At Anonymous Software Company, people in my department seem to have endless amounts of time to play pranks. I’m really not sure when we get our work done. In the past, a former coworker, “K” started a prank war – changing computer backgrounds to inappropriate pictures or running YouPorn on unlocked computers, toilet papering cubicles and eventually escalating to super gluing random items to our desks. Our facilities team had to take a sledgehammer to a number of items to remove them.

After K left the company last year, SpeedRacer decided to step into his shoes as office prankster despite being a manager. It’s been a while since I was pranked, but I honestly never saw it coming. I started a book club in the office a few months ago and after our last meeting I sent out a form with book choices for next month’s meeting, saying that members had 2 days to vote. Last Friday I opened the responses to count them and saw a number that shocked me – 157 responses. Considering that there are less than 20 people in the book club, 157 seems a bit excessive. After looking through the time stamps and books chosen, I figured out what happened.

Someone had written a macro that voted for one particular book over and over, every few seconds or so. The book in question? SpeedRacer’s suggestion. I stormed into mandatory training a few minutes later and sat next to him. He turned to me and grinned.

“Oh, you better hope I’m too busy to prank you later today!” I growled, baring my teeth.

Training started and I spent the first 10 minutes daydreaming about what kind of prank I should play. The problem is, I’m not very good at pranks. They just don’t come naturally for me. So I did what any normal person would do – I Googled it. All of the suggestions were so bland – cover his cube in post-it notes? I would feel too guilty about the wasted trees. Then there are some pranks that just seem malicious – like auto correcting “Dear” to “Douche”, plus he keeps his computer locked. After conferring with WhiskeyGirl, she said she had the perfect idea. She wrote a script that made error messages pop up on the computer when you open a file, things like “Punk” and “Guess I Win!” and “Who’s the chump now?”. We changed the icon to look like an Excel file and I sent SpeedRacer a quick email.

Hi SpeedRacer,

I was working on <sales leads> we derived from the <recent campaign>. <Co-worker> did a pull of the data yesterday but when I looked at the file, it did not completely match <our system> (some of them had different information although they have not been modified in the past few days).

You can see in my file that I’ve highlighted a few that are incorrect. Can you look into this?? I want to make sure it isn’t user error before I alert <Ching, my boss>, since I know she is very stressed about these leads. Thanks for your help!


Then I sat and waited. And waited. And waited; until I was sure I was going to explode. Suddenly, I heard a small curse and I grinned. Gotcha! SpeedRacer rushed over and demanded to know who had written the script for me. We all know I couldn’t do it myself, Jarhead had to explain what the hell Linux is to me. Twice. I’m not very technical. I refused to tell him and just laughed and laughed.

Man, I hope he doesn’t prank me again…