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Best Practical Jokes at Work

Engineers lead Hawaii Business contest about pranks in the workplace

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Photo: BASE

First Place: Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering Inc.

OVERALL WINNER - THE FOOSBALL HIJACKING

Victim: STEVE BALDRIDGE, president, BASE
Pranksters: BASE EMPLOYEES

BASE employees wanted a foosball table, so when president Steve Baldridge was gone on a business trip, they bought a used table. There was no space that Friday, so they set it up in Baldridge’s office and turned  it into the Employee Lounge. After playing, the gang blew up “Inflata-Frank,” dressed him in a BASE shirt and posed him at the table, according to an account of this prank and others sent in by BASE marketing director Serena Humay.

Some employees, eager to see Baldridge’s reaction, showed up early Monday but were shocked to find the table gone. When the boss arrived, he claimed he had no idea what they were talking about, but an employee found the table at the loading dock with a sign that read “TRASH.” It turned out that Baldridge had come to the office straight from the airport and, exhausted from his long trip, got upset with what had happened to his office. Though it took four people to carry the table into his office, Baldridge single-handedly took it to the loading dock.

After much negotiating, the employees kept the foosball table but moved it elsewhere. Baldridge continued to resist it, though, until Miss Hawaii visited. He gave her a tour and, when they came to the foosball table, she exclaimed, “I love foosball!” Baldridge told her how the foosball table was his idea to improve morale and invited her to play.

Afterward, the staff rallied to get their money back for “his” idea. Baldridge acquiesced and reimbursed everyone. The table now sits in the official BASE recreation room and is still being used.
 

AT THE CLUB

Photo: Base

Victim: Steve Baldridge
Pranksters: BASE employees

Another time  Baldridge was away, a few employees decorated his office with a stripper pole and Inflata-Frank, this time dressed in a nurse’s outfit. Silver door streamers and blinking lights added to the club atmosphere, as did an audience of dolls with fake dollar bills. This time, when Baldridge returned, he loved the prank and insisted on keeping it as office decor. He was finally persuaded to take it down before a new-hire interview.
 

DRIP...DRIP...DRIP

Photo: Base

Victim: FRANK HUMAY, VP
Pranksters: BASE employees

An engineer placed abandoned landscaping drip lines above the ceiling tiles in Frank Humay’s office and water slowly dripped onto his head, like Chinese water torture. Humay was told it was condensation from the air conditioning. Another time, as Humay prepared for a vacation, concerned employees put Inflata-Frank in his office because they were worried about going without an indispensable leader. However, the prank escalated: Employees took Inflata-Frank out of the office on wild escapades that the real Frank would never have gone on – including a mock drinking binge – and captured the fun with pictures.
 

SHUT UP HIPPIE

Photo: Base

Victim: FRANK HUMAY, VP
Prankster: base employee

Frank Humay has a colorful personality: He is outwardly politically conservative, yet also “green” and very protective of his vehicle. That set him up for a prank last April Fool’s Day, when an employee put political bumper stickers all over his car after he arrived early in the morning. That allowed arriving building tenants plenty of time to view the stickers which had sayings such as, “Annoy a Liberal …Work Hard and Be Happy,” “Shut Up Hippie” and “NObama.” When he learned about it, Humay threatened to call the police about the “vandalism.” Turns out the stickers were only laid on the hood, not stuck on, so Humay eventually forgave the prankster.

 

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Hawaii Business,March