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So I got pranked this April Fool’s – big time…

April 1, 2010, 9:02 PM

So this year, April Fool’s Day was a bit more active on the prank front than usual. This is my third April Fool’s with these people, and the last two were fairly blah.

The first prank that I knew about was an Email that I sent out to the staff outlining some new kitchen procedures:

Greetings, all…

I’ve been reviewing how we run our kitchens, and am implementing some changes.

1) All food containers in the kitchen may only be orange in color. I did some research on this, and came to the conclusion that orange containers preserve food better than any other color, and therefore we will be switching to orange containers, effective immediately. The kitchens will be purged of all non-orange containers at 3:00 today.

2) In order to prevent the unauthorized heating of food, the microwaves will now be password-protected. In order to microwave food, you will need to enter the password, and press clear to lock in the password. I cannot give the specific password here, but I can say that it is Pi to the eighth digit minus 1.000548. It’s really fairly simple once you perform the necessary calculations to arrive at the password, and putting it in is a breeze.

3) The third floor dishwasher may only be run during even-numbered hours, and the fourth floor dishwasher may only be run during odd-numbered hours. For example, if a dishwasher cycle on the third floor is running and the time changes to an odd-numbered hour, the dishwasher must be stopped until the hour number is once again even. Thus the dishwasher may run until 2:59, but then must be stopped until 4:00, the next even-numbered hour.

If you have any questions about these kitchen changes, please let me know. Oh, and by the way… April fools!

All in all, it was kind of cute, and it got a number of laughs. And yes, orange Tupperware-style containers do exist (look it up on “Topeka” and see for yourself), and the microwave password would have been “214104465”. Then my “research” on orange containers’ food storage properties consisted of deciding which color was most outlandish between purple, chartreuse, and orange.

But that was tame compared to what my coworkers had in store for me. I was doing my work in my office as usual, and noticed a high-pitched beeping sound that would go off periodically. It would beep for a couple of seconds and stop. Then it would be a long time and it would go off again. I also occasionally was hearing a short electronic beep that sounded different from the first beep. To me, it sounded like one of my battery boxes was going dead, and that I was hearing the notification tone for that. It was coming from somewhere in the vicinity of both of the ones by my man-sized safes. I have battery boxes around my man-sized safes because the safes block two sets of outlets, and I didn’t want to lose access to the outlets. So I hooked up two battery boxes and put them around the safes so I would have plenty of electrical connections. One is on top of safe #1, and one is on the floor next to safe #3.

I got IT into my office to listen to the sound and try to figure out what it was. They thought that one of the battery boxes might be going dead, too. First I turned off one box, waited, and the sound went off again. So I figured it obviously wasn’t that box. So I turned that one back on and turned off the other one and waited. A few minutes later, I heard another beep. One of the boxes had a removable battery cover, and the other one didn’t. So I removed the battery from the one that had the removable cover. The sound continued going off periodically. Greeeeeeat…

One of the things about my job is that I’m not necessarily sitting at my desk all day. So whenever I was away from my office, I didn’t have to listen to the sound. When I was in my office is when I was going crazy.

I knew that with these battery boxes, the ultimate solution was going to be to take them completely out of my office, but that would involve moving my man-sized safes, which I really didn’t want to have to do. But it seemed that the choice was to either move the safes to take out the battery boxes, or go crazy from the beeping. I chose the first option.

So I grabbed the step-stool, and cleared off the tops of my three man-sized safes. Then I removed the whiteboard from my wall, since it would otherwise be blocking my ability to move safe #1. And then I grabbed the office dolly and jacked up safe #1. I moved it out far enough to get behind it and unplug the battery box (the one without the removable cover) and take it out of the room and put it in the hallway. Then I went to attack the other one. So I moved safe #3 out enough to unplug the other box. This is where I learned of the unfortunate placement of the outlets in my office. The plug was directly on the line between safe #2 and #3, and thus safe #2 was also blocking it. Greeeeeeeeeat. So I had to move the second one out a bit as well, and unplugged the second box and removed that, too.

Then out in the hallway, I heard the beeping again, and it sounded like it was coming from out in the hallway! Gaaah! So I went back into my office, and got a screwdriver, and tried to take the cover off of the box without the removable cover. And my screwdriver wasn’t long enough. So I went down to the building management office and borrowed a longer screwdriver. I got back up, went over to that power box, and prepared to take the cover off of it in order to extricate the battery.

That’s when Patton came over, and asked if it was really necessary to take the power box apart. Then he said he wanted to show me something. We went to my office, he asked me what day it was, and then he reached under my desk, and pulled out these two tiny devices that looked like little circuit boards. He then explained to me that those were the source of the beeping, and that it was all a joke. April Fool’s!

The look on my face definitely said it all, as I realized that I’d been had. They certainly knew how to pull a practical joke, considering I practically ripped my office apart.

Seriously – take a look:

Yeah, I pretty much tore the place apart. And those man-sized safes are more easily moved than I thought. And here are the devices:

The noisemaking devices

Note the word “ANNOY” printed on both of these. Turned out that Patton had originally placed the devices on safe #1 and #3 before I came in for the day, and then later snuck in and moved them when it looked like I was going to move the safes.

It didn’t take that long, however, to get things put back again:

I also found out afterwards that half the office was “in” on this joke. Even Caitlin came by, laughing, asking about how it went.

Of course, now I have to figure out a way to get back at Patton for this. After all, revenge is sweet, and from what I understand, it’s also a dish best served cold. Have any ideas?

Web site: Here's a blast from the April Fool's past, when I did up the main page of my site for an April Fool's joke back in 2002...

Song: Tom Bergeron gets pranked on Hollywood Squares in 2003

Quote: And on the plus side, by the way, I did get to clean up and straighten up the stuff on top of my man-sized safes, so some good certainly did come out of all this...

Categories: Holidays, Work