Friday, October 10, 2008

The Next Level

The practical jokes have died down, but they used to be relentless. Steve tapes down the button on your phone so that you don't actually join the conversation when you pick up the phone. He hit the "auto-forward" button on your phone so your phone will ring once but you can't answer because it is already redirected to your voicemail. He turns the ringer up all the way. He will call from various offices, wait until you pick up, then yell, "You're Done!"

Eric fought back by plugging a wireless USB mouse to Steve's computer. Throughout the day he would move the mouse slightly, which caused Steve's think he was being monitored by the technical support guys. When it happened again right after lunch, Steve called the helpdesk and swore at them, ending with, "I want you clowns to leave my computer alone!!" Eric, wide eyed and horrified, mouthed the question, "Should we tell him?" At lunch, Todd had let the cat out of the bag, and Steve had just pulled a reverse joke on Eric. If the news of our jokes gets to HR, we will probably all get written up.

But it is not as bad anymore. Steve still dials our phone numbers from the fax machine, so that it will keep calling all afternoon, trying to get the fax through. But he is the only one pulling jokes, and they are slowly dying out.

Today, this fateful Thursday, Steve leaves early. Not only that, but - horror of horrors - he leaves his computer unlocked. Hmmm..... Stacy has been telling us of a time when he got an email from a coworker declaring his undying love for him, and it had made him really uncomfortable. He finally responded with a simple, "I'm sorry but I don't feel the same way." After that, it came out that someone else had sent it when the coworker left his computer unattended. Soooo......

The words write themselves:


I have really enjoyed our friendship over the past couple of years, but I am ready to take it to the next level. Do you want to get together for lunch sometime next week?


Ed walks to our cubes, shrouded with a really confused expression. He sees that Steve isn't at his desk. Everyone else is laughing. I have tears rolling down my cheeks because I am laughing so hard. Ahh, these practical jokesters think they are funny.

Ed responds:

Steve, I am sorry but I am happily married and don't feel the same way about you. If you would like some additional suggestions for love interests, feel free to stop by my desk.

Uncomfortably yours,

Then we send the same letter to Mike.

He responds, "I'm sorry, but ever since Megan opened my eyes to donkey shows and midget snuff films, my lunchtimes are busy."

The rest of the day we are like schoolgirls. We simply can't wait for Steve to check his email. Friday morning Steve sends an email saying he will be in at 10:00. is going to be hard to wait that long. Then at 9:00 he calls Kurt, and says that he thinks the market has bottomed out so he wants to spend the day at home buying stock options. NOOOO!! I don't know if I can wait ALL WEEKEND for Steve to see the joke emails.

He finally shows up at 10:00 to fill out his timecard. He sits at his computer for a few minutes, then goes to get a drink. He comes back and asks why we are all acting so weird. We ask if he has checked his email. He says that he has. Did he get an email from Mike? Yes. From Ed? Yes. So what?

Then he goes back and reads the emails, after which he stands up and laughs. His fingers instinctively move through his hair, nervously scratching his head. He says it would be funny if it wasn't so disgusting. Then he tells us about his favorite bumper sticker. "If you are going to ride my a**, the least you can do is pull my hair."

Later, Ed gets a call from Jeff, a former coworker, asking if he wants to get together for lunch.....

I am going to have to be careful to lock my computer for a long, long time.

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