Probably every one of us, sometime, has been the victim of an April Fool’s Day prank.  It all starts in our youth, and continues through the work years.  A little teasing at work is fun, and starts the day off with everyone in a good mood, unless the victim isn’t so amused! Here are a few “tame” suggestions from April Fool Zone that would be fun and harmless: 

Clipped:  Make some copies of a paperclip. Then put them into the paper tray of the copier. People will go nuts trying to find the paperclip stuck in the printer.

Kidnapped:  Take an item from the victim’s office (something they use a lot such as a special coffee cup, stapler, pencil cup, etc.). Take a picture of the item and leave it on the victim’s desk (in the same spot where the item was located), along with a “ransom” note.

No Comprende:  Borrow the victim’s cell phone when they aren’t around and change the language setting to a foreign language. Then watch and laugh as they struggle to translate the setting instructions on their phone.

Weakling: Steal all the victim’s pens and replace them with pens that have the caps glued on them.

 The main thing is: don’t take too much time to plan and pull little pranks; after all, you are on someone’s time clock! 

There is always a possibility of horseplay at work, even in a small group, but we have come a long way over the years –there is less  horseplay today than there was many years ago.  No doubt you’ve heard of the simple little jokes that were usually pulled on new employees, such as sending them to the tool room for a left-handed monkey wrench or even a sky hook.  (Which reminds me: while new at my job as an oilfield construction secretary, one of my duties was to call supply stores for parts that our crews radioed in for me to order.  The “sky hook” was one that was often requested at first; but when I first fell for it, the kind person at the supply store would explain to me that that was a little joke they were playing on me.)  Learning what parts were actually real and others imaginary, was a learning experience, and one done in good fun.

There is a time and place for a few pranks, but should be only those that don’t hurt anyone.  Pulling a chair out from under someone is not a prank, that is a mean trick, and can possibly injure them.  Bullying is not a part of horseplay.  Horseplay is defined in the dictionary as rough or boisterous play.  Sometimes it becomes much more than just “play” – it can easily get out of hand!  In additional to the usual possibility of serious injury to the worker, the horseplay will also interfere with production.  We don’t want employees to suffer injury, nor do we want production to suffer.

Placing safety posters throughout the workplace can also be an incentive to workers to always remember, “Safety First!”  Remember this throughout your working years: don’t pull anything on someone that you wouldn’t want done to you.  The most important thing is for every worker to be safe on the job.  Don’t try to make a fool of anyone, as you may turn out to be the foolish one!