Every so often, some website or magazine comes out with another one of those articles calculating how long we spend doing things. You know: “The average human spends five years waiting in line at the DMV!” “Most of us spend 35 years sleeping, except for insomniacs, who spend 12 years watching the clock!” By the time they get to the part about how we spend 80 percent of our waking lives working in an office, most of us are ready to spend about eight years hiding under our beds.
But there is something you can do to relieve the tedium of office life. These office pranks, for example, will pass the time pleasantly, and won’t earn you a pink slip for your trouble.
1. The Old Stapler in the Jello Routine
The first time we saw this prank, on the British version of “The Office,” we wondered why it had never occurred to us before. Jello, the favorite treat of invalids and people with dental issues, makes a great prank medium. Hide your coworker’s stapler or paper clip dispenser or label maker in Jello, and wait for the sugary laughs to roll in. Just make sure you don’t embed anything electronic in there — or anything so small that it might get swallowed. Very few people are ever laughing in the emergency room.
2. A Better Mousetrap
We will confess to being slightly nervous when we first saw this video pop up on YouTube. Any office prank with an actual mousetrap in it seems like it would definitely get you fired, right? Not if that mousetrap has been turned into a tiny little catapult for confetti, like this one. You could also do the more festive glitter variation, for special occasions.
3. Operation Outhouse
We’ve seen our share of cubicle pranks over the past couple of years, but perhaps none more elaborate than this one. The pranksters waited until their coworker went away on a two-week vacation and then transformed her cubicle into a bathroom. These folks were committed. They laid down tile and put in towel rods. They hung actual towels and a real shower curtain. They even took pictures of themselves pretending to use the facilities and, we assume, left those pictures for their lucky coworker upon her return.
The one thing they didn’t do was actually, um, use the new indoor-outhouse. Which is why this prank, while complicated and definitely very silly, gets a place of honor on our list of office pranks that won’t get you fired.