Best Practical Jokes at Work
Engineers lead Hawaii Business contest about pranks in the workplace
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BEST SUPERHERO PRANK
Photos: Allana, Buick & Bers
Victim: IAN FORSYTH
Pranksters: Employees at Allana, Buick & Bers Inc.
Employees at the Hawaii office of Allana, Buick & Bers, an architectural and engineering firm, pride themselves on their pranks. Laina Gauker says they’ve covered co-workers’ offices with aluminum foil, messed with display settings, filled offices from floor to ceiling with beach balls and even remodeled an office with pink wallpaper and Hello Kitty décor. But, when operations manager Ian Forsyth went on vacation, the staff wanted to make prank history. After many ideas were considered, inspiration came from a popular 1980s TV cartoon show, “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.”
Staff cut foam, painted cardboard, wrapped wire and braided rope to turn the front of his office into Castle Grayskull. The Blueprint Co., now known as ARC, printed a door cover with a picture of He-Man, on which Forsyth’s face was superimposed. The staff also created a magical Power Sword – Styrofoam wrapped in aluminum foil – so Forsyth could defend Allana, Buick & Bers from evil. For a crowning touch, the staff created a fully functional drawbridge that had to be lowered so Forsyth could enter his office.
BEST BIRTHDAY PRANK
Photos: GP Roadway Solutions Staff
WE LOVE YOU, REALLY
Victims: BIRTHDAY BOYS AND GIRLS
Pranksters: GP Roadway solutions staff
The people at GP Roadway Solutions celebrate birthdays in style, with redecorated cubicles and “used” toilet paper, among other pranks.
BEST FAREWELL PRANK
Illustration: Andrew J. Catanzariti
HAVE YOU SEEN MY PEN?
Victim: DEPARTING MANAGER
Pranksters: Employees at Xerox Hawaii
The call for contest entries in the January issue of Hawaii Business inspired Debra Hamlin of Xerox to organize this farewell prank for a manager being transferred to Chicago.
While the departing manager was receiving lei and kudos at her farewell party, Hamlin says, other staff covered every item in her office with aluminum foil. Pens were all wrapped separately and even business cards were “lovingly wrapped,” then placed back in the wrapped business-card holder.
Hamlin says the manager took it pretty well until she had to come back from the parking garage to find her keys. Her last words were, “All that tin foil better be gone by the time I get in tomorrow.” Well, the foil was gone, but “everything we took out of the foil was now hanging from the ceiling!”
BEST FAREWELL PRANK
Photo: Work Development Council
WHEW. SHE’S GONE.
Victim: GAUHAR NGUYEN
Pranksters: HER CO-WORKERS at Work Development Council
Gauhar Nguyen nominated Jillian Yasutake and Ruth Coldwell, who were her colleagues when she was a temp-orary worker at the Work Development Council, part of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
“These guys are serious about work and workforce development,” Nguyen says, but, “I wrapped their chairs in Christmas decorations, put glitter into keyboards and a fan (so they can’t type or
the fan blows glitter into their faces),” among other pranks. In payback, on Nguyen’s last day, her colleagues presented her with a cake that read “Thank God You’re Leaving!!” Nguyen says, “I can’t top that.”
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