One of my co-workers, Alex, had his last day of work. He had often told me that he was going to ‘get me’ one way or another. Little did I know that he was capable of pulling off the best work prank in a long time. He even managed to get the head of Human Resources involved.
My supervisor called me up to go with him to H.R. We sat down and the head of H.R. told me that I was being suspended and/or fired depending on his investigation and that I had been accused of fostering a hostile work environment.
If you’ve ever been fired or been in the room when it has happened to anyone else, you can imagine how horrible the experience was for everyone else (not just me.) Both my supervisor and the head of H.R. had perfectly inscrutable expressions and delivery the entire time. We talked for a few minutes. As I was leaving and just about the shut the door, the head of H.R. stood up and said, “Wait a minute, X, I’ll let you go ahead and read the file.” He had handed me a blue folder with my name on it. It had been laying in plain sight during the firing meeting.
When I opened it, what I was saw inside was a single sheet of paper, the paper pictured below. Even looking at the paper, it took a few seconds for the realization to sink in that not only was I not fired, but that Alex had finally punk’d me, all with the incredible performances of my supervisor and H.R. head. I had to sit down.
When I returned to the storeroom, everyone was at the front area, awaiting to see how it had went and to get a good laugh.
It was an exceptional experience and I’m glad they ‘got me,’ so to speak. Alex was as happy as the king of the world knowing that he had pulled off the prank. I think everyone was surprised that I had no inkling about it happening. I’d like to say I suspected, but I was totally ignorant of what was going on. Even when inside the H.R. office I still had no clue or even a suspicious thought in my head. They had me perfectly fooled.
I learned a lot from the prank. The first thoughts in my head were of my wife and how she’d be affected and also of my supervisor and how much I’d let him down. I also realized that it was true how much I liked my job. I’ve always said it and even preached it – but being ‘fired’ focused that idea into certainty. I’ll never look at Steve, the H.R. director the same way again, either. His performance was Oscar-worthy.
I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t start screaming and throwing things when I was told I was fired? : )