Ah, April Fools’ Day: the day when some normally sensible professionals regress to high school students targeting a particularly reviled substitute teacher. It’s bad enough that the entire internet now teems with fake ad campaigns and bogus products (although we did finally get that Tauntaun sleeping bag, at least). There’s no need to compound your co-workers’ misery with intra-office April Fools’ pranks, as well.
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Think we’re being party-poopers? Just promise us you’ll avoid these losing jokes:
1. The “You Can’t Sit With Us” Prank.
“Hey, guys! Guys, I’ve got the best idea. Let’s cover the intern’s closet-office in Post-it notes. There’s no way he’ll think that’s further evidence that everyone here hates him and is trying to break his spirit.”
Yeah, no. Don’t do this. As a general rule, jokes at work should be a “laugh with” not “laugh at” situation. The second you isolate one person from the herd, it looks like you’re about to go in for the kill. Just behave yourself.
2. The One that Stops All Work for at Least an Hour.
“OK, but, here’s a hilarious idea: let’s fill Bob’s entire cubicle with balloons! It’ll be hilarious. Bob has a great sense of humor. He’ll love it.”
He might have a great sense of humor, but he might also have a deadline. April Fools’ Day is not a national holiday, and most of us have to work. If Bob’s got essential items to cross off his to-do list before the weekend rolls around, he might be a tad annoyed to find his TPS reports out of reach.
3. The Prank That’s Actually on Your Clients.
Social media gurus and brand managers, beware: today is the day when your job is most in jeopardy. What seemed hilarious at the weekly meeting may not translate to the interwebs. Best-case scenario: eye roll. Worst-case scenario: unemployment line.
4. Two Words: Toilet Humor.
“But we’re all friends here!” Sure, you are. But you’re work friends, and that’s not the same thing as friend-friends. Use potty humor around some colleagues, and you could find yourself sent to the principal’s office.
5. One More Word: Harassment.
Rule of thumb: if it’d get you in trouble with HR last Tuesday, it’ll get you in trouble with HR today. Refrain.
Tell Us What You Think
What’s the worst April Fools’ Day prank you’ve ever run into at work? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.