At work to liven things up a bit (usually at the end of term when I have spare time, and no real inclination or motivation to do anything productive) I like to play pranks. I do this for three reasons, 1) for my own amusement, 2) to wind up a collague and 3) for attention from my similarly ‘hilarious’ workmates. (Yes I am an attention seeker – what of it?!)
Pranks at work can always be a bit of a tricky situation. You want to be admired and revered by your peers as a joker, a class clown. You crave the adulation and worship, to be thought of as ‘funny’. But you do not want to be sacked. To this end, I have created some simple rules – a ‘prankster’s plan’ if you will:
- Never play a workplace prank on someone who won’t find it funny. Especially not the extremely litigious/unionised person. Or the headteacher.
- Never play a dangerous or inappropriate prank. Keep pranks ‘professional’.
- Wait until a prank has come to its natural conclusion before revealing yourself as the prankster. Just in case it a) doesn’t come off or b) goes horribly horribly wrong.
Here are some of the best work pranks I have played over the last few years:
Once upon a time there lived a Grinch, who hated Christmas and all things lovely and fun. He was a colleague of mine who loved nothing better than a good whinge. His department were having a competition to see who could get the LEAST Christmas cards from our students – and had all chipped in for a magnificent hamper for the winner. Grumpy Colleague was winning by far. So on the last day of term to wind him up I asked my class to write him several Christmas cards each (I had bought a cheap stash from Primarni for the occasion). They did this with great gusto, making up messages such as ‘I have never been taught by you but you inspire me in every day life.’ To his horror, he had several million (to the nearest million) cards delivered, making him lose out on the hamper. Grumpy Colleague has since left the school.
Once upon a time there lived another Grumpy Colleague – to avoid confusion I shall call him Sulky Colleague. Sulky Colleague used to come up to the staff workroom in the morning, and began to get annoyed when I played the Michael Buble Christmas album on a loop every morning (it was nearly Christmas – I’m not a philistine). I delighted in the fact that he couldn’t stand Michael Buble, and sneaked into his classroom to put up lovely pitcures of lovely Michael Buble EVERYWHERE. I even changed his desktop picture to a rather homo-erotic pitcure of the Bub. To make matters worse, I hid a small CD player in a cupboard in his tip of a classroom playing – you’ve guessed it – the Michael Buble Christmas album. At the end of the day he went out to his car. On his windscreen, face in, was a picture of Michael Buble. Sulky Colleague doesn’t come to the staff workroom anymore.
Valentine’s Day Cards
To spread the joy of Valentine’s day, I decided to send some prank cards. Valentine’s day is a dangerous one – playing with people’s feelings is never a good shout. So I kept it light-hearted, and sent some very clear ‘joke’ cards. One of the cards was to Glum Colleague (more on him in a moment). Glum Colleague teaches (amongst other things) BTEC Fish Husbandry. Yes – that exists! So myself and my friend Emma (of Jersey blog fame) left a homemade card on his desk, explaining he was our ‘catch of the day’. It’s the thought that counts.
Now this is slightly unusual in that it is a prank in the making – a planned future prank. It involves Glum Colleague – he of the interest in fishing. My friend H and I want to buy him a goldfish in a cute little starter tank (a ‘My first golfish bowl’ type affair) with some hideous tacky ornaments in it and put it on his desk as a nice present. I think it’s a winner – what do you think?
What’s the best prank you’ve ever played? Or what has been the best prank played on you?