With the advent of spring comes one of the most polarizing holidays on the calendar – April Fools’ Day. No other day of the year so clearly divides the populace into two distinct categories of people: those pulling pranks on those around them and having a good laugh, and the groaning crowds of people looking over their shoulders in dread and wishing the whole thing would just stop already. There’s very little middle ground when it comes to April 1st; you either love it or hate it entirely.
For me, there’s a question of my feelings toward the silliest holiday of the year. Just ask my family. They could regale you, through many an angry glare I have no doubt, with tales of the things I did for the sake of a laugh on this day growing up. In fact, I think my parents in particular still have nightmares about the infamous Coffee Pot Incident from eight or nine years ago. I looked forward to April Fools’ Day the way most kids got excited thinking about Halloween or Christmas. It was one of my absolute favorite days of the year.
Of course, anyone familiar with the cultural icon that is The Office will be familiar with the myriad of pranks that were unleashed upon unsuspecting coworkers and friends over the years. While many of the demonstrated pranks were harmless fun such as the iconic stapler-in-Jell-O gag, or pretending to send faxes to a coworker from themselves in the future, some of the pranks may have landed someone in the human resource hot-seat in real life. This is what makes it so fun, but bear in mind how far you should go when planning your own April Fools’ Day jokes.
Below are a few things to consider when planning an office prank:
- DO NOT tamper with food/drinks/etc.
- The communal office coffee pot is serious business
- Messing with others’ food could create serious health risks
- Anything that is consumable should be off limits
- DO NOT handle or damage a coworkers’ personal belongings
- Would you want someone tampering with your personal family photos, book collection or a commemorative item on display? Different people have different values when it comes to their personal belongings.
- DO NOT inflict in activities that may cause physical harm
- That mousetrap-style pack of trick gum? Might want to leave that one at home
- DO NOT pull pranks involving the bathroom in any way
- Beyond being a personal matter, this would be a major health risk, and it’s a massive invasion of privacy.
As time has gone on, I’ve minimized my pranking every spring, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good laugh still. Even in the professional atmosphere of the office, there’s always room for a little levity and holiday spirit when April 1st rolls around. Just keep it in the fun zone.