Good Employees Gone Foolish

I wasn’t going to post until Sunday, but I was inspired.  April Fool’s Day is a bit of a tradition in our department at work.  For the past two years, we have harassed our boss, and this year was no different.

Our plan “A” didn’t work out so well.  We (okay, “I”) painted the tips of all of his pens with clear nail polish.  After four coats (with fifteen minutes of dry time in between) I tried to write with them.  Of course, all but two of the pens wrote perfectly fine.  Sorry, Sally Hansen, but your Diamond Strength No-Chip nail enamel was no match for the super-human strength I exerted when pressing the pen tip onto the paper.

Fifteen minutes before our boss normally arrives, a co-worker lamented that if we only had string, we could suspend the things on his desk top from the ceiling.  The dim light bulb flickered in my head.  I didn’t have string, but I had a nearly-full tape dispenser.  Good employees are able to think under pressure and come up with creative solutions to problems; good employees can cover their tails with a plan “B” when the original plan falls apart.  (Sadly, smarter good employees don’t target the boss.)

Proving myself to be the less intelligent variety of employee, I immediately ran into my boss’ office, grabbed all of the pens from on top of his desk and in his drawer and began the task of taping the pens to the ceiling.  When I ran out of writing implements, I grabbed notebooks, lotion, pretzels – his cup; anything lightweight enough to suspend with Scotch tape.

 At first, one of my co-workers helped steady the table I stood on and handed me pens.  That changed at some point and I realized the existence of evidence that linked me to the “crime.”  I should’ve been worried, but it didn’t matter.  If the past is any indication of my future (or present) actions, he would know that I had something to do with it anyway. 

We had another part of plan “A” that didn’t fail completely.  A co-worker ordered an Annoy-A-Tron and set it to a “beep” sound.  I was in a meeting in his office and no one commented on the intermittent beeps.  After lunch, they changed it to a cricket chirping.  This, my boss noticed and was able to track down the device before I left for the day.  I hope my co-worker gets it back so we can do better next time.  (A good employee always looks for ways to improve his or her performance.)

Annoy-A-Tron by ThinkGeek

The last prank we did was after lunch.  I placed three cups upside down on his desk.  Under two of them, I had innocuous items, but the third had shredded paper, salt and pepper packets and condiment packets (we cleaned out our desks.)  When my boss returned from lunch, he said that in light of the previous events of the day, he was reluctant to lift up the cups.  I told him I’d do it for him to prove it wasn’t bad.  (A good employee offers to help the boss without being asked.)

I lifted up the cup to reveal a fun size candy bar (from his candy dish.)  “See, it’s not bad,” I said with a smile and started to leave.

“Wait, what about the other cups?” He asked, still skeptical.  (A good boss knows not to put is trust in scheming employees on April Fool’s Day.)

“What about them?” I asked.

He lifted up each of the cups, finding a note that read, “Happy April Fool’s Day,” and the last cup, which held the shredded paper mess.  He laughed and shook his head (and called me a “dog.”)

Thank goodness the boss has a sense of humor…and that my performance review isn’t due anytime soon.   I am a (fairly) good employee 364 days a year, but I can’t resist the lure of the foolish antics that beg to be set free on April first.

Do you do any pranks (big or small) on April 1st?  What’s the best prank you ever pulled?


16 thoughts on “Good Employees Gone Foolish

  1. Tim Weaver April 2, 2011 / 1:27 AM

    On a forum I am on, the owner axed the general discussion forum (off topic) for April 1. Everyone has laughed. Until they get the REAL April Fool joke…that it isn’t a joke.


    I guess you had to be there. 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 3, 2011 / 11:10 PM

      Sorry, I missed your comment yesterday, Tim!

      Sometimes it’s hard to tell when a joke is a joke in the business world. I always treat everything as ‘business as usual’ because I’d sure hate to ignore a serious request because I thougth it was a joke!

  2. Jguno April 2, 2011 / 5:10 AM

    Very funny 🙂

    I remember the prank I made when I was 10. I woke up my little brother at 7:00 pm (he was sleeping from 4:00 pm, I don’t know, he was sick maybe…). It was winter and dark outside, I lied him “Time to go to school! Look at the clock, it’s 7:00 am!” He bought it and clothed himself, crawling to his school. An hour later, he came home and wept. I remember him shouting at me “Go to hell!!”.

    Of course, I don’t do that again 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2011 / 8:41 AM

      That was not nice, Jguno. Funny, but not nice 🙂 I’m surprised your parents didn’t get mad at you.

      I hope all is forgiven for that prank, especially since you haven’t done something like that again! Thanks for sharing your prank story – I enjoyed it a lot 🙂

  3. Carol Ann Hoel April 2, 2011 / 7:05 AM

    I should be so creative! No, I usually end up the victim of such fun, but I can never think of anything funny like you did. What fun! I’m glad you and your co-workers and boss enjoyed April Fool’s Day. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2011 / 8:46 AM

      This was quite tame compared to what we did two years ago. My boss has a thing for editing (a lot) with red pens. So, we gathered the blue and black ink pens and helped them stage an uprising. They took all of his red pens hostage and left ransom notes throughout the day and even had pictures of torture that his beloved red pens would endure if he didn’t follow through with all of the demands. Oh, and the ransom notes had LOTS of typos, just to drive him nuts!

      Our rule is to keep it fun but not destructive. It is too much fun, Carol. You should try a prank next year 😉

  4. SuziCate April 2, 2011 / 7:22 AM

    Sounds like great fun…good thing your boss has a sense of humor!

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2011 / 8:48 AM

      I imagine if he was a cranky boss we wouldn’t even bother. We think he secretly likes the attention – that’s the only explanation for him not taking the day off every year!

      Thanks for reading about our fun, SuziCate!

  5. SAS Fiction Girl April 2, 2011 / 9:00 AM

    I don’t always wait for April 1st to pull a stunt. The “worst” thing I ever did ended up targeting the wrong person.
    In my parents’ house, there is a tiny downstairs bathroom with a shower wedged in about twelve inches away from the toilet. We had the shower installed when my Grandma came to live with us and she couldn’t go upstairs.
    So, when my younger sister was living at home, I placed a pair of my dad’s shoes (old ones, which she wouldn’t have recognized), in the shower with the toes just sticking out beneath the shower curtain. I hoped she would think someone was hiding in the shower. Then I totally forgot about them.
    Well, one night, my mom started whooping and hollering and charged out of the bathroom, yelling, “Who did it? Who put the shoes in the shower?”
    I started laughing because I hadn’t thought about the shoes in days. Mom said she sat down on the toilet and saw the shoes, but she thought it was my dad pulling a prank. Then she realized she’d passed him on the way to the bathroom. So now she’s sitting on the toilet, pants down around her ankles, thinking there’s a prowler in the shower. And that’s when she freaked!
    Mom said she was most upset that while she was down there hollering, none of us came to see what all the fuss was about. Poor Mom.
    Meantime, my sister had seen the shoes earlier and left them there, thinking they had been washed and left to dry. Oh well.
    For another prank I’ve pulled, go to and scroll down the comments until you see my post under “Jennifer M.”

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2011 / 9:13 AM

      I like the work prank. I’d be a bit put out by re-using paper towels, too.

      The shoes in the shower…now that’s a good one. I can just picture her freaking out, while no one even noticed! (I could actually see that happening with my own mom, which is funny :))

      Thanks for sharing your April Fool’s pranks, Jen – awesome laughs for the day after prank day 🙂

  6. clarbojahn April 2, 2011 / 5:10 PM

    I just tried to publish an after April fools day post with your post on it and the editor went wild and my post is locked. The edit won’t quit and I think I’m gonna have to kill the page as they say. Wonderful post, Janna.

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2011 / 11:39 PM

      Thanks, Clar – I’m glad you liked the post. I’m not sure what happened with your post, but I hope you were able to get it straightened out 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2011 / 11:39 PM

      Thanks for adding my post to your April Fool’s List, Nancy 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2011 / 11:41 PM

      That is a crazy story! Thanks for including the link, as I hadn’t found your blog yet when you originally posted it. I’m not sure how you’re going to top that one…

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