Not all of us love the people who employ us. Your author, for example, is currently writing this from outside a windowless van at the house of his editor, where, when he comes home, said editor will feel the wrath of his paintball chaingun.
But nor can all of us spray our boss with paint pellets and get away with it due to having blackmail photos. Some of us have to fight the man in other, more subtle ways.
#1) Fun with Quote Trolling.
History’s worst human beings said things that, taken out of context, can sound inspirational, but are actually pretty powerful.
For example, tell your boss that Gandhi said “Ideas are more powerful than guns.” It’s a soaring sentiment…except the full quote, by the way is “Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?” And that notion comes from Stalin, not Gandhi.
Another fun one from Uncle Joe: “I believe in one thing only: the power of human will.” Or if you want to go full Godwin’s Law, how about a nice quote from Hitler: “The man who has no sense of history is like a man who has no eyes or ears.” That would sound great coming from, say, Jack Welch.
Useful For: the kind of boss who spouts inspirational quotes. Unless he knows his history, and it’s likely he won’t, he’ll go around spouting these for years.
#2) Inspirational Posters
Did you know that making your own “inspirational” poster is as simple as using this web widget? OK, you’ve been on the Internet, so you probably did.
But think about all the ways you can “inspire” your coworkers. Or, think about how you can “inspire” yourself, by wallpapering every inch of your cube with these things. After all, if they’re all positive, it’s time well spent for the company, right?
Useful For: the boss who genuinely thinks motivational posters motivate people. It’s difficult to believe anybody ever bought something from a company called “Successories,” but people still do.
#3) Email Forwards
One thing that makes office email a special hell is when your boss sends you a lot of email, and every single email includes the sig file. Especially since lawyers have pounced on it as a great way to make life more aggravating for everyone, by including a bunch of legal disclaimers that actually can’t be enforced that are usually three to five times the length of the actual message.
But then there’s the guy, and everybody works for this guy at some point, who just has to add an inspirational quote, his phone number, his email address (you know, in case you were communicating with his computer via your mind), his title, and his office address. Explaining the concept that email is not stationery to some people is pointless.
So, every time he sends one of these things, send a short reply back…with an equally long sig file.
Useful For: the boss who just will not follow the rules of email. Relentless forwards, short replies with long files…it’s an effective way to teach him a lesson about behaving without being a jerk.
Also, watching him stare at his computer while it grinds through an email for five minutes only to see “OK, boss, will do” is hilarious.
#4) Beep Wars
Some people just will not leave you alone. They have to have the answer to everything from everyone. And thus, it’s time to break out the big guns and spend a little money. It’s time to invest in the Annoy-o-Tron.
The Annoy-o-Tron is a device from ThinkGeek that’s designed to emit a short 2kHz and 12 kHz sound at random intervals. To understand how awful this is, here’s a video (keep your mouse over the pause button):
It costs about ten bucks, and the included battery will last a month. It also has a magnet that can stick to anything. It emits those awful sounds in two to eight minute intervals, totally at random. It’s hard to find and if they do find it, they won’t know what it is.
Useful For: micromanagers. Needless to say, this is on the borderline of subtle, and more along the lines of going to war, but if you have a manager who just will not leave you alone, it is past time he or she learned what it’s liked to be annoyed at random intervals. Because you know their boss won’t do it.
Dan previously taught you Five Surprising Uses for Crappy Beer.
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