April Fool’s Day is one of the few days in the year where pranks are expected and sometimes anticipated with glee. But as with everything, there’s a time and a place for elaborate pranks, and it’s probably not at the office.
While it may be tempting to put every single item in your co-worker’s cubicle upside down for April Fool’s day, please exercise good judgment and a certain degree of professionalism while still enjoying a good laugh. Below are some examples of how NOT to celebrate April Fool’s Day in the Workplace…
A Bad Rule of Thumb
An unsuspecting co-worker fell victim to having yellow sticky notes placed on every single item and work surface in his work area. Yes, this may have seemed like a great way to surprise someone and get a great big laugh, but what the perpetrators didn’t realize is that in their “decorating” they’d misplaced a thumb drive that contained a presentation that our victim was scheduled to give first thing that morning.
Heads in the Clouds
I worked for a company where the Operations Manager was loved by all of the employees. So on April Fool’s Day, his loving employees decided that it would be hilarious to fill his office with helium balloons. This seemed harmless enough, or so they thought… Unfortunately, unbeknownst to anyone their beloved Ops Manager was horribly afraid of balloons! Just the sight of them triggered crippling anxiety.
Cash or Trade
Finally, there was a group of guys that loved to play pranks on each other no matter the day of the year. Most of their pranks were harmless and all in good fun, until one April Fool’s Day where things got out of control. Three of the four got together and decided that it would be funny to post pictures of their good friend’s brand new truck on Craigslist indicating that it was for sale. The listed price was either $20,000 or a Lavender Moped (don’t ask). Now, again, this could have been a harmless prank, but when posting the ad they provided our victim’s real cell phone number and his phone began ringing off the hook. To make things worse, the person who set up the ad forgot the password to delete it, so it ran for several days before they were finally able to have it removed. This caused such a distraction, not only to those involved but to all of those around who wanted to know what was going on.
So if you’re thinking of pulling off the ultimate April Fool’s prank, do Human Resources a favor and keep it OUT of the workplace!