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10 more goofy office pranks

Back by popular demand, Brien Posey has gathered 10 additional office pranks he remembers fondly from his long IT career.

About a year ago, I wrote an article outlining 10 silly office pranks I had witnessed during my years in IT. Surprisingly, that article proved to be one of the most popular pieces I have ever written. This year on April Fool's Day, I received email messages from several people asking me if I would write a follow-up article. You got your wish!

1: Overhead bins

At one of the offices where I used to work, each employee's cube was equipped with a series of overhead bins. These bins were metal cabinets that functioned similarly to the overhead bins on an airplane.

Someone in the office had a cardboard box that was just about the same size as the interior of the bin. The box lid had been cut so that it hinged on one edge of the box only, rather than having two flaps that opened in the middle (in other words, the box opened like a book).

Occasionally, we would fill the box with Styrofoam peanuts and place it in someone's overhead bin. We would use a bent paperclip to connect the box's lid to the bin's door. When unsuspecting victims would open the overhead bin, they would be buried under an avalanche of Styrofoam peanuts.

2: The new job

At one of my previous jobs, about a dozen of us would go out to lunch together each day. Normally, we would go to a sit-down restaurant, but one day we ended up at a fast food place. As we were leaving, one of my friends noticed that the restaurant was hiring and asked for a job application.

When we got back to the office, he filled out the job application in another friend's name. In an effort to totally humiliate the victim, my friend misspelled almost every word on the application. The application also said that the victim (who actually holds a master's degree) was a high school dropout and lived with his mother.

We all expected the victim to receive a letter of rejection in the mail. Imagine our surprise when he got a phone call from the restaurant manager who wanted to do a phone interview on the spot. Even though the prank didn't go exactly as intended, we all still had a good laugh.

3: Ransom note

Every year during the fall, one of the companies I used to work for would hire several hundred temporary workers to handle some of the seasonal demand. One year, the company began to have a serious problem with theft shortly after the temps were brought in.

One day I was strolling through the office and I noticed my friend's brand new laptop sitting on his desk unattended. I didn't want to see his laptop get stolen, so I did what any friend would do: I stole it myself.

Actually I didn't steal it. I hid the laptop in my friend's desk drawer so that it wouldn't get stolen. I started to leave my friend a note telling him where his laptop was, but a thief could have easily seen the note and stolen the laptop. So I decided I might as well have some fun and leave a ransom note for the "missing" laptop.

Unfortunately, the ransom note didn't go over so well. My friend was about to use his laptop to present a PowerPoint deck to a client. When he got back to his desk, he saw the ransom note and didn't bother to check his desk drawers. Assuming that the laptop had really been stolen, he went through the presentation without his PowerPoint deck.

4: Conference calling

One guy in the office liked to have fun with conference calling. For this prank, he would pick two victims and put both of them on speed dial. He would call the first victim's number, hit the conference button, and then quickly call the second victim. The two confused victims would usually end up arguing over who called whom. Meanwhile, the guy who initiated both calls would sit back and laugh as he listened to the resulting chaos.

Occasionally, he would use a variation of this stunt and connect someone else in the office to an outside phone number. For example, he would sometimes connect unsuspecting victims to adult book stores or certain government agencies.

5: Vaseline Intensive Care

The phones we used in one office had handsets with concave ear pieces. One summer, it became common practice to fill the area around the handset's speaker baffle with Vaseline so that when the victims answered the phone, they would get an ear full of it. The concave shape of the ear piece ensured that no Vaseline got on the base unit, so the prank wasn't spoiled.

After this prank had been played on various people around the office a few too many times, it didn't work anymore. Everybody got in the habit of looking at the handset before they put it up to their ear. However, this just upped the ante.

Since Vaseline had become too obvious, we started using magic marker. The phones were black, so we used a black marker on the handset. When our victims would answer the phone, they got marker all over themselves. Sometimes, we would color the ear piece, but other times we would color the handle. That way, they had marker all over the palm of their hand before they could even check the ear piece.

6: On eternal hold

Have you ever had one of those days when there are so many interruptions you just can't seem to get anything done? Once when I was having one of those days, I decided that enough was enough. My phone had been ringing off the hook, and my secretary kept reminding me about a bunch of paperwork that had to be completed. Needing a break from it all, I decided to have a little bit of fun.

Using my desk phone, I placed a call to my secretary's line. Rather than dialing her extension, I made an outside call. Whenever an outside call would come in, the caller ID would simply say "Outside Call." When my secretary answered, I disguised my voice and asked to speak to Brien Posey (myself). When she told me that he was on the phone, I told her I would hold. I spent half the afternoon on hold with myself, and my secretary was none the wiser.

7: Unplugged handset

Another way we used to have fun with the office phones was to disconnect the handset plug from the bottom. Because of where the plug was located, it gave the illusion that the cord was still attached. Whenever a call would come in, the person would try to answer the call, but couldn't hear anything because the handset was unplugged.

Of course, it was also fun to fake phone problems with a phone that was functioning perfectly. One day when one of my friends called me, I answered the phone and said "Hello" a couple of times as if I couldn't hear the person on the other end. Since I knew that my friend was listening to me, I slammed the phone onto my desk two or three times, making as much noise as I possibly could in an effort to deafen him. I screamed "Hello!" into the phone one last time before hanging up and swearing at the "malfunctioning" phone.

8: Chair drop

One of the companies I used to work for provided each employee with an ergonomic chair that could be adjusted at five or six points to provide optimal comfort. These luxurious chairs were also an endless source of entertainment.

It was possible to jam any of the adjustment levers into the open position by using the cap off an ink pen. Sometimes, we would put a pen cap into the chair's height adjustment. When the victim sat down, the chair would drop about a foot. We also rigged the backs of chairs so that the back would fall off if the victim leaned backward. It was a wonder that nobody ever got seriously hurt. I think everybody in the office fell victim to the collapsing chair at least once.

9: Junk mail

A local grocery store used to have a bulletin board filled with coupons and various mail-in offers. One of the advertisements on the board was a company that claimed to be able to stop small children from wetting the bed.

Someone in the office got the idea to take one of these advertisements and fill it out on a co-worker's behalf. For the next four years, the victim of this prank kept receiving snail mail at the office from this company. The letters he would receive were anything but discrete. Usually the envelopes contained big, bold print that said something like "Stop bed wetting now." Every time one of those letters showed up, we all had a good laugh. That prank was truly the gift that kept on giving.

10: A BAD server

Back in the days of Novell Netware 3.x, each Netware server had to be assigned a unique hexadecimal ID. Someone thought it might be funny to assign our primary server a hex ID of BAD.

At first, I really didn't think much of the ID that had been chosen. But it was absolutely amazing how many times vendors and consultants would be in our datacenter setting up something unrelated and freak out when they noticed a message on the server console stating that the server was BAD. The BAD server became something of a running joke, and on occasion we even used it as a test for candidates who were interviewing for a job in IT.

Your turn

If you haven't had a chance to share your favorite office pranks with other TechRepublic members, now's your chance. What's the craziest practical joke you ever witnessed (or perpetrated)?

About

Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.

35 comments
bill.strough
bill.strough

This was a prank in which I was the first ever victim at my company. It was just before Christmas and the company sent out an email to sign up for Secret Santa. For those who don't know, each person who signs up puts their name in a hat. Each person then pick a name from the hat and purchases small/cheap gifts for that person for a determined $ limit. This was a two week Secret Santa with a $15 limit. Being very new to the company and not really knowing anyone, I opted to skip Secret Santa for my first year. Well, to my surprise I started getting little gifts on my desk. I confirmed with the coordinator that I was not included and though someone was just putting the gifts on the wrong desk. The gifts continued and got more elaborate and weird (Frisbee, a Dawson' Creek paperback, and the ugliest Christmas decors were only a few of the crazy gifts I received). When it came time for revealing the Secret Santas it turned out that six people got together and decided to play this joke on me. In total there were about 25 gifts. For the next five years the person who was tricked the year before got to pick the next victim (only new employees hired after the prior Christmas would do). The same gifts were passed on along with any crazy new ones. Each year that person contacted the coordinator letting them know they were getting gifts even though they hadn't signed up.

Bob Miller
Bob Miller

About 15 years ago while our local Mensa chapter was still very active sending messages back and forth to one another there were three of us who were always stirring up trouble. I got the idea to send messages out using Outlook and Word as my editor and posted messages with the font color changed to white. The emails would look blank and we'd email each other privately laughing at the reactions we got. It's still a fun thing to do and I think I'll do it again right now to one of my ultra right-wing friends.

Mark.Mathews
Mark.Mathews

Once when a co-worker went on vacation, the boss got the idea to wrap everythnig in the worker's cubicle with aluminum foil. I mean every thing. The stapler. the tape dispenser. the candy jar. the chair. the computer. the moniter. Every square inch, except the floor, was completely covered in silver bliss. Kind'a creepy.

jamierpierce
jamierpierce

Some high school interns played this joke on a new, cocky Systems Engineer. They installed a Blue Screen of Death background on his computer and hid the mouse pointer and task bar at the bottom. The SE reformatted his computer 3 times before he realized what was happening.

firstaborean
firstaborean

My first job in electronics engineering was with Hughes Aircraft. It was 1965, and, a new hire, I was the person on the receiving end of the Eastman 910 prank. I let the fellow apply the clear, watery liquid, pressed together my thumb and forefinger just as he asked, then very subtly rocked them together so as to be able to sense invisibly when the stuff set up. Just as it started to set up, I separated my thumb and forefinger, drawing several fibers of cyanoacrylate between them and spoiling the prank. "I've known about Eastman 910 for a few years," I told the prankster. The next time someone tried an office prank on me, it was 1986. I spoiled that one, too.

Phil689
Phil689

...you couldn't have been very busy working,.. funny though

GSG
GSG

I worked with a guy some years ago that got a paper shredder that sat by his desk. He was constantly shredding and loved that thing. When he went on vacation, I wrote a ransom note in sharpie directing him to the location of his shredder, then shredded the ransom note. I put it in an envelope with a note that he had to piece the ransom note together to find out where the shredder was. He was directed to another shredded note, then finally to his shredder. He was so insistent that his shredder, which made long 1/4 inch wide strips, would protect confidential data, that I couldn't resist proving that it wouldn't. Unfortunately, he did not appreciate the prank. Also, the more recent pranks were that we built a tiki hut around one guy's desk, wtih an opening that he had to crawl through. He left it up several days, and quite enjoyed it. We filled another guy's office with giant trashbag balloons, and another office floor was lined with the ubiquitous red cup that was filled to the brim with water. I will also say that fun size Hershey special dark candy bars that are microwaved for just a few seconds and rolled around on a dusty floor can be molded into realistic looking, uh, "cat presents", so to speak.

John W.
John W.

Back in the day with Windows 95/98 you used to be able to send network messages to individual users that looked like they were coming from a server/network admin. To the trained eye you could tell it WASN'T coming from an admin but for the most part if you didn't pay attention, you could pull off almost anything. Such as telling users they have to reboot several times a day because of "issues" their particular computer was having. I had 1 guy reboot about 8-12 times through out the day because his computer was showing violations of its term of use. And rebooting was a 5+ minute ordeal. He would openly complain to those around him (including me) that he wasn't doing anything wrong. This lasted WEEKS before someone spilled the beans about it. Best IT practical joke I ever pulled.

LedLincoln
LedLincoln

Back in the day when every phone had its own wire pair and caller ID wasn't around to spoil things, I was living in the dorm, and had the means to tap into a second circuit. I patched the two lines together through some switches and a matching transformer that I had rigged up. I had fun connecting two unsuspecting outside people to each other, each blaming the other for calling. The best was when I simultaneously dialed the operator on both lines. Operator 1: "Operator, may I help you?" Operator 2, picking up the line: "This is the operator." Operator 1: "Yes it is." Operator 2: "May I help you?" Operator 1: "Are you having some difficulty?" Operator 2: "No ma'am, who are you trying to reach?" Operator 1: How may I complete your call?" Operator 2 (realizing she's talking to another operator, and taking an air of superior knowledge): You need to disconnect your call before looping into another exchange." [click] I'm rolling on the floor.

crimsonxt
crimsonxt

1. At a previous company, we used to use a photogrammetry program that used configuration files for all of the menus and menu options. If you knew what you were doing, you could modify the menus to do just about anything you wanted. For a couple of users, I mapped every single item to the exit command. It always asked for confirmation before exiting, so everything the user would click would result in a message "Are you sure you want to exit?". Extending the same prank, for another user (who insisted her computer was out to get her) I removed all menus except the "Help" menu. I removed all options from this menu and added one that said "Help Me!". Upon clicking, a message would pop up that said "There is no help for you." 2. We had a user who was well known for his paranoia. I created an application that would display a graphic of a small cartoon dog wagging its tail on the screen. The dog would display a random number of times per day, at random intervals, and for a random length of time, no more than two seconds. Every time it popped up he would freak out and start yelling "there's the wagging dog again!" Everyone except those who knew thought he was losing it. 3. A coworker and I managed to get a hold of the employee picture of the guy who took care of shipping. We took the picture and put it in front of a funky looking rainbow colored background. We then scaled it to the exact size so that when printed, we could run it through the cross cut shredder and have confetti with a tiny little picture of the guy on both sides of each piece. We then mixed it all in with the packing peanuts in the overhead dispenser. He didn't notice for some time. Every single package that was shipped for months on end contained a littering of the tiny little pictures. Since many of the packages were shipped round-trip, we were able to verify that the pictures continued to go out for some time. 4. When one coworker went away on vacation for two weeks, someone formulated a plan to get him. We had one person who was particularly good at photoshop. We provided him with a variety of head shots of the guy. He then took a variety of pictures from his desk: CD covers, book covers, pamphlets, etc. Anything that contained a picture of a person. He then picked one person in each scene and photoshopped his head / face in the picture, printed the new version, and replaced the original. He was Willie Nelson, Bob Marley, some opera singer, people in magazines, and many more. The best part about it was that the photoshop jobs were so good, you wouldn't notice unless you paid attention. Literally everything on his desk with a picture of a person had his face on at least one person. To top it all off, dozens of tiny prints of a goofy picture of him were made and placed everywhere: taped under his keyboard, between documents in his drawer, behind his monitor, under his chair, under the desk, everywhere. It would be years before he was able to find them all.

Bob Miller
Bob Miller

I can remember when all the "techicians" used the Auto feature on their Tektronics o'scopes. They'd leave for lunch and the gig was on. I'd set up their o'scopes to a one time trigger, reduce the brightness to zero, trigger on event, rotate the display and everything else I could think of. What fun to see them try to figure out what to do to get their scopes to working in a manner that they could handle. They didn't make techs back then like the ones the navy put out. Most today only have a specialty. One trick ponies. And still can't find a use for a four input high speed O'scope nor realize when they're having aliasing problems.

barry.brown2006
barry.brown2006

1. Way back when I was a bench technician for Montgomery Wards, we had a fairly new technician who was very afraid of electricity. This was back before computers, when the TV's were hybrid with both tubes and solid state parts. The HV tube that drives the HV transformer had a plate cap. I told the manager of my intent for the next day he was all on board. I looked at the tech's schedule of work and pulled his first repair from the shelf, repaired it and replaced it back on the "To Do" shelf. I placed the wire of a little gag thing called an "Auto Fouler" under the plate cap of the HV tube. This thing was meant to go under the spark plug wire inside of a car. When you start the car, it starts to whistle very loud, explodes like a fire cracker and then emits tons of smoke. I figured the 1200 volts on the plate cap would be enough to set it off. We all stood back the next morning and watched the tech got his coffee, pull the TV from the shelf, proceeded to go into his very small booth and closed the door. After about 30 seconds, we all heard the audio from the TV because that part was solid state, then when the tube warmed up, the device went off with a very loud whistle, explosion and plenty of smoke. We could hear him screaming through the door. He came running out of the booth with his eyes wide open, arms flailing, face white as a ghost and saw everyone laughing their heads off. He immediately pointed to me and said, "You, You did this!" Later, he did join the laughter with the rest of us and told us that when the whistling started, he pulled the power cord but the sound kept on and when the smoke started, he just freaked out. The TV suffered no harm whatsoever in this prank. Edit: The device used was a "Auto Fooler" and you can still buy them today. http://www.fakecrap.com/auto-fooler-p/1002.htm Only $1.50 - May buy a few of these! 2. I taped a large 18inch Degausing Coil under a very long repair bench in the center of our repair center. I ran the cord down one of the legs and into my booth. One of the new techs came in and put a color TV on the bench directly over the spot where the coil was. When he got the TV working, I would switch the degausing coil on and off several times. This would distort the screen many times more than a single magnet would and also really messed up the color even after the coil was off. He would get other techs to help him and while they were looking at the screen, I simply hit the switch again and he would say "You see that? What could be causing that" The other techs would say, "Wow man. I have never seen that problem" I had to tell him after about an hour of troubleshooting and he got a good laugh as well. 3. Then there was a fellow worker that was complete jerk back in the Dos days whom everyone disliked. I proceeded to modify his command.com file with a hex editor and changed his startup screen to display "name-name is a total as--h---" several times when it first booted up. He was very upset to say the least and proceeded to look closely at his Autoexec.bat and config.sys files for the text. After a while, he decided to reformat his hard drive and reinstall Dos. What he didn't know was I changed his command.com file on his Dos installation disks with the same line of text. Every time he reformated and reinstalled his dos, the startup text was still there. After a few hours, the boss told me to fix his computer because he was tired of hearing his whining. I did and actually later we became very good friends and are still friends today.

ProjectDoc
ProjectDoc

30 years in the business and didn't experience or see any of these where I worked. Frankly, I'm not the least bit sorry for that. Boring can be good.

Bob Miller
Bob Miller

XP Pro has a feature in the desktop menus that allows you to rotate your screen by 90, 180 or 270 degrees. It's a bear to fix because your mouse doesn't respond the way it should because it, too, is rotated. It'll drive people crazy trying to figure out what they did wrong.

Mihi Nomen Est
Mihi Nomen Est

1) I was responsible for an office automation machine which had the 3420 reels with it. The plastic strip which held the end was the same color as the red light shining through a hole on the keyboard template. I threw his keyboard offline, put the plastic strip behind the template, and waited to see what happened. I could hear him (behind me) typing away, but nothing except the keystrokes occurred. "Are we down?" "No!" someone yelled. Eventually, he started checking all of the cables, what was plugged into what, etc. and the plastic ribbon was found. 2) I decided to go after the same guy. I was relatively new, so I didn't know about everyone, their history, etc. He'd get a full mug of coffee, head for the machine room, tear off the greenbar from the console, and take it back to his desk. I started putting things in his unguarded coffee: salt (no response), Binaca concentrate, etc. Nothing phased him. I was stumped. One day, he was walking into the men's room as I walked out and I forewarned him what awaited him. "That won't matter -- I had a brain tumor and can't smell or taste anything." Damn. That rebounded on me. 3) I was working at a startup with oodles of wired, but unused phone jacks. I was getting tired of spam at that moment, so I plugged a phone into it, responded to a spammer for refinancing mortgages. About two minutes later, the phone rang. When I told him the phone was on the DNC (Do Not Call) list and he said something like, "He TOLD me the lines had been scrubbed. After two more calls, there was a call from someone who was madder than... The proverbial throbbing vein in the corner of his head had to be purple. He was the "owner" of the spam and sold access to the information for the parameters they specified. We tried again a few days later and got the same response. After that, we'd been laughing so hard (not as hard as the time we put Gaines Burger in the college's salad bar) but still pretty hard.

repeters
repeters

Having cubicles back to back with a shared phone and Ethernet common access, some employees found their mouse jacks plugged into their neighbors computer. The response was always entertaining. It worked especially well if the mouse jacks could be replaced into their proper respective computer port BEFORE tech support could respond for diagnosis.

repeters
repeters

As an office supervisor at a large computer manufacturer, I was called upon many times to mediate with our manager for his habit of filching the underlings snacks and food. On one occasion, after an egregious attack upon a tray of cup cakes, I recommended the offended employees make a batch of brownies laced with Ex-lax and frosted with Ex-lax. After consuming many brownies, the boss lasted about two more hours of work before he had to bail for home in a big rush. Of course, the office had a lasting laugh but the event did not cure the boss.

JTParts
JTParts

We had a manager who's office was down a long hallway. You could see him coming down the hall to our cubicle area. Since his visits were usually unpleasant, I would wait for him to get about halfway down the hall then dial his extension. He would stop and go back but of course I would hang up just as he was about to enter his office. I would usually repeat this 3 to 5 times and he almost always went for it, sometimes sprinting back to his desk in an effort to catch that call. Of course this was before we had any caller ID and it did make his visits even less appealing. Asking us "whats so funny?" over and over helped. I once rang him into 8 consecutive trips back. Laughing now just picturing him lumbering back to the phone.

Slayer_
Slayer_

It worked semi well, however, it started to mold so we took the plastic off and the grass died within an hour. But the prank was ruined earlier than that anyways, it was supposed to be played on a guy coming back from Mat leave, but he decided to quit his job at the end of his leave, so he never saw it anyways....

PReinie
PReinie

In the days before LCD screens, people at Motorola would take a strong magnet and place it at certain positions by the CRT, diverting the beams into something other than desired. They would call the help desk to report the problem and if you were lucky you could sneak in there and remove the magnet before the help desk showed up. You answering the phone and pretending to not hear the other person is timely because two nights ago my son started a Facetime (Apple's Skype) with me. I answered it on my iPod (touch) and he could hear me, but I could not hear him. So I called him with my Mac (Lion has Facetime too), and he could hear me, but I couldn't hear him. Two devices, same problem. I rebooted my cable modem, router and Mac and it still didn't work. It must be on his end. So we kept Facetime open so we could see each other and he called the house phone with his cell phone. AND I STILL COULDN'T HEAR HIM! I called his cell with the house phone and we talked with telephony and watched via iPod. We never found the problem, but I suspect it's his end.

tdrane
tdrane

Back in the old days of calling a number for a free "sample" of some audio porn, we'd call one, and transfer to somewhere else in the compound.......

keith2237
keith2237

I worked with friend who constantly left his computer unlocked when away from his desk. I tiled his desktop with small smiley faces. He immediately knew who the culprit was. He told me not to put small smiley faces all over his desktop. The next time he left his computer unlocked I left big smiley faces all over his desktop. This time he told me not to put big or small smiley faces all over his desktop. Next time I left one BIG smiley face in the middle of his desktop. He informed me not to leave a BIG smiley face in the middle of his desktop. So, I left a small smiley face in the middle of his desktop. Finally, he had enough and said no more smiley faces anywhere on his desktop. I could tell he was getting really annoyed with this and relented to doing no more smiley faces. A variation on the overhead bin trick was done to me by a coworker. He placed a sheet of 11x17 paper on the bin shelf, placed another piece as a sort of wall and then filled the bin with packing peanuts. He closed the bin, pulled out the paper acting as the wall and trimmed the bottom paper so it could not be seen. He then taped the bottom paper to the door. When I opened the bin the bottom paper pulled the full contents of the bin out and all over my desk. This was in retaliation for my filling his desk drawers with expanding foam.

dave
dave

Then there was the "tape a magnet" to the neck of a CRT. It took a bit of experimenting to get the best twisted effects on the screen.

gmalafarina
gmalafarina

On a rainy day we would take the paper punches from a three hole punch and put them into a coworkers umbrella. This works best with a large umbrella. When the coworker opens his umbrella he is greeted to his own ticker tape parade.

iskaggs
iskaggs

Back in the days when you used to be able to call a local phone number for the time, I pranked a very cranky woman who absolutely refused to heed the no smoking rule in our office. (Don't ask me why management allowed it. I wish I knew.) Anyway, once a week or so, I'd call the Time number and transfer it to her line. I could hear her clearly over the partition wall. "Hm. The Time just called me. Hm." It's a wonder I never gave myself away trying to muffle my laughter. Also, sneaking a piece of bubble wrap (the kind with the big bubbles works best) under someone's rolling chair is fun. Typically they won't know it's there until they roll over it and it sounds like firecrackers going off under the chair. Another good one is to invest $10 in an Annoy-A-Tron from ThinkGeek. It's smaller than a business card, has a magnet so you can attach it to the back of a file cabinet and it emits a randomly timed, high-pitched beep that is all but impossible to track down. Of course, you have to pretend that you don't hear it. Long live the office prank! :)

DT2
DT2

Whenever anyone in my office would go on vacation someone would fill an empty coffee can with shredded paper and place it inside their overhead bin so it was leaning against the door. When the victim returned all the confetti would dump on their desk. Knowing this was going to happen to me I pre-emptively did it to the "prime prankster" in the office before I left. She immediately knew who the culprit was and headed straight to my desk to get me back. What she didn't know is that I had also set my overhead bin up the same way. When she opened mine to prank me back she was hit again with a load of shredded paper. Now she had two messes to clean up. Back in the days of DOS I wrote a program in C that simulated a hard drive format operation and placed it in my co-workers autoexec.bat file. The program looked real as I had copied all the text from an actual format exactly. At one point the program asked "Format C: Do you really want to do this? (yes/no)." No matter what the person typed the word "Yes" would appear and then the program would count down tracks and sectors as it "formatted" the drive. Didn't really work, though. We had pranked each other too many times and he was on to me.

xaqster
xaqster

Here are two fun pranks that I remember doing. The first one that we did was to take a snapshot of the desktop, set it to the wallpaper, then hide all of the desktop icons. The second was to go in to the colour settings and create a custom scheme where every colour is black. It is great fun to watch people's pc boot, and then pop up dialogue boxes in black with black text on a black background....

dave
dave

Our offices had the standard drop ceiling. I took a sausage balloon, filled it with hole punch confetti, blew it up and tied it off. Around the balloon I wrapped a very thing wire and then hooked it to some lamp cord which was run into the adjacent office. One side of a ceiling tile, over the victum's desk, was raised up and the balloon inserted to keep it propped up. When the victum came into his office and sat down at his desk a 12 volt battery was hooked to the lamp cord. The thin wire immediately got hot, popped the balloon (more like exploded), blew out the confetti on the person and desk. The balloon now collapsed allowed the ceiling tile to neatly fall back into place leaving the victum wondering what hit him.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Was to stick a Speaker into the desk Filing Draw and turn the volume up all the way while altering the balance so that only the speaker in the draw made any sound. When the victim turned on their workstation after logging in they got the sound of a Wild Charging Rhino coming from the draw along with a Audio saying For Gods Sake don't let it out or we'll all be killed. The number of times that they just walked away for half an hour and did nothing was amazing. Of course the same thing happened next time that they logged on so it was ongoing till they actually did something like call the Help Desk to get the Wild Animal removed from their Desk. Then at one auto dealer the mechanics liked planting Radiator Conditioner Bottles filled with the Oxy Gas and an old Spark Plug rammed in the top to one High Tension Lead so that when the victim tried to start their car it exploded. Made lots of noise and did absolutely nothing else. Of course the Apprentice that did it to me was a [b]Smart A$$[/b] and said that he was free of repercussions because he had a Diesel and no Spark Plugs. I started out making one of these and cable tieing an Old Coil and bottle onto the Frame of his 4 Wheel Drive and a contact switch under a wheel so that when he drove off the switch broke contact sent a big fat juicy spark to the Gas Bomb and blew. Naturally I wanted a Big Bang so I used a 2 Liter Bottle instead of the 500cc that was normal and scared the hell out of him. Not being satisfied with that I then set about making a timer and using that to trigger the Oxy Bomb. The last one was set to start timing as he left work and trigger 12 hours latter so at around 5 AM it blew and had him race out of bed and get done for indecent exposure while looking at his car for what had happened. Apparently you are not supposed to take your top off in the wee small hours and scrape things off the underside of your car. I had him begging for mercy every day till I left that place and the Indecent Exposure was a little thing compared to the other things he got done for like going to the Police Station to hand in a license for DUI and driving there drunk as a skunk and demolishing the front fence as he pulled up. That was bad enough but they let that slip till he tried to drive away and drove into the front of the building because he didn't want to reverse out. And because I did the Police Cars I had the Police in on the joke as you most defiantly can not let off Big Bangs in a small Country Town without having them involved. :D Col

mikelane
mikelane

I had an short audio file of a large fart sound, followed immediately by a baby's cry (as if the baby just became the victim of the foul smell). On a few select users' computers at work, I changed the default Windows startup theme sound to this audio file and turned the sound up to the maximum volume. When these employees logged in the next morning, they attracted a lot of attention.

GSG
GSG

That's what lunch is for! We eat at our desks, don't usually get breaks, and if we do try to eat in the cafeteria, we can't hardly eat from everyone interrupting asking us for help, so we can take some time now and then to decompress.

Bob Miller
Bob Miller

Wow, you've had some fun. I'm not WAS at software, but I appreciate what someone with skills can do. Impressive.

pgit
pgit

I've had a few impatient types inadvertently hit the keystrokes to rotate the screen, one of them turned the monitor over on it's side and kept using it until I got there. I once showed up to find a laptop sitting up on it's side as well, closed down to 60 degrees or so, so it would stand up. The employees said they didn't actually use it that way, but placed it like that as a visual reminder that their impatient, less than tech savvy boss had "done something" to it to rotate the screen 90 degrees. (I showed the boss the keys she hit accidentally, she said "yeah, I think I did that")

Mihi Nomen Est
Mihi Nomen Est

I was fortunate to have my own clientele during my Summer breaks (and weekends if I wanted to score some easy work). We noticed a small box of several wires, including a brown one. We snipped off a length, yanked the wire out, then cut the sheath so it was basically a brown tube, but of the right size such that we could cut it into pieces - enough to look like mouse turds. We spaced them out so it wouldn't be blatant, just enough to lead off one side of the desk and under a stack of paper

Mihi Nomen Est
Mihi Nomen Est

25 years ago, a couple of us were called to look at a monitor sitting on an executive assistant's. It was in POB (Professional Office Building) and very visible. It seemed very odd because the screen's contents would warp every so often. A couple of us paced the hallway for a few minutes and happened to see the elevator going up & down and realized it could be the source of our problem. Someone hijacked the elevator and rode it down & back up so we could test it. That monitor wasn't right next to it, but there was enough juice to cause problems.

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