in place of our employee pictures on our cubes. People thought that I lived in a trailer with a deer hanging from a tree. I would make up stories about killing the deer with beer cans and a piece of fishing line to hitting it with my car and I could not pass up dinner. Man my team had some good laughs with our fake pictures and visitors.

Ryan McGuire
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2005
Posts: 1044
Originally posted by Eric Pascarello:

We also liked to place pictures from the internet in place of our employee pictures on our cubes.

Oh yeah, cube pranks. We put up some fake name signs on empty cubes. You know, the classics: Ben Dover, Mary Wanna, etc.

It turned out to be an effective way to keep other teams from "invading". Apparently, when a new developer was hired, the manager would walk around the cube farm to find empty cubicles near the rest of his/her team. (It was easier to do that than to use the list of empty cubes from HR.) By labelling the cubes, we effectively prevented anyone else from moving in.
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
When our office converted from open desk space to the first cube farm the building manager laid out all the cubicals in tape on the floor to help the installers. Couple folks made a big ball of tape (from a new roll) and put it on his desk with a note "We cleaned up that mess out in programming". He came running down the hall next day in a panic and found all his tape still on the floor. Bout had an attack.

He got back at us. The blueprints were laying around for the cubes and we all peeked at them now & then. There were items like "camera tracks" and "microphones" all over.

I was just telling my kids about an ancient favorite, maybe 1980. We used IBM terminals that were heavy duty typewriters with continuous fan fold paper in a box on the floor. On about the 2nd day I learned to send a few hundred "form feed" characters to some unsuspecting user in a message ... they would shoot a half box of paper clear across the room in a jiffy.

A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Mark Spritzler

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17276

OK, this one was played on me.

Having optical mouses you can put simple piece of scotch tape underneath and make the mouse not work. So these two guys did that to me, and I went under my desk to see if the mouse was connected, and it was, so I jiggled it, and came back out from under my desk, and sure enough it worked. But what the guys did was actually remove the tape as I was under the desk, so I thought I had fixed it when I didn't. This allowed them to do that to me for a few times till I caught on.

For this other guy, he was always looking at his stocks online at Yahoo. So we took the stock quote page and took the source, from view source. We then changed it to make the stock jump over 4000% from like $6 to $240 and make fake story links to help "support" this huge jump. Then the story links would go to a page that said "Your Mamma". He was an Armed Forces guy, so he was being "restationed" meaning he was an observer on our project. Well anyway, we got that stuff done, but he left before we could hook his computer to go to our fake page instead of the real Yahoo Stock quote page. Bummer, it was hilarious looking and would have gotten him real good.


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David O'Meara

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

One played on me. We had cubes with frosted glass partitions, but you could see from one side of the office to another in a room of 30 odd developers. One guy would ring me, wait till he saw me picking up then hang up. About 4 times a day. Doesn't work so well now with caller ID, but kept me pretty stirred back when. I was sure it was him but had no chance of catching him, so I unplugged my phone
Peter Rooke
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2004
Posts: 817

Jet Set Willy is loading � please wait�.

As kids, we used to go into computer shops, type in a bit BASIC on those Spectrums (with plastic keyboard). Our code produced a game loading screen (complete with those blue / yellow boarder lines) � but of course the game would never load. We used to keep re-visiting the store, to watch customers and shop staff waiting and waiting�

A Small Q.

Used to send young army recruits (especially officers) upstairs to a certain office, having given them instructions to �find the small queue for the clothing store�. In the office was a five and half foot Sergeant Major who was our QMSI, or �Q�. I fell for this one too. He was small but could be quite loud.

Regards Pete
Don Kiddick
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 580
Outlook autocorrect. Sub in 'corrections' such as 'thanks' for 'no thanks', various words for 'Dave', 'hi' for 'for shizzle my nizzle' etc... endless amusement.

Jason Menard

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Most of these were from when I was in the military (your tax dollars hard at work)....

One of the cooler ones I saw was some dude made this little electric catapult and filled it with confetti, wired it into the dispatch radio of our truck, and when we turned on the ignition thus powering the radio and the catapult... a shower of confetti. As I was working on planes at the time, sometimes we would send our new folks around to the different maintenance shops on an errand for some tool or some suuply. For example, it wasn't uncommon for us to send people out looking for things like ten yards of flightline, or jet wash, a left-handed screw driver, or the keys to the jet or something like that.

One of my last jobs I worked shift work in an office that had mostly computer operators in it. That meant we'd go through twelve hour shifts from 6pm to 6am and come up with things to do (besides our job) in order to keep ourselves awake. Mostly this meant messing with each other. We'd do things like attach spurs (yes, real spurs, as in horse spurs) to people's boots while they were sitting at their terminals. The chink chink sound as they walked was endlessly amusing. Hanging things on people was always fun. Some of the folks wore telephone headsets and unbeknownst to them we would stick paper Spock ears on the sides of them or antennaes on top.

The best thing I was able to get someone to do though... We had this one guy who was new to our office and new to the military in general who sat at a computer position. From behind a rack of computers where I could still see him I called him up on his phone and told him I was security and was conducting a random security check. I told him to hold his ID card up to the computer monitor where I could see it, and surprisingly, he did. I told him to flip it around and turn it all kinds of ways while holding it up to the monitor so I could see it, all of which he did. Ah yes, those were the days.
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