What other day do we have a free pass to deceive? For the first time in my post college, full time working life, I pulled a prank on my coworkers. I hadn’t planned to do anything to observe April Fools Day. Instead, inspiration came in a flash. Everyone in my office has been discussing the difficulties we’re having with another state agency that provides a service for our local office. One hot topic has been the speculation that this agency would pull out of their contract. Using this knowledge, along with a deft hand at forging the style of a head office memo, I crafted a phony message from on high. It went something like this… “DID YOU KNOW that, effective April 1, 2004; the (state agency omitted) has decided to pull out of their contract to provide (omitted) services for the Child Support Enforcement Program.”
One problem I faced pulling this off was one of delivery. I could not fake the sender on an email message, which is the usual means of sharing this kind of information; so I decided to distribute hard copies via inner office mail. In order to overcome the possible suspiciousness regarding the delivery, I seeded the memo only to those that I thought I would get an immediate reaction out of. My idea was that this initial burst of emotion from a select few would overcome any initial tendency towards suspicion in any of my more level headed coworkers. It worked like a charm. One person retrieved the message from the mail and an impromptu meeting immediately convened in my boss’ office. There was a little bit of swearing, there was a little bit of shouting. It almost worked too good. My boss was reeled in, then my boss’ boss was reeled in. Everyone came down to my office (mine is on the opposite end of our suite from my boss’ office) to discuss the memo. In my best deadpan, I asked when this change was supposed to be effective. “Today!”, they replied. “You mean April first?”, I asked. “Well, yeah… it’s… DID YOU DO THIS!?! APRIL FOOLS!?! OH MY GOD DID YOU HAVE US GOING! THAT WAS CLASSIC!”
Hysterical laughter ensued, followed by a good twenty minutes of cool down and good cheer.
I still can’t believe I actually did it.