Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some Small April Fools Day Pranks

I'm well aware the I am the prime reason why my co-workers take April 1 off. My pranks around the office have become the stuff of legend. While working for an insurance company soon after I graduated from college, I chose one April Fool's Day afternoon to play a little prank on the entire office. I took several of the leftover pizza boxes from the previous week's company board meeting and stacked them around the cafeteria. I then sent out a department-wide memo stating that free pizza was available in the cafeteria. Dozens of programming nerds schlepped to the cafeteria and all they found was me patting my tummy surrounded by empty pizza boxes. I faked a burp and said "You'll have to be faster than that!".

I've toned down my pranks over the years, mainly for fear of retaliation from progressively smarter co-workers. I'd hate to walk into my office and find it stuffed to the top with stock boxes (again). If you're like me and you'd like to pull a prank or two around the office, but don't want much more than a few giggles, here are a few things you can try:

If You Have An HP Printer:

You can change the status message on any networked HP printer that handles PJL commands. All you need to do is find the ip address of the printer and telnet into it. Drop to the command line of your workstation and type:

telnet [ipaddress] 9100 

Once you are connected, type


Another neat thing to do is to print up announcement flyers to place near your office's copiers. Be sure to use the logo of the company that makes your copiers. Indicate that the copiers have been upgraded with a new voice recognition system. Instruct the user to speak commands such as "Copy 100" to into the Start button of the copier. Inform them that the voice recognition system takes several attempts to calibrate to the user's voice, so multiple attempts will be required.

So, there you have it. These are some short, easy pranks that you can use that won't come back to haunt you later. Happy April Fooling!

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