I don’t generally approve of pranks in the workplace because we’re supposed to be there to work. A good laugh never hurt anybody that I’m aware of, but it always seems to escalate; wasted time, damaged equipment and employee safety can become concerns.
There are such things as good pranks, though. Here are a couple that I see as harmless:
When I drive a large truck I’ll sometimes see somebody on the side of the road pump their arm; giving that “blow your horn” signal. I’ll reach up and pretend to blow my air horn while actually honking my normal electric horn (meep, meep). They usually look puzzled or amused. No wasted time, no reckless behaviour; a good prank.
One of my favourites was done by a coworker in Canada’s Ministry of Defence:
If you were looking a little scruffy he’d leave a memo on your desk saying something like, “Call Joe at ### regarding this Friday’s parade.” You’d call the number and discover that Joe was a local barber.
I’ve been witness to a few pranks and lived vicariously through the stories of others. I’ll share some later….
Next: The many uses of grease in workplace pranks.