Denver Bar Association
March 2007
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Pranks to Play on Your Co-Workers

by Christine Nierenz

Editor’s Note: At The Docket, often we wonder why people pull pranks just one day each year. As The Docket committee chair demonstrates in this article, there’s no need to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. We encourage all members of the legal community to take immediate action.

Working in the legal profession can be a stressful career, and there are times when laughter really is the best medicine. Listed below are suggestions for lightening your workplace atmosphere.

Office Meetings

Office meetings can be much more enjoyable with a game of Bingo. Create a 5-by-5 grid. Of course, the center square is a freebie and the remaining boxes are filled in with co-worker idiosyncrasies, such as "Bob uses the word ‘global’ in the meeting," "Angela knocks over flower arrangement," or "Ed brings a donut to the meeting." As the meeting progresses, check off the boxes as the particular events happen. When five boxes in a row are checked off, the winner claims "Bingo" by silently leaving the meeting.

Refrigerator Raider

Do you have an officemate who raids the refrigerator? Cooking up some "special" muffins or other treats can deter the fridge thief. For example, a muffin recipe might contain prunes, Tabasco, baby food, salad dressing, Rice Krispies®, cabbage, beef jerky, vinegar, olives or all of the above. Leave the "special" muffins in the refrigerator. Once one goes missing, the thief probably has been deterred (at least for a little while) and the refrigerator will be safe once again.

At, you can send an "anonymous" prank e-mail to a co-worker and disguise the sender’s address so that it appears to be coming from someone else. The author cautions people using, as sometimes these e-mails can end up in the wrong hands, nearly giving the boss a heart attack. A previously successful e-mail included sending "Congratulations" to a paralegal from the boss, indicating that the paralegal had been promoted to an attorney — court appearances are now expected.

Anonymous Relocation of Office Items

This can be particularly amusing depending on the individuals and items involved. For example, you might relocate the picture of someone’s spouse to the desk of a single person, or perhaps the conference room. Or this may mean putting an item, as random as a golf ball, in someone’s plant.

Intra-office Pranks

When someone is away from his/her office, there are a variety of seemingly inconspicuous pranks to be performed. These include gluing all of the pen caps onto the pens, licking blank envelopes, switching around keys on the keyboard and other general office mayhem.

Downloadable Computer Gags

There are free software downloads that can be installed on computers for comedic delight. For example, there are programs that will randomly open and close your CD drives, display false error messages, randomly omit various noises, among other novelties. Other computer gags include switching letters on the keyboard of an unsuspecting individual (see above). Outlook users can set up e-mail so that sounds are played when certain e-mails arrive — which is sure to catch the unsuspecting person off-guard.

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