My April Fools Advice and the Joke I Staged!

Monday, April 01, 2013

A SparkPeople Friend, CRYSTALJEM wrote in her Current Status today, “woke to a hallway filled with stuffed animals looking at her and a toilet that suddenly runs red water. Hmmmmm.... and I can't think of any payback!”

Being the helpful soul that I am, I shared with her the trick that I used to teach our 3 children never to play an April Fools Joke on their Father. I replied, “Laugh and enjoy. Tell them how funny it is! For dinner this evening fix something only you like. For example at my home that would be fried chicken livers, boiled spinach and asparagus. Laugh and say April's Fools as you tell them they must eat it.”

I hope CRYSTALJEM tries it and shares the results!

I learned long ago that it is that there are 2 things to always remember about April Fools Jokes.

1. A lame April Fools Joke that will not inspire retaliation is LAME!
2. Taking ownership of an April Fools Joke that will inspire retaliation is bad because then you live with the fear of retaliation around every corner!

Now to share the April Fools Joke I played on a male co-worker.

Last Friday I was the last one to leave my work area. All of the desk chairs here have cloth bottoms. So, late Friday afternoon when I poured about 32 ounces of water on to my co-workers desk chair cloth bottom, the cloth became wet and the sponge like cushioning material below the cloth sucked in the 32 ounces of water. By this morning the cloth covering the desk chair bottom was dry yet the sponge like cushioning still was full of water. So, shortly after my co-worker sat in his office chair, a loud scream and commotion arose from his office.

I along with others went to see what the noise was about. Seeing the wet behind, someone (NOT ME) asked if he had an accident and was OK.

He kept saying over and over that someone had wet his chair and he sat it in. A few of us suggested that if he were feeling OK, he could go home, change clothing and return. We would get him a dry office chair to use. In fact, I even offered to drive him home if he were not feeling well and then bring him in tomorrow.

For some reason my offer to drive him home if he were not feeling well just caused him to say over and over, “I’m fine! Somebody soaked my chair.”

When a female co-worker pointed out that the back of his chair was dry, his face got red. Now, I knew his face was red from anger, however I wanted everyone to assume it was embarrassment and put my arm around my co-worker and told him that there is no shame or reason to be embarrassed for being ill.

“I’m not ill!” he shouted, “Somebody wet the bottom of my chair!”

“Yes someone did.” I calmly and gently replied. NOTE: I did not lie to anyone and of course no one knows how the chair bottom became wet.

With that, we encouraged our co-worker to go to his home (about 20 minutes away) and change into some dry clothes.

I have a feeling that "Remember the time _______ wet his pants" will be mentioned in conversation for quite a while!

What I forgot to include…….

I forgot to add that the recipient of my April Fool’s Joke has been with the company for a little less than a year and in that time has earned the reputation of someone you have to work carefully with. He is a credit hog who will try to stab anyone in the back. He will ask others to review and comment upon his work (even if you are not involved in his work) and if he decides to incorporate your suggestions and they are well received by upper management or the customer, he NEVER shares the credit.

If upper management or the customer does not like your contribution to his work, he will gladly tell all, Marty suggested I add that or do that in that manner and I did not think it was appropriate but since Marty has more experience with this then I do, I added it. However I can easily modify this to remove Marty’s portion.

If you are in a status meeting and it is his turn to provide his status on an assignment, he will let upper management or the customer know that he is waiting for input from each person he emailed requesting input. He never mentions that you are not part of his work effort and if you do, the normal reply is something along the lines of OK or a nod to him with a comment like, “Smart to get others to contribute”.

You cannot win with this guy. Last month he had a female co-worker in tears after blaming her for something that could have been done in a better manner in his work assignment.

Today he and I are going to an area where no cell phones are allowed. Once we are there, I am going to tell him that I pulled the prank and why. I am also going to let him know that I have removed him from the team that is doing a large customer presentation in a few months and unless he stops acting the way he does, he may want to seek other employment opportunities. I will remind him that I am only telling him that I pulled the prank and if questioned by others I will deny it. Finally I will remind him that I was the only one that offered to assist him yesterday and that is a very loud message from his co-workers.

Imitation is a good thing!

FYI...He stayed at work and damp yesterday! I am resisting the urge to write a bunch of chapped butt comments.

The meeting.....

I had my private discussion with my April Fool’s Joke recipient yesterday. I told him that I had something to share with him and after I was done sharing I would gladly listen to him and answer any questions.

I explained that he had the reputation of being a Glory Hog, who took sole credit for other’s contributions and tried to place any negatives on the shoulders of other’s who were simply trying to assist at his request. I along with others hated to work with him. I did the April fool’s Joke of wetting the seat of his chair so he would get a wet butt to prove a point. He acted like a butt and well all felt that way. I continued if your co-workers liked you, do you think they would have thought it was so funny. No one here except you and I knows who did it. If you try to blame me, I will deny it. Also if you try to blame me, I will assist you to find other employment by making it my duty to see that your employment here is discontinued.

It was interesting to watch him go quickly through a series of emotions.

First there was rage and denial. He stammered partial statements like: “I can’t believe you did that to me! You had no right to. I am going to get you back! I don’t have any issues working with anyone!”

I calmly replied, “OK if that is how you want to proceed and what you believe, then that is fine with me. I’ve told you what I did and what I will do. I’ve shared with you how others feel about you. You do what you feel you have to do and I will do the same. Let’s go back to work.”

Fear quickly emerged. He looked at me wide eyed and asked, “You are sure of yourself? You will get me fired?”

I smiled and replied, “If you reported to me, you would have changed your working behavior a while ago or been let go. But you don’t report to me and since I did not see others stepping up to correct your work behavior, I decided to deliver the message to you my way. Change and I will not assist you to find other employment. Go after me and I’ll go to your going away party. Yep, we will have a party when we know you are leaving and of course not invite you.”

Then there was sorrow and repentance. He pleaded “If I change will everything be OK? Will others work with me? Will you help me? Will you be my mentor?”

“If you change your work behavior I’m sure things will be OK. Share credit and praise.” I said. I continued, “I will not be your mentor. I’ll help you, but no one else must ever know. You see I don’t trust you, so there is no way that I’ll let anyone know I am providing you guidance. I’ll never publicly acknowledge any guidance I provide. The best advice I can give you is to always praise others and share credit and absorb blame. If you ever want guidance always approach me privately. Finally, do not cross me.”

He said he would never cross me, thanked me and we returned to work.

I do not trust him, know he is a weasel and if I am present in any presentation he does and does not thank others for support, share praise and credit, I will smile ask if he had any assistance.

I also am a weasel, a butthead and a jackass. The diference is I use my powers for good. I did not always do so and learned the hard way that Karma is real. So I am all for good Karma.
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